Saturday, February 28, 2009

Twenty five albums that shaped me, tenor sax division

Grover Washington Jr. is the man I wanted to emulate when I decided to take up the saxophone in the 7th grade. You see, I was already a fanatic about basketball, and if ever basketball has a soundtrack in my mind, it's Grover's Mister Magic. Back in the seventies, there was no state basketball championship in California, so the highest goal a Los Angeles high school basketball player could aspire to was to play for the city championship at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA. The very first LA City Championship I went to was so exciting, and when the teams, Crenshaw and Fremont, first broke out of the locker room, they came out to Mister Magic. Perfect! Plus, anyone who wore a beard was high up on the cool list in my books.

Ronnie Laws had a fantastic run of LPs, and did "Friends and Strangers" in 1976. This was right around the time I learned to drive.

Pharoah Sanders hooked up with Norman Connors to make "Love will find a way." Pharoah remade a Connors favorite "The Creator has a Master Plan" and Phyllis Hyman joined him in a romantic ballad, "Love is here." I wrote an award winning descriptive essay of the album cover for a Contemporary Composition class during my senior year

John Klemmer did a series of LPs beginning with "Touch" that were tailor-made for LAs emerging "smooth jazz" FM radio stations such as KJLH and the WAVE.

And, of course, all roads lead to Coltrane.


avery said...

Good stuff. And I'm hating that I didn't think of the divisions.

brotherbrown said...

You have my permission to use the divisional approach. I was too hasty when I picked my original 25. It takes some thought.

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