“Grover Washington Jr. is said to be an 80s’ smooth-jazz icon. Mind this one specifically: the eighties. In those times, apparently less favorable for the music, numerous artists unveiled- along with the change of trends- their more commercial side. There is no point in mentioning names other than that of the main character of this mix but honestly, there were many musicians who turned towards commercialism, which did not always end well. One may ask an essential question here: being a smooth-jazz artist, did Grover Washington Jr. create music of quality up to standard? Well, he did- he was the best. It is possible to be a master without the feeling of disgrace accompanying every platinum record.
I have selected the recordings from the earlier decade for you as, in my opinion, Mr. Washington recorded his best pieces in the seventies. The then sound inspired by nature gaped new spaces in the musical collage of jazz, soul, funk and R&B. Thus, the output of Grover Washington Jr. was diversified and definitely far from the smooth jazz style you have in mind, which you can see or listen for yourself while checking the fourteenth part of the Footprints jazz series.”
Polish native speakers might also be interested in some articles on the artist who played a leading role in the Footprints’ 14th, all the articles by Jędrzej Siwek, of course. It's here and here. Cover: RSO196!
Soul-Jazz.pl x Footprints #14: Tribute to Grover Washington Jr. (Click here to download)
1. Moonstreams (Kudu, 1975)
2. Dolphin Dance (Kudu, 1976)
3. Earth Tones (Kudu, 1975)
4. Paradise (Elektra, 1979)
5. Mr. Magic Live (Kudu, 1977)