The Complete Columbia Albums Collection
Whether he was playing R&B-infused jazz pop or straight-ahead swing, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. always made one thing clear: he knew how to blow his horns. A thoroughly schooled musician who later learned to play genuine funky jazz with such masters as Johnny –Hammond" Smith and Charles Earland, Washington perfected a saxophone style that blended melodic elegance with soulful grit. His work on alto, tenor and soprano was a model of authentic communication; when he played, you listened, entranced by his from-the-heart tone and singing phrasing. His work for Columbia made a good case for his diversity. There are plenty of fine albums that mix R&B, jazz and pop into a heady brew, including Strawberry Moon, Time Out of Mind, Next Exit and Soulful Strut. On these popular recordings, Washington shares space with the likes of icons Nancy Wilson, Ramsey Lewis and B.B. King; singers Lalah Hathaway and Levi Stubbs, and A-list players including Marcus Miller and Joey DeFrancesco. But there were also special projects where Washington made sure that his instrumental prowess was fully noted. Then and Now and All My Tomorrows are straight up jazz albums on which Washington's no nonsense playing was set off by such illustrious supporting musicians as bassist Ron Carter, pianists Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan, trumpeter Eddie Henderson and singer Freddy Cole. But there were even more dimensions to Washington's musicianship. His way with a lyrical ballad is demonstrated on the Christmas album, Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection. The biggest surprise of all may have been Aria. On this selection of immortal classical works beautifully adapted for saxophone, Washington asserts that he was every bit the accomplished musician that some, blinded by his commercial success, may have been unaware of. 9 great albums on 9 CDs! Each individual album is packaged in a replica mini-LP sleeve reproducing that album's original cover art. The most beloved of all Smooth Jazz artists, and one of its very best sellers, in his most prolific period Four great Smooth Jazz albums: Strawberry Moon, Time Out Of Mind, Next Exit, and Soulful Strut Bonus album: the long unavailable House Full Of Love / Music From The Bill Cosby Show on which he is the featured soloist Seven Top 5 Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz and Top Jazz Albums! His most stylistically diverse collection including projects of Smooth Jazz, Straight Ahead Jazz, Christmas, Classical and Television. Albums Included: House Full Of Love (Music from The Cosby Show) Featuring Grover Washington, Jr. (1986) Strawberry Moon (1987) Then And Now (1988) Time Out of Mind (1989) Next Exit (1992) All My Tomorrows (1994) Soulful Strut (1996) Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection (1997) Aria (Sony Classical) (2000)
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