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Ralph MacDonald

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A busy studio musician during much of his career, Ralph MacDonald added colorful sounds and catchy rhythms to hundreds of recording sessions. His father's band played calypso in Harlem, and it had a strong influence on his playing, as did a ten-year stint (1961-1971) with Harry Belafonte's band. After leaving Belafonte, MacDonald became a studio player, performing everything from soul and funk to disco and R&B. His jazz associations have included Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ron Carter, Paul Desmond, the Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, and most notably Grover Washington Jr. MacDonald led albums for Marlin in 1976 and 1979, TK in 1980, and Polydor in 1984. He remained active composing, recording, and performing through the following decade and into the new millennium, and could often be spotted touring with Jimmy Buffett as a member of the laid-back singer/songwriter's Coral Reefer Band. MacDonald's albums during the '90s and 2000s have included Reunion (1995), Just the Two of Us (1996), Port Pleasure (1998), Trippin' (2000), Home Grown (2003), and Mixty Motions (2008). ~ Scott Yanow

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