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Category Archives: smooth jazz

“Herb Alpert – RISE”

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Herbert “Herb” Alpert

(born March 31, 1935) is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is also a recording industry executive, the “A” of A&M Records, a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold to PolyGram. Alpert has also created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are publicly displayed on occasion. Alpert and wife Lani Hall are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Alpert’s musical accomplishments include five No. 1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums.[1] As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide.[2][3][4] Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist (“This Guy’s in Love with You”, 1968) and an instrumentalist (

“Rise”,

1979).

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Aster Aweke – Fikir Ayalkbet

Aster Aweke – Fikir Ayalkbet

By the age of 13, Aster was determined to become a musician, and began her career at Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa.

Starting in her late teens, she was performing in clubs and hotels in the capital with bands such as the Continental Band, Hotel D’Afrique Band, Shebele Band and Ibex Band, before they became the internationally known as Roha Band.

Aster’s distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele.

Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of her music. By 1981, Aster had become disillusioned by Ethiopia’s oppressive political climate following the death of Haile Selassie, and relocated to the United States. Temporarily settling in the Bay Area of California, with plans to pursue higher education within a period of two years, she settled in Washington, D.C., where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community, performing in restaurants and clubs.

Aster also remains popular in Ethiopia. In 1997, she performed in Addis Ababa for a crowd of over 50,000 people. In 2003, Aster also performed a two-part concert series to raise funds for relief and school initiatives in Ethiopia. The first concert was held in November on Eid Al-Fitr day at the Addis Ababa Stadium, with an audience of 40,000 in attendance. The second performance was a gala-dinner at the Sheraton Hotel.[2] More recently, on May 9, 2009, Aster performed in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators during the Peace Through Unity, Unity Through Music concert held in the capital’s Millennium Hall, alongside other Ethiopian music artists. Wikipedia

 
 

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Kenny G – Don’t Make Me Wait For Love 

Kenny G – Don’t Make Me Wait For Love 

“Don’t Make Me Wait For Love” is a song by Kenny G (featuring Lenny Williams on lead vocals), and the first single released from his 1986 album Duotones. The song was written and composed by Walter Afanasieff, Preston Glass and Narada Michael Walden.

In the US, “Don’t Make Me Wait For Love” was first released in late 1986 where it only peaked at #77 on the Hot Black Singles chart. Later in 1987 the song’s re-isuue went to reached #17 on the Hot Black Singles chart and #15 on the Hot 100 chart. This was Kenny G’s first Hot 100 Hit. “Don’t Make Met For Wait For Love” had its best showing on the Adult Contemporary music charts, where it peaked at #2.
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Posted by on 04/10 in smooth jazz

 

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“Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song (Tradução)”

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Killing Me Softly with His Song
“Killing Me Softly with His Song
” is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit, in US and Canada, for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has since been covered by numerous artists.

The Roberta Flack version

Lieberman was the first to record Fox and Gimbel’s song in late 1971, releasing it in early 1972.[9] Helen Reddy has said she was sent the song, but “the demo… sat on my turntable for months without being played because I didn’t like the title.”[10]

Roberta Flack first heard the song on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City on which the Lieberman original was featured on the in-flight audio program. After scanning the listing of available audio selections, Flack would recall: “The title, of course, smacked me in the face. I immediately pulled out some scratch paper, made musical staves [then] play[ed] the song at least eight to ten times jotting down the melody that I heard…. When I landed, I immediately called Quincy [Jones] at his house and asked him how to meet Charles Fox. Two days later I had the music.” Shortly afterwards Flack rehearsed the song with her band in the Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica but did not then record it.[11]

In September 1972, Flack was opening for Marvin Gaye at the Greek Theater; after performing her prepared encore song, Flack was advised by Gaye to sing an additional song. Flack – “I said well, I got this song I’ve been working on called ‘Killing Me Softly…’ and he said ‘Do it, baby.’ And I did it and the audience went crazy, and he walked over to me and put his arm around me and said, ‘Baby, don’t ever do that song again live until you record it.'”[12]

Released in January 1973, Flack’s version spent a total of five non-consecutive weeks at number-one in February and March 1973, being bumped to number 2 by the O’Jays’ “Love Train” after four straight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1973.[13]

Charles Fox suggested that the reason Flack’s version was more successful than Lieberman’s was because Flack’s “version was faster and she gave it a strong backbeat that wasn’t in the original.”[7] According to Flack: “My classical background made it possible for me to try a number of things with [the song’s arrangement]. I changed parts of the chord structure and chose to end on a major chord. [The song] wasn’t written that way.”[14] Flack plays electric piano on the track. The bass is played by Ron Carter, the guitar by Hugh McCracken and the drums by Ray Lucas.[citation needed] The single appeared as the opening track of the album of same name on August 1, 1973.

Flack later won the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for the single, with Gimbel and Fox earning the Song of the Year Grammy.

In 1996 a house remix of Flack’s version went to number one on the US dance charts.[15]

In 1999 Flack’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[16] It also ranked #360 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and #82 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of all time.[17]

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“KENNY G-SONGBIRD”

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Kenneth Bruce Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), better known by his stage name

Kenny G

, is an American saxophonist. His fourth album, Duotones, brought him breakthrough success in 1986. Kenny G is the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era and one of the best-selling artists of all time, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records.

Early life

Kenny G

was born in Seattle, Washington, to Jewish parents (his mother was originally from Saskatchewan, Canada) and grew up in the city’s Seward Park neighborhood, which is a center of the city’s Jewish community. He came into contact with a saxophone when he heard someone performing with one on The Ed Sullivan Show. He started playing the saxophone in 1966 when he was 10 years old. He learned how to play under the direction of local trumpeter Gerald Pfister and by practicing along with records (mostly of Grover Washington, Jr.), trying to emulate the sounds that he was hearing. His first saxophone was a Buffet Crampon alto.

Kenny G attended Whitworth Elementary School, Sharples Junior High School, Franklin High School, and the University of Washington, all in his home town of Seattle. When he entered high school, he failed on his first try to get into the jazz band, but tried again the following year and earned first chair. His Franklin High School classmate Robert Damper (piano, keyboards) plays in his band.In addition to his studies while in high school, he took private lessons on the saxophone and clarinet from Johnny Jessen, once a week for a year.

He was also on his high school golf team. He had loved the sport ever since his older brother, Brian Gorelick, introduced it to him when he was ten years old, which is the same age he was when he started playing the saxophone.

Career
Kenny G’s career started with a job as a sideman for Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973 while 17 and still in high school. He continued to play professionally while studying for a major in accounting at the University of Washington in Seattle and graduated magna cum laude. He played with the funk band Cold, Bold and Together before becoming a credited member of The Jeff Lorber Fusion. He began his solo career after his period with Lorber.

Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist in 1982, after label president Clive Davis heard his rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”. He has released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Aaron Neville, Toni Braxton, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller, Weezer, Dudley Moore, Lee Ritenour, The Rippingtons, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Bebel Gilberto, George Benson, Chante Moore and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by the likes of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.,[8] his own albums are usually classified as smooth jazz.

He received success quite early on, with both G Force and Gravity, his second and third studio albums respectively, achieving platinum status in the United States. These sales were topped by his fourth studio album, Duotones, which sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. His sixth studio album, Breathless, became the number one best selling instrumental album ever, with over 15 million copies sold, of which 12 million were in the U.S. He broke another record when his first holiday album, Miracles, sold over 13 million copies, making it the most successful Christmas album to date.

In 1997,  Kenny G earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. Using circular breathing, Kenny G held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City.That same year, Kenny G’s song “Havana”, from his album The Moment, was remixed by noted DJs Todd Terry and Tony Moran and released promotionally to dance clubs in the U.S. These mixes went to No.1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs chart in April 1997.

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“SADE – BY YOUR SIDE”

sade by your side

“By Your Side”is the lead single from the English group Sade’s fifth studio album, Lovers Rock (2000). The track was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, losing out to Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird”. The video for this single was directed by Sophie Muller. In 2002,[1] the song was listed as the 48th greatest love song of all time by VH1.[2]

The song was covered by Beachwood Sparks on their 2001 album Once We Were Trees. The video, directed by Chad Misner, was selected for the 2002 South by Southwest Film Festival.[3]

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BOBBY CALDWELL AND VANESSA WILLIAMS”BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE”

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Star Bright is the fourth studio album and first Christmas album by Mathes/Felix Mendelssohn/Charles Wesley – 5:34; “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (With Bobby Caldwell and Vanessa Williams) (orig.Frank Loesser) , released in the US on November 5, 1996 on Mercury Records. It achieved critical acclaim and success as one of the best-selling holiday albums of 1996 and ’97. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200, #24 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #5 on the Top Holiday Albums.

The album went on to be nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album and was certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 copies. Although no official singles were released from the album, “Do You Hear What I Hear/The Little Drummer Boy” became an instant holiday classic becoming the most played holiday record of 1996 and reaching #15 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.

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Also, while the album released no official singles, a video was shot in 1993 for “What Child Is This?” that was originally featured on the A&M Records Christmas compilation A Very Special Christmas 2. The Christmas Collection: 20th Century Masters: The Best of Vanessa Williams is a 2003 remastered/re-release of Vanessa Williams’ 1996 original Christmas album, Star Bright.

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