jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jnr.
(1943-99) was a well-established studio
man by the time he made his solo debut
album in 1971. During the 1970s he grew
in stature as his R&B influenced style
of jazz attracted international audiences.
He soon ascended into becoming one of
‘the’ noted jazz saxophonists. Throughout
the 1980s he explored and developed the
ties between jazz, blues and R&B working
with other well known names such as Patti
Labelle and B.B. King.
particular compilation is taken from four
of Washington’s most popular albums. ‘Strawberry
Moon’(1987) was cut during a period when
he was appearing with the likes of Herbie
Hancock, Ron Carter, Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smit,
The Four Tops and Lalah Hathaway. The
two titles ‘Sacred Kind Of Love’ and ‘Time
Out Of Mind’ are taken from the second
album featured here, ‘Time Out Of Mind’
(1990). Album three, ‘Next Exit’(1992)
reached No. 1 in the Jazz Charts. Here
we are treated to three titles including
Washington’s version of the Desmond/ Brubeck
tune ‘Take Five.’ Finally, Tracks 3, 8
& 9 come from the 1996 album ‘Soulful
Strut which is considered to be an R&B
classic. Overall this compilation bears
all the hallmarks of his fat groovy sound
and he takes each melody with ease.
some twenty-five years Grover Washington
Jnr. belonged to the most popular and
well beloved instrumentalists in popular
music. This will be a well-received issue
and is a good example of how this talented
musician maintained the middle ground
between jazz and rhythm and blues with
great style and grace.