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This is ultimately a signature collection that calls on the unique history that Kirk Whalum brings to his music, and that personal imprint shines brightly.
Soulful, passionate, stirring—these are the words most often used to describe the music of R&B and smooth jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Whalum picked up the saxophone as a boy in Memphis, Tennessee, soaking up the soulful spirituality he found in gospel music. He made his mark in Houston’s thriving nightclub scene in the 1980s, fusing elements of gospel, blues, and jazz to develop his distinctive tenor sound—soul-drenched, emotional, and always highly melodic. It was also in Houston where he teamed up with jazz keyboardist Bob James, a collaboration that would lead to five albums, a number-one record, and a Grammy nomination.
Whalum’s solo on Whitney Houston’s megahit “I Will Always Love You” made his sound familiar to millions, and he has been an in-demand session player for the likes of Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, and Quincy Jones. As a bandleader and headlining solo artist, Whalum has released more than 25 recordings, including the lauded Gospel According to Jazz series. The 12-time Grammy nominee has also been honored with a Brass Note on the Memphis Walk of Fame and a star on the Nashville Walk of Fame.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.