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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Grover Washington Jr.

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Album Review

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Grover Washington, Jr. is a short but solid overview of Grover Washington's years at Motown and Kudu, the two labels where he established his reputation as one of the great lyrical innovators inside funky soul-jazz-based groove music, and before he entered the slipstream known as "smooth jazz." These tunes are slick, but they have teeth and unbridled emotion. The very nature of Washington's lyrical palette here is wider and far more accessible, kicking tunes like "Mr. Magic" and "Feels So Good" right to the dancefloor without indulging disco. But it's deeper than that. His version of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)" is so gutbucket funky, he got props from the singer. But there's something else here, too. Washington's own intensely melodic and individual form of lyric improvisation does come through on the ballads: check the soprano playing on "A Secret Place" for a healthy shot of this. This collection is by no means complete, and indeed, barely scratches the surface of these years, but this is a healthy taste of the most creative and adventurous period in Washington's career.

Customer Reviews

No Magic

This has got to stop -- all I want is "Mister Magic", shouldn't have to download the entire album. C'mon, Mr. Jobs -- you're gonna make a buttload of money from iPhone: stop being stingy!

Mos Def

Stingy Stingy Stingy! I can buy the album on amazon for 7 bucks! just let us buy Mr Magic PLEASE?!

Grover's Got Soul

This is an amazing album that allows the listener to hear that Mister Majic was not, infact, the only good song that Grover Washington Jr created. This album has all the greats including my personal favorite Knuckhead, and you get a great variety including funky, upbeat tempos,and smooth, laid back tunes. This is just an all around great album and Grover Washington Jr. should be a staple AT LEAST for any saxaphone player.


Born: December 12, 1943 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of the most popular saxophonists of all time, Grover Washington, Jr. was long the pacesetter in his field. His roots were in R&B and soul-jazz organ combos, but he also fared very well on the infrequent occasions when he played straight-ahead jazz. A highly influential player, Washington pushed himself with the spontaneity and risk-taking of a masterful jazz musician. Grover Washington, Jr.'s, father also played saxophone and was his first influence. The younger son started playing music when...
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