Meadows -Player's Club
year I met the well-known bass player Gerald Veasly on a cruise.
Originally the cruise was announced as a smooth jazz cruise and Gerald
planed to join Marion Meadows' gig on the ship. Unfortunately the
promoter couldn't pay the necessary security for the artists and
so the gig burst like a soap-bubble. I thought by myself what a good sax player
Marion must be that such a high qualified bassist like Gerald takes
the efforts to make a cruise just to meet Marion. Listening to
Marion's new album "Player's Club" I have the answer.
Don't misunderstand me. I have
listened to hundreds of sax player's albums the last 5 years and it's
tiresome when you always listen to tenor or soprano saxophones
dominating the whole album. Marion's new one is different. "I've
been involved in a lot of projects, both my own and group
efforts, and my main objective is to keep growing as an artist and
engage the fans who have invested so much emotion in my music and my
career," comments Marion. About the album: "It's a select
group that really deserves the title, a fraternity of players who have
sustained over the years - and that's saying a lot in the music
business these days.
Based on a funky hip-hop rhythm Player's
Club brings a live atmosphere into the studio. Although the
tune is rather short with four and a half minutes Matt King on
baritone sax, Mike Broening on keyboards, Freddie
Fox on guitar have some solo parts besides the running melody.
On Sweet Grapes
Marion plays soprano, tenor and bari saxes with some overdubs. Mike
B's drum programming with hip-hop elements has a very important place
in this production.
Wishing On A
Star composed by Calvin Billie Rae was a chart hitter of the
group Rose Royce ("Rose Royce II: In Full Bloom", 1977)
already covered by stars like Randy Crawford, Will Downing and Jaared.
Marion defines a new contemporary version.
The First Time
features the vocalist Douglas Myers. A R&B or neo-soul located
song with Chip Shearin's
pulsing bass. Chip and Douglas composed this piece. Currently,
Chip is completing a solo project that will not only feature his
incredible bass playing and composing talents, but also a few of the
national recording artists he’s toured with over the years.
Chip and I have been working together for over ten years", says
Marion. "He helped out when we needed a sound reminiscent of Sly
Stone or Al Green."
Chieli Minucci's Spanish Guitar is
introducing into Noche Privada, a Spanish
flavored tune, a magic dialogue between Chieli's guitar and Marion's
sax. Marion comments: "Chieli Minucci is a phenomenal player and
he did a great job for us."
a good opportunity to expose Mike Broening who is standing a bit in
Marion's shadow. Mike B 's performance as a piano and keyboards player
is superb. He already played on Marion's album "In Deep"
(2002) and Gerald Veasley's "In The Zone"(1996).
He wrote songs for Kani Cole ("Places") as her
longtime keyboardist. He also played with the highly-acclaimed group
"Turning Point" ("Together") and with
artists as diverse as the Rippingtons and Glen Campbell. Mike should
do his own solo project.
LeRoix Hampton III is a further
gifted keyboardist who wrote together with Marion the awesome piece Romantica.
LeRoix produced and co-wrote Alphonso Thomas' album "While
We still Can", he played steel-drums (!) on John Amato's
"Masters Peace" and was singer and arranger on Allen &
Allen's "A-Blazing Grace". Slow tempo with much reverb
Marion steps into New Age terrain.
has a strong jazz lounge character showcasing Marion's open mind for
all musical directions. Mike Broening has styled this song which also
features a stunning solo of the guitarist Freddie Fox whose self titled
debut project "Freddie
Fox" was already presented on this website.
Step A Little
Closer is very radio-like and contemporary. I have always the
deja-vue feeling listening to this song.
The ballade Deska,
called after the nickname of Marion's new bride, is certainly a proof
for Marion's devotion. Nicely garnished by Chieli Minucci's and
Freddie Fox's guitars its a real heartbreaker.
What are you doing After
6:00? Perhaps going into a jazz club. This urban jazz is not
only the final but also the summit of fine art and collaboration
between all musicians. Michael states: "I tried to bring the feel
of this recording closer to a live show, closer to the listener. As
artists, it's time for us to kick it up to the next level - because we
need to make it more interesting for the fans. And my tastes (like my
record collection) have always been eclectic, so it all works
Marion did it well and the
listeners certainly will honored it.