With 25 years of experience and eleven records under his belt [For Lover’s Only (1990), Keep It Right Here (1993), Forbidden Fruit (1994), Body Rhythm (1996), Pleasure (1997), Another Side Of Midnight (1999), Next To You (2000), In Deep (2002), Players Club (2004), Dressed To Chill (2006), and Secrets (2009)], Marion Meadows has established himself as quite the diverse and impressive musician. And with Whisper, the newest addition to his catalog, Meadows certainly maintains the reputation he has built for himself over the last two and a half decades as such a talented artist.
Whisper, Marion Meadows’ latest album was released Februrary 26, 2013 by Shanachie, and it is his first album in four years. Whisper features twelve tracks, most of which are originals, and was produced alongside Carlos Pennisi, Bob Baldwin, Rahni Song and Michael Broening.
The opening track, “The Visitor” is world-beat/smooth jazz cross with Meadows’ soprano accompanied by strings. It was a great choice as the first track because it sets the tone for the rest of the album with songs that range from straight ahead jazz like Bottoms Up to the more acoustic Whisper. The varied style of the tracks on the album certainly reflect Meadows’ varied influences including Miles Davis and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Following “The Visitor” is the title track, “Whisper,” a track featuring a catchy acoustic guitar riff and an inspired melody. Next is “Black Pearl,” the album’s first single, followed by “Timeless,” a jazz ballad co-written by Rahni Song.
My favorite track from the album is “Bottoms Up,” a hard-hitting jazz tune featuring flute player Ragan Whiteside. Meadows also brings in flutist Althea Rene on “Golden Curtain.”
The two covers on the album are Freddie Hubbard’s “Sky Dive” and Dave Grusin’s “Marcosinho,” and Meadows does a great job paying tribute to these two great artists with his refreshing arrangements of their classic tunes.
Overall, the album is a nice blend of straight-ahead, smooth jazz, funk and pop with several great guests.
Marion Meadows earned his start after being discovered by Jay Chattaway while busking in Grand Central Station. He was introduced to Bob James, and then went on to work with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, The Temptations, George Benson and a number of other well-established artists. You can learn more about Marion at his website.
Artist: Marion Meadows
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Smooth Jazz
01 The Visitor
03 Black Pearl
04 Timeless (feat. Rahni Song & Julian Davis)
06 Magic Life
07 Bottoms Up (feat. Bob Baldwin & Ragan Whiteside)
08 Golden Curtain (feat. Althea Rene)
09 Marcosinho (feat. Joey Sommerville & John Roberts)
10 Sky Dive (feat. Joey Sommerville & John Roberts)
11 Wild Thing
12 Turn Up the Quiet