If there was one R&B artist for whom the neo-soul seemed limiting, it was Philadelphia native Bilal. None of his recordings resembled sycophantic worship of soul artists who thrived in the ’60 and ‘70s, and it wasn’t just because his voice -- classically trained, capable of singing opera in seven languages -- was so unique. While some inspirations were detectable, his recordings were wholly modern and became increasingly creative. His individuality led to being dropped from a major label, and he went several years without releasing any solo material. Through evangelism from his peers and word of mouth from his early fans, Bilal gained an insatiable following and eventually landed on a sympathetic independent label, where he was finally able to thrive creatively.
Bilal Sayeed Oliver came up in Germantown, a northwest neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. A deep interest in jazz was fostered by his father, who took him to the city’s clubs. Singing eventually became more than an interest. Bilal attended Mannes College in New York, where he received voice training, as well as training in jazz and big-band arrangements.
| || |
Grenique’s Black Butterfly, a 1999 release on Motown, was the first major album to feature Bilal’s vocals; he contributed to three songs. The following year, he established a deep connection to hip-hop by appearing on Common’s Like Water for Chocolate and Guru’s third Jazzmatazz album. These recordings led him into the Soulquarians, a rotating collective of collaborators who included Common, Jay Dee, the Roots' Ahmir Thompson, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Raphael Saadiq within its ranks.
A turbulent solo deal with Interscope resulted in Bilal’s debut album, 1st Born Second. An exemplary neo-soul release featuring collaborations with Mike City, Robert Glasper, and many of the Soulquarians, it was issued in July 2001 and reached the Top Ten of Billboard’s R&B albums chart. One of its three singles, “Soul Sista,” peaked at number 18 on the R&B singles chart, while “Fast Lane” -- co-written with Damu and Faulu Mtume, the sons of James Mtume and two of the singer's earliest supporters -- narrowly missed the Top 40. At that point, the closest points of comparison were D’Angelo and Maxwell, yet Bilal was more dynamic than the former and less mannered than the latter. 1st Born Second carried an energy that neither one of those singers, as hot as they were at the time, could boast.
Meanwhile, nine years passed without a commercially released follow-up to 1st Born Second. Bilal had been a featured artist on songs by Beyoncé, Musiq, Clipse, Sa-Ra, Jay-Z, and several others, including many of his fellow Soulquarians, but it wasn’t until 2010 that he released his second proper album. Airtight’s Revenge was released on the Plug Research label and saw Bilal working extensively with Steve McKie, along with Sa-Ra's Shafiq Husayn (Bilal had appeared on Husayn’s own Plug Research album, Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka), Nottz, Conley “Tone” Whitfield, 88-Keys, and several studio musicians who gave the set a loose, band-like feel. Andy Kellman, Rovi
Join us this Saturday, December 15th as Old SOUL Entertainment & Gentleman Jack presents Art, Beats & Lyrics featuring Bilal.
@ The Jazz Kitchen. 5377 College Ave., Indy 46220
Limited Advance Tickets available at $20 (This show will sell out). Purchase your tickets now at www.bilaljazzkitchen.eventbrite.com
9pm: The night will start off with an interactive art gallery in the back room of The Jazz Kitchen. This will feature local fine artist, break dancers and poets. DJ MetroGnome on the turntables.
10:30pm: Kool's Bazaar will take the stage in the main room.
12am: Bilal on main stage.
1:30am DJ MetroGnome on main stage.
This is a must see show. This is one of my favorite artist of all times. Sir Doug
“Real music is crash protected,” state the liner notes of Black Radio, a future landmark album by the Robert Glasper Experiment that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. Like an aircraft’s black box for which the album is titled, Black Radio holds the truth and is indestructible. Rapper yasiin bey (Mos Def) illuminates the metaphor on the title track:
Big bird falling down on a mountain pass
Only thing to survive the crash
You wanna fly free go far and fast
Built to last
We made this craft
From Black Radio
Robert Glasper has long kept one foot planted firmly in jazz and the other in hip-hop and R&B. He’s worked extensively with Q-Tip, playing keyboards on the rapper’s 2008 album The Renaissance and co-writing the album single “Life Is Better” which featured his label mate Norah Jones. Glasper also serves as the music director in yasiin bey’s touring band, and has toured with the multi-platinum R&B singer Maxwell.
The Los Angeles Times once wrote that “it’s a short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a J Dilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover, but not many jazz pianists are Robert Glasper,” adding that “he’s equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hop and jazz,” and praising the organic way in which he “builds a bridge between his two musical touchstones.”
Glasper drove that point home with his last album, 2009’s Double-Booked, which was split neatly in half. The first part featured his acoustic Trio, which had gathered a great deal of acclaim in the jazz world and beyond over the course of two previous Blue Note albums (2005’s Canvas and 2007’s In My Element). The second part featured his electric Experiment band and hinted at things to come, even earning the keyboardist his first GRAMMY nomination for “All Matter,” a collaboration with the singer Bilal that was among the contenders in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category in 2010.
With Black Radio, the Experiment band has fully arrived. Featuring Glasper on piano and Fender Rhodes, Casey Benjamin on vocoder and saxophone, Derrick Hodge on electric bass, and Chris Dave on drums, the band is plugged in and open source. Each of the band members is prodigiously talented and lives naturally in multiple musical worlds, distilling countless influences into a singular voice. “That’s what makes this band unique,” says Glasper. “We can go anywhere, literally anywhere, we want to go. We all have musical ADD and we love it.”
Black Radio also features many of Glasper’s famous friends from across the spectrum of urban music, seamlessly incorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guests including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stokley Williams (Mint Condition), and yasiin bey.
“I wanted to do a record that showcased the fact that we play with artists in other genres,” explains Glasper, adding that the album has “more of an urban, hip-hop, soul kind of vibe, but the spine of it all is still a jazz spine.”
What may be most remarkable about Black Radio is how Glasper (who also produced the record) was able to weave all these different voices into a cohesive album, avoiding the random patchwork feel that many “special guest” projects suffer from. “The record doesn’t seem like it’s a special guest record because of the relationships we all have,” he says. “These are all friends. All the guests on the album have musical similarities.”
That common ground and comfort level is what created the spontaneous spirit of adventure and experimentation that permeated the recording sessions, which all the band members describe as being more fun than work. Friends would drop by the studio in Los Angeles to hang out, listen to the band, get inspired, and jump into the vocal booth to lay down a track. “These are all people who are known for being in another genre,” says Glasper, “but at heart they’re jazz musicians, so they’re like ‘Let’s hit it. We don’t really know what’s going to happen but let’s go for it and see what happens.’ We all have that in common, which is why I chose the people I chose.”
“You can’t pigeonhole what we’re going to do or how we’re going to do it,” Glasper declares. The Experiment wears its eclecticism on its sleeve throughout Black Radio, presenting new collaborative originals and surprising cover songs. They transform the Afro-Cuban standard “Afro Blue” with Badu, Sade’s “Cherish the Day” with Hathaway, David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione” with Bilal, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Benjamin’s vocoder vocal.
Glasper and Lupe Fiasco (whose recent gig together at the Blue Note Club in New York became a freestyle jam session when Kanye West and yasiin bey crashed the stage) co-wrote “Always Shine” which features Fiasco’s lyrical flow as well as a searing chorus sung by Bilal. On “Gonna Be Alright,” the R&B singer Ledisi highlights Glasper’s bright melodicism by writing new lyrics for his instrumental “F.T.B.” from the In My Element album.
The track “Ah Yeah” (a co-production with Glasper’s high school friend, the GRAMMY-winning producer Bryan-Michael Cox) is illustrative of the good fate that hung over the sessions. Glasper went to Atlanta to record with Musiq Soulchild at Cox’s studio. At a show the night before the session Glasper ran into singer Chrisette Michele and asked her to come by the studio as well the next day. The resulting duet is one of the album’s highlights.
Reflecting back, Glasper is rightly proud of Black Radio, but also humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support and talent that it took to bring the album into being. “Everyone just said yes, period, we’ll do it. It was smoother than I ever thought it would be to get all these great, amazing artists to come together and do this project.”
Read More For more info on this show and other Indy Jazz Fest Events, click image below
Wednesday, July 11, 2012.
The Jazz Kitchen.
5377 College Ave.
Indianapolis, IN. 46220
Hello Summer is a collaborative effort from Indiana Black Expo, Indy Jazz Fest & Old SOUL Entertainment to highlight Indy's music scene. Come enjoy a night out on the town as we welcome in the summer with some of Indy's favorite Jazz & Soul creators.
This night will feature the sounds of Sax player Rob Dixon & Triology.
The soulful sounds of Bashiri Asad will also be featured.
Hello Summer will kicks off at 8PM. The first 50 people (with paid admission) will receive a FREE Grillin' & Groovin' CD from Indy Jazz Fest.
DJ MetroGnome is at it again with the release of a new project called Collections & Connections.Genres:
Hip Hop, Jazz, SoulReleased:
May 2012"this is a concept mix based around the connections between songs (samples, wordplay, etc). i basically had the general idea, but didn't have the order laid out at all... created it as I went. It was a fun and interesting process with a million possibilities. I wasn't going for the most rare records or anything, just exploring. Hope you dig it." DJ MetroGnome
Download the full, tracked-out version here: http://www.tinyurl.com/MetroGnomeCCvTrack Title-Artist
4.Time 4 Sum Aksion-Redman
5.Mama Said Knock You Out-LL Cool J
6.A Trip To Your Heart-Sly & The Family Stone
7.Diamonds And Pearls-Prince
8.Black Diamonds And Pearls-Blackalicious
9.If I Ruled The World-Nas Ft Lauryn Hill
10.If I Ruled The World / Friends Kurtis Blow / Whodini
11.The Sun-God Hi-tek Ft Common
12.The Blast-Reflection Eternal
13.Feeling Good-Nina Simone
14.New Day-Kanye West & Jay-z
16.Daytona 500-Ghostface Killah
19.Good Times (I Get High)-Styles P
20.Real Love (Remix)-Notorious B.i.g.
24.Skain's Domain-Wynton Marsalis
he soundtrack of my youth is fading. That’s hardly an original observation, but self-indulgence is a columnist’s inalienable right and music has unique power to summon unbidden waves of nostalgia. I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to the “Queen of Disco
” and the “Godfather of Go-Go
,” and saying goodbye. Donna Summer, who died Thursday, was the undisputed monarch of a musical genre that I tried my best to hate. Disco had none of the spontaneity and rough edges of rock-and-roll, none of the rawness and authenticity of rhythm and blues, and yet it emerged from those sources like some sort of genetic anomaly. Disco was slick, polished, relentless. Intellectually, it was boring.
Viscerally, it was irresistible. To be on a dance floor in the late 1970s, before the mirrored ball became a cliche, was to be assaulted by thumping bass and screaming synthesizers until you surrendered and let the music carry you along. For all its space-age sheen, disco was all about music’s most ancient and primal element, the beat. It was about becoming what diva Grace Jones called a “slave to the rhythm.” Harmony and melody, for most artists, were afterthoughts.
But not for Donna Summer. Only a handful had the pipes to sing with expressiveness, subtlety and control above the clamorous frenzy of a disco groove, and Summer was one of them. Her voice had what seemed like effortless power. You got the sense that if she wanted to crank it up, she could blow any band right off the stage.
And she had something to say. Songs such as “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff” and “She Works Hard for the Money” were anthems to female empowerment and sexual liberation. Whether she was playing the role of a saucy streetwalker, a club-hopping adventuress or an Everywoman shouldering the burdens of the world, she was always the protagonist, never the victim. “When I’m bad,” she famously sang, “I’m so, so bad.”
Unlike so many things from the disco era, Summer’s songs have endured. She released her last album in 2008, performed on “American Idol” that year and reportedly had been working on a new record before her final illness. She died of cancer at age 63.
On Wednesday, we lost another seminal figure in popular music, the guitarist and bandleader Chuck Brown
Around the world, Brown was perhaps best known for his 1979 No. 1 hit, “Bustin’ Loose.” Careful listeners might also be aware that he is one of the artists most frequently sampled by dance-music and hip-hop producers; snippets of Brown’s work can be heard, for example, on tracks by Eric B. & Rakim and in the rapper Nelly’s mega-hit “Hot in Here.
Here in Washington, however, Brown was known simply as the Godfather. He is credited as the inventor of the unique local sound known as go-go
, a brand of syncopated funk distinguished by the central role given to percussion — congas, cowbells, rototoms, wooden boxes, plastic buckets, anything that goes bang or boom when you hit it. It’s hard to describe what distinguishes a go-go beat, but you know one if you hear one. It’s almost as if the drums are singing the melody and everything else is just along for the ride.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re not from around here. Go-go is a regional sound that never quite broke out into the mainstream; bands such as Rare Essence
and Experience Unlimited, legends among the cognoscenti, draw a complete blank outside the Beltway. For me, the intensely local nature of go-go is a reminder that Washington is an actual place, not a political abstraction.
One important element in the texture of life in the nation’s capital was Chuck Brown
. He appeared in television ads for well-known local institutions, such as the D.C. Lottery — and, I should add, The Washington Post. If you went to a baseball game and one of the Nationals hit a home run, Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” was the celebration song. A city block near Howard University was named “Chuck Brown Way.”
He died at age 75 after a battle with pneumonia. Wednesday night, as news of his passing spread, a large crowd gathered on Chuck Brown Way to remember a man whose talent, exuberance and generosity of spirit will be missed.
There is only one way to celebrate the legacy of these two legends: Get up and dance. email@example.com
Budweiser Made in America event set for Labor Day weekend
Jay-Z will headline the Budweiser Made in America festival in Philadelphia this Labor Day weekend. The festival, curated by Jay-Z himself, will feature a roster of nearly 30 acts from many different genres on three stages at Fairmount Park on September 1st and 2nd.
The event, produced by Live Nation, will benefit United Ways in greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and New York City. The organization works to invest money in local communities and education.
As of yet, Jay-Z is the only confirmed act on the bill. Tickets for the festival will go on sale May 23rd, with a pre-sale on May 22nd.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jay-z-to-headline-and-curate-festival-in-philadelpha-20120514#ixzz1urkqriLJ
Joshua Webb, a musician who appeared on Ledisi
's Grammy-nominated Pieces of Me
album, was killed Wednesday in a car accident in Atlanta. He was 27.
According to St. Louis Today
, Webb was traveling with his cousin to pick up Webb's new vehicle when their vehicle collided with a tractor trailer. Webb's cousin sustained a spinal cord injury and a fractured leg but Webb was pronounced dead at the scene. Webb was not wearing his seat belt.
"When u hear the piano part on Bravo that's Josh Webb R.I.P." Ledisi tweeted
yesterday on hearing the news. "Mylove& prayers 2 The Webb Family."
Webb's credits include playing piano on the Ledisi song "Bravo" while playing organ on "Shine." Webb was also the younger brother of John Webb Jr., better known as producer Jon Jon Traxx
, who worked with Usher
, Mary J. Blige
"He was branching out," Webb's cousin Broderick Young said. "He'd always played for different churches, but Jon Jon wanted him to branch out and do tours and work for other artists. This (Ledisi) was the first time and he got a Grammy nomination. That's was all he really wanted."
Webb is survived by his mother Cassandra, father John, brothers John Jr., Jordan and Jacob and sisters Kandra and Ca'Neidra. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Pronounced [ma•sē•nə] – singer, songwriter, arranger, composer, producer, vigilante, dreamer, lover.
A Washington, DC & Northern Virginia native and graduate of both the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Howard University, Muhsinah humbly released her first self-produced EP, ‘Oscillations,’ in 2005, having little idea of what would come to follow…
Fast-forward to several iterations later with ‘Oscillations: Sine’ EP (2008) & ‘Oscillations: Triangle’ EP (2010), a feature cut (‘Changes’) on Common’s ‘Universal Mind Control‘ (2008) and a few years backing the rapper on stage, with synth and vocals – Universal Mind Control Tour with N*E*R*D in 2008 (including performances on Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, and Jimmy Kimmel), at Obama’s Inaugural Ball in 2009, and Maxwell’s Black Summer’s Night Tour that same year, and ending up at Chicago’s Democratic Rally in Hyde Park in 2010.
Not content to play the background, Muhsinah began touring solo, receiving invitations to perform at renowned concerts like the legendary annual Roots’ Picnic (2008) and Sonar in Barcelona (2009), David Letterman’s 5000th episode with the Noisettes in 2010 and The Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba (2011), amongst many other prestigious stages.
However, Muhsinah’s success was not exclusive to the stage as she exhibited her ability to captivate in the studio as well – receiving a Grammy Nomination (Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2009) for her work with The Foreign Exchange on the single, (‘Daykeeper’) and later, garnered a nod from Radio Head front-man, Thom Yorke, when he counted (‘Lose My Fuse’) a song she recorded with producer, Flying Lotus, among his top 10 of that time (2010).
| || |
A musician since the age of 11, the classically trained pianist has absorbed a plethora of cultural experiences throughout her musical upbringing, so it’s no wonder that the young phenom has the ability to float gracefully between the underground and the mainstream, crafting a sound that is both hard to classify and/or compare.
Her first explorations of this new Urban/Suburban sound was realized in her latest EP, ‘Gone’ (a $10,000 fan-funded release) on February 21, 2012. And with her first full-length album scheduled for release this summer, it seems that this is only just the tip of the iceberg for The Golden Girl.
Whitney Mariena Coleman is a self-taught singer, songwriter, and musician who is known by audiences for her eclectic mix of music genres including Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz and Neo-Soul. A Gospel singer at heart, the young artist and Adidas All-American Basketball player from Southern California, started making music in her later years of high school once suffering from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury to her knee. Whitney states that the recovery process and journey towards self-empowerment not only strengthened her relationship with God but strengthened her love for writing and making music as well. After receiving Best Female Artist for the Inland Empire Music Awards in 2005, Whitney took that motivation across the country academically and athletically to the East coast. During her five years of college in upstate NY, the young artist and athlete was able to discover a deeper understanding of her purpose in life in regards to her academics, music and basketball and how she could utilize each of those components in order to reach people. This search for purpose driven success resulted in a series of community service involvement within her campus community, local youth and surrounding churches. After a variety of performances locally in Upstate New York, in 2009, Whitney debuted her sophomore album, “Bright Morning Star”, at the Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Concert Hall in New York. Well over 300 audience members came to show support of Whitney’s new sound.
Whitney’s passion is something that people say is what moves them. The young artist expresses her life through music, the lessons learned and the emotions she has felt by exposing her heart with catchy tunes, complex meanings and soulful undertones. Whitney is known for her ability to not only play the piano while singing but also playing while rapping. In addition, she also plays a plethora of instruments (i.e. bass, drums, flute, guitar and conga’s) which she self-taught herself to play as well. When asked about all of her musical influences and abilities, Whitney states that she learned from watching her father Gregory Coleman Sr. (a former guitar player for The Orlons and Sister Sledge out of Philadelphia, PA) play with his musician friends from church. It is evident that she definitely has taken note of the Motown showmanship, for she is known to be diva-like and to “rock out” and “jam” on stage frequently throughout her performances.
A graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and all time record holder for most points scored for basketball, Whitney now resides in Indianapolis, IN where she attends IUPUI for a PhD program in Informatics and also has continued her love for singing music at venues.
The Whitney Coleman Project is a new take on Whitney’s style and vision for her music that includes vibrant and soul-foul sounds tapped with conscious lyrics that will uplift your spirits. Whitney released her latest album “The Love Chapter: Lessons From A Human Heart” last summer and she notes that she wants to welcome all people to hear and see what she so passionately believes in, “Our experiences may be different, but we all feel a need to be connected to something or someone and since music is universal, it’s the best way for me to express myself and relate my experiences.”Old SOUL Entertainment & TwinPeaks Music presents
Root Movements featuring Whitney Coleman. Wed, April 4th. 8PM @ The Jazz Kitchen. 5377 College Ave. Broad Ripple, Indy. $8.Facebook Event Page --> Whitney Coleman @ The Jazz Kitchen
Whitney Coleman's latest album, The Love Chapter
. Lessons From a Human Heart.More info on the project at www.whitneycolemanmusic.comFollow Whitney Coleman on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/whitneycolemanmusicpage
William Harrison "Bill" Withers, Jr. (born July 4, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. Some of his best-known songs are "Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", "Just the Two of Us", "Lovely Day", and "Grandma's Hands".
Early life Withers was born the youngest of thirteen children in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. Raised in nearby Beckley, West Virginia, Withers was thirteen years old when his father died. He enlisted with the United States Navy at age eighteen and served for nine years, during which time he became interested in singing and writing songs. Soon after his discharge from the Navy in 1970, he relocated to Los Angeles for a musical career.
Withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including Douglas Aircraft Corporation, while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. When he debuted with the song "Ain't No Sunshine, he refused to resign his job because of his belief that the music business was a fickle industry and that he was still a novice compared to other acts.
During early 1970, Withers' demonstration tape was audited favorably by Clarence Avant of Sussez Records. Avant signed Withers to a record deal and assigned Booker T. Jones to produce Withers' first album. Four three-hour studio sessions were planned to record the album, but funding caused the album to be recorded in three sessions with a six-month break between the second and final sessions. Just as I Am was released in 1971 with the tracks "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Grandma's Hands" as singles. The album features Stephen Stills playing lead guitar.
The album was a success and Withers began touring with a band assembled from members of The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Benorce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and Bassist Melvin Dunlap.
At the 14th annual Grammy Awards on Tuesday, March 14, 1972, Withers won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for "Ain't No Sunshine"." The track had already sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in September 1971.
During a hiatus from touring, Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill
. The single "Lean on Me" went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. It was Withers' second gold disc awarded track with confirmed sales in excess of three million. His single "Use Me" released in August 1972, became his third million seller, with the R.I.A.A. gold disc award taking place on October 12, 1972. A Friday, October 6, 1972 performance on a rainy night was recorded for the live album Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall
released November 30, 1972. In 1974 Withers recorded the album +'Justments.
But he became involved in a legal dispute with the Sussex company and was unable to record thereafter.
During this time, he wrote and produced two songs on the Gladys Knight & the Pips
record I Feel a Song
, and in October 1974 performed in concert together with James Brown
, Etta James
, and B. B. King
at the historic Rumble in the Jungle
fight between Foreman
Footage of his performance was included in the 1996 documentary film
, When We Were Kings
, and he is heard on the accompanying soundtrack
Withers signed with Columbia Records
in 1975. His first release with the label, Making Music, Making Friends
, included the single "She's Lonely" which was featured in the film Looking for Mr. Goodbar
. During the next three years he released an album each year with Naked & Warm
(1977, containing the successful Lovely Day
) and Bout Love
(1978) and Get On Down
, the latter song was also on Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Due to problems with Columbia, he concentrated on joint projects between 1977 and 1985, including the successful "Just the Two of Us
", with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.
, which was released during June 1980. It won a Grammy on February 24, 1982. Withers next did Soul Shadows
with The Crusaders
, and In the Name of Love
with Ralph MacDonald
, the latter being nominated for a Grammy for vocal performance.
In 1985 came Watching You, Watching Me
, which featured the Top 40
rated Rhythm&Blues single "Oh Yeah". Withers ended his business association with Columbia Records after this release, which as of 2010 is his last studio album.
In 1988, a new version of "Lovely Day" from the 1977 Menagerie
album, titled "Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix)" and remixed
by Ben Liebrand
, reached the Top 10
in the United Kingdom
, leading to Withers' performance on the long-running Top of the Pops
that year. The original release had scored #2 in the UK in 1973, and the re-release scored to #1.
In 1987, he received his ninth Grammy award nomination and on March 2, 1988 his third Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Song as songwriter for the re-recording of Lean On Me
by Club Nouveau
on their debut album Life, Love and Pain
, released in 1986 on Warner Bros. Records
In 1996, a portion of his song "Grandma's Hands" was sampled in the song "No Diggity
" by BLACKstreet, featuring Dr. Dre. The single went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 1.6 million copies and won a Grammy in 1999 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Withers contributed two songs to Jimmy Buffett's July 13, 2004 release License To Chill
. Following the reissues of Still Bill
on January 28, 2003 and Just As I Am
on March 8, 2005, there was speculation of previously unreleased material being issued as a new album. In 2006, Sony gave back to Withers his previously unreleased tapes.
In 2007, "Lean On Me" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Indy Jazz Fest & Old SOUL Entertainment presents Still Bill,
A Documentary on The Life of Bill Withers.
Special Guest Performance from Bashiri Asad.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011.
@ The Jazz Kitchen. Show at 8PM. $7
STILL BILL is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Grandma’s Hands,” and “Just the Two of Us.” With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that have – and always will – resonate deeply within the fabric of our times.
Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace, interviews with music legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs in our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.