GROVER WASHINGTON JR

Pop/Art Song/Folk / Soul Jazz / Third Stream / Funk Jazz • United States
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Grover Washington, Jr. (December 12, 1943 - December 17, 1999) has been considered by many to be the founding father of smooth jazz and a master of the jazz-funk genre.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre's most memorable hits, including Mister Magic,Black Frost, and The Best Is Yet To Come. In addition, he performed very frequently with other artists, including Bill Withers on Just the Two of Us(still in regular rotation on radio today) and Phyllis Hyman on A Sacred Kind of Love.

He is also remembered for his take on a Dave Brubeck classic, called Take Another Five, and for his hit Soulful Strut. Washington was born in Buffalo, New York, 12 December 1943. Regarded as one of the revolutionaries in jazz music and is considered one of the greatest saxophone players in modern jazz history. He led many others to follow in his
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GROVER WASHINGTON JR Discography

GROVER WASHINGTON JR albums / top albums

GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Inner City Blues album cover 3.52 | 2 ratings
Inner City Blues
Soul Jazz 1971
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR All the King's Horses album cover 2.59 | 2 ratings
All the King's Horses
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1972
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Soul Box Vol.1 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Soul Box Vol.1
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1973
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Soul Box Vol.2 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Soul Box Vol.2
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1973
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Mister Magic album cover 3.59 | 2 ratings
Mister Magic
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1975
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Feels So Good album cover 3.39 | 4 ratings
Feels So Good
Funk Jazz 1975
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR A Secret Place album cover 3.09 | 2 ratings
A Secret Place
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1976
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Reed Seed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reed Seed
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1978
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Paradise album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Paradise
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1979
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Winelight album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Winelight
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1980
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Skylarkin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skylarkin
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1980
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Baddest album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Baddest
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1980
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Come Morning album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Come Morning
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1981
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR The Best Is Yet to Come album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Is Yet to Come
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1982
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Side Star album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Side Star
Soul Jazz 1983
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Inside Moves album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside Moves
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1984
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Strawberry Moon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Strawberry Moon
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1987
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Then and Now album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Then and Now
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1988
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Time Out of Mind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Time Out of Mind
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1989
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Next Exit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Next Exit
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1992
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR All My Tomorrows album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All My Tomorrows
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1994
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Soulful Strut album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soulful Strut
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1996
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1997
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Aria album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aria
Third Stream 2000

GROVER WASHINGTON JR EPs & splits

GROVER WASHINGTON JR live albums

GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Live at the Bijou album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Bijou
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1977
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Groover Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Groover Live
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2010

GROVER WASHINGTON JR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GROVER WASHINGTON JR re-issues & compilations

GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Soul Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Box
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1973
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR At His Best album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At His Best
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1985
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1985
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Warner Jazz: Les Incontournables album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Warner Jazz: Les Incontournables
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1996
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR The Best of Grover Washington Jr. album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Grover Washington Jr.
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1997
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Ultimate Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Collection
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1999
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Prime Cuts: The Columbia Years: 1987-1999 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Prime Cuts: The Columbia Years: 1987-1999
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1999
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Discovery album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Discovery
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR The Definitive Grover Washington Jr.: The Elektra Years album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Grover Washington Jr.: The Elektra Years
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2004
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Jazz Moods: Cool album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Moods: Cool
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2004
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Plays The Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays The Hits
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2010
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Strawberry Moon/Then And Now/Time Out Of Mind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Strawberry Moon/Then And Now/Time Out Of Mind
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2012
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR All My Tomorrows / Soulful Strut / Breath Of Heaven album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All My Tomorrows / Soulful Strut / Breath Of Heaven
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2014
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR The Definitive Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Collection
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2016
GROVER  WASHINGTON JR Sacred Kind of Love : The Columbia Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sacred Kind of Love : The Columbia Recordings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2019

GROVER WASHINGTON JR singles (0)

GROVER WASHINGTON JR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

GROVER WASHINGTON JR Reviews

GROVER WASHINGTON JR A Secret Place

Album · 1976 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
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Sean Trane
Fourth (or fifth, not sure) CTI album for Grover, Secret Place certainly has better aesthetics than All The King’s Horses, partly because the cast is much more restrained and featuring less stars - if you’ll except Steve Khan on guitar for one track. Ok, in the meantime, there were the outstanding Mister Magic and Feel So Good albums, which the present tries to emulate; only partly succeeding so. One of the heroes of this album is Dave Grusin on piano, and he sometimes steals the spotlight from Grover.

Opening on the mildly exciting 8-mins+ title track, not that far away from a good type of fusion, but the following Hancock cover of Dolphin Dance is relatively boring. OK, it gradually picks up speed and energy. The album’s better track is the funky and slightly brassy Not Yet with some good energetic soloing from Gale, then Grover. The closing track’s title Love Makes It Better gives you an idea about the music’s mushiness, but it’s still acceptable (read, not scandalous), despite overstaying its welcome halfway through.

ASP is a relatively short album with only two tracks per side, none reaching above 9-mins. In theory, it’s the kind of instrumental JR/F album I’d have expected to like, but the lack of energy and its studio slickness kind of disservice it. Not Grover’s best CTI album, Go for Mister Magic or Feel So Good instead.

GROVER WASHINGTON JR Feels So Good

Album · 1975 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
After the excellent MM release, Feel So Good is another brilliant JR/F album and might even be a tad superior to its predecessor, because it’s more even, as it doesn’t bear a weak track. You’ll find almost the same list of usual-CTI-suspects, including arranger Bob James,but as opposed to albums like MM, Grover hogs the songwriting, only allowing BJ and RMcD one credit each.

Opening on the Bob James-penned Sea Lion, FSG still has a mid-70’s fusion stamina, one that keeps going on the slow but excellent Moonstreams, where McDonald’s guitar and Grover’s sax dominate the wind-blows throughout the track. The following Knucklehead keeps the funk-fusion aesthetics rather high, with again a sold guitar solo. On the flipside, the title track is a smoking hot piece with killer brass section interventions and for once BJ’s string arrangements are discreet enough. The closing album-lengthiest Hydra is probably the weaker track on FSG because it remains within the strict groove boundaries, thus already somewhat overstaying its welcome halfway through. As said above, FSG is a pleasant JR/F album. I’ve seen the album coupled on a 2on1 with his other best work, Mister Magic, so you might want to cast two strikes from one stone.

GROVER WASHINGTON JR Mister Magic

Album · 1975 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Second or third (not sure) Grover CTI album, MM is much more aesthetical that it’s King’s Horse predecessor, and can be sometimes a tad demanding. You’ll still find the usual CTI suspects, all gathering at the Van Gelder studios. Long-standing friends and collabs like Bob James and Ralph McDonald are not only playing (keys and percussions respectively) on every track, but they are also writing most of the pieces, with Grover Jr only getting a half-credit.

Opening on the excellent Bob James-penned 12-mins+ Earth Tones, which sometimes approach (didn’t say “got close to”) the experimental dissonance and energy of a Mwandishi album. However, the (thankfully-short) cheesy string arrangements of Passion Flower ruins the mood. On the flipside, the 9-mins title track tilts the balance back on the positive end of the scale, but the soundscapes are not quite as experimental than Earth Tone, and by its end, you’re somewhat happy it segues into the album closer Bob-James-penned Black Frost, another enthralling track that moves funkily into fusion-land.

Clearly Grover’s better CTI album, Mister Magic redeems Washington’s image after the previous King’s Horse album. If you must own only one Grover album, make sure it’s this one, because the upcoming Secret Place will try to take things were MM left things at, but will mostly fail. Easily Grover’s 70’s peak.

GROVER WASHINGTON JR All the King's Horses

Album · 1972 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
First Grover album (as far as I know) on Creed Taylor’s label, and it is a fairly typical CTI product, somewhere close to its often-instrumental smooth jazz reputation. With the usual CTI suspects, like Bob James, Carter, Airto, Gale, etc. you’ll find as well Cobham, Purdie (both on drums), Pepper Adams, Spinozza and quite a bit more lesser-known guests.

To be honest, I never understood how the present album got its reputation as Grover’s best, because it’s often soft jazzy schmaltz, and its title (taken after Aretha’s song covered in second position) is quite misleading as to its contents. Don’t get me wrong, the music in itself is flawlessly played – how could it have possibly been otherwise with such a cast – but the soundscapes coming from the album is more like an insipid soup than a tasty and daring treat. The level of energy simply doesn’t rise above the lethargic (Where Is The Love) and often hovers with the soporific (Body And Soul) and at best/worse with the plain boring (the instrumental cover of Lean On Me). Tracks like Lover Man, despite its Interlude n°2 middle-section, which happens to be the album’s peak of excitement (read mildly interesting). The closing Love Song 1700 quickly ruins the momentum gained, despite gaining a tad of interest with some medieval-baroque folk sequences evolving into a solid fusion in the middle section.

Definitely not essential (CTI Records products are very rarely so). It’s kind of two bad that Grover and the gang waited until the last two tracks to get going. Too little too late to save the album.

GROVER WASHINGTON JR Feels So Good

Album · 1975 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Its interesting how some music ages better than others. Back in the mid-70s, this sort of commercial jazz-funk seemed like a sell-out in the wake of more adventurous fusion from the likes of Miles Davis and Billy Cobham. Going back and re-visiting this music on its own terms today reveals some great funky grooves topped by hot solos, and like a good wine, a lot of this music has somehow improved with age. “Feels so Good” was Grover Washington’s sixth album and it came hot on the heels of his hugely popular “Mister Magic” album with its hit crossover single of the same name. If you are thinking this was a quick knockoff to capitalize on his new found popularity, there might be some truth to that, but they at least took the time to craft a great timeless RnB/jazz album.

If you aren’t expecting some sort of tribute/extension of his “Mr Magic” single on here, then you don’t know the world of RnB. Artists in this genre are encouraged and even expected to reference their previous hits and even build on them with endless variations. Think of how many “Popcorns” James Brown has out there for a good example. The title song, “It Feels so Good”, is Washington’s ‘remake’ of “Mr Magic” and it has very similar verses, choruses and horn breaks, but in typical RnB fashion it also shows off some new tricks with more complicated breaks and a more extended chorus structure. It’s a great song and satisfies his audience’s craving for another “Mr Magic”, only better.

There’s a lot of nice surprises on here. “Moonstreams” is a spacey fusion ballad, almost psychedelic, with a very nice melody and no pop sugar-coating. With a song title like “Knucklehead” you expect some hard funk, and you get it, plus a great screaming electric guitar solo from the usually mellow Eric Gale. All through this album the funk beats are hard and real and unhampered with slick production or compression. Grover plays many excellent solos and shows why he is one of the best in modern tenor players and not too bad on the soprano as well. Some of the choruses have the strings and other discoisms of the day, but its all good once they get back on the verse and ride for another great solo.

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