Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Grover Washington, Jr. - Grover Live (2010), A True Gift
Listen to "Winelight"
Yesterday I made a huge find on Amazon. As a longtime fan of Grover Washington Jr., I, like everyone else who knew and loved the man or his music, was saddened by his death in 1999 when he was just 56. Somehow news of this album's release escaped me until now. I'll let Amazon describe it.
"America's greatest R&B-funk and soul-jazz saxophonist, Grover Washington, Jr., (December 12, 1943-December 17, 1999) was one of the first musicians to successfully fuse R&B, pop, funk, blues, and jazz. "Grover Live" is a previously unreleased live recording. Captured on June 7, 1997 in Peekskill, NY, this album reveals Washington and his famous backing band blowing the roof off the sold out 1,500-seat Paramount Center for the Performing Arts."
Listen to "East River Drive"
This was not anything slapped quickly together to cash in, this was a true labor of love, a magnificent addition to his legacy, and a real gift to his fans, family and friends. Grover Liveis a live album done right, the way I wish all live albums would be done. For starters, it was recorded at one show, with all his song intros and comments to the audience included, and you can hear that Grover was the complete performer, bringing the audience along with a friendly rapport that's totally endearing.
He played a wonderful set that nicely touched on all parts of his career and included most every favorite that his fans might want to hear. Grover is known for having a fabulous band and this night was no exception, here's the personnel.
Grover Washington, Jr. - Tenor, Soprano, Alto, Baritone Sax
Donald Robinson -Keyboards & Musical Director
Adam Holzman - Keyboards
Gerald Veasley - Bass
Richard Lee Steacker - Guitars
Steven Wolf - Drums
Pablo Batista - Congas & Percussion
Listen to "Just The Two Of Us"
The production on this project is outstanding; the sound quality of the recording is superb, and the level of care that went into the package and the ten page booklet is commensurate with everything else about this album. There are two user reviews that speak to the beauty of Grover Live.Anne A "jazz woman" really nails it when she says
"He plays with such splendid intensity, deep soul, funk & groove, and passion. He's a true genius at melody and improvisation. Superb audio quality, and a feast of his biggest hits played live. It's a lot of music, about 80 minutes - and conversation. To hear the warmth of Grover's voice makes this such a special experience."
Listen to "Let It Flow (For "Dr. J")"
But the best thing I found perusing the user reviews, was this from Grover's daughter Shana.
"5.0 out of 5 stars Grover's Daughter, Shana, August 31, 2010
By Shana B. Washington "littlebeigegirl" (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME)
Hi everyone! We are really excited about all of the feedback from all media! This was a labor of love... 10+ years in the making. We had to edit the concert down which was really hard but we feel like we got the true essence of who my father was on stage. It was a TEAM effort! Much love and respect to everyone involved.
I love it! My daughters... Grover's grandchildren, go to sleep to this cd and love it as well. Thank you to all the fans who haven't forgotten great music and an even better man! Enjoy!
This CD is a great bargain, even at Amazon's normal price of $16.85, but through the end of January, you can get the MP3 download for just $5.00 as part of Amazon's 1,000 albums for $5.00 promotion.