R&B, Soul, and Jazz
Freddie Jackson (DOB: 10/2/1956 Harlem, New York)
Maze ft. Frankie Beverly (Formed 1976 San Francisco, California)
Nancy Wilson (DOB: 2/20/1937 Chillicothe, Ohio)
R&B, Soul, and Jazz are three of the greatest genres of music on the planet in this day and age. This list is three artist who represent of the greatest artist from the era of the 1960’s and 70’s which some see as a golden age of music. This era of music is accompanied by a certain set ‘standards’ that has become lax in more recent years.
First I’d like to start with Freddie Jackson. Freddie Jackson like a considerable amount of artist got his start singing gospel in White Rock Baptist Church. After school Jackson joined with a guy named Paul Laurence and began singing at nightclubs and recording demos of Laurence’s songs. His partnership with Laurence has garnered #1 hit’s consistently through the late 80’s and early 90’s. Jackson first single on his debut album shot to #1 and in my opinion is one of the greatest tracks he has released (Side note he has Luther Vandross beat hands downJ). Jackson has recorded a number of duets with female artist like Natalie Cole and Melba Moore. Freddie Jackson’s voice seems to compliment feminine artist, so I would love to see him perform more duets in the future; maybe him and Nancy Wilson will record one the future.
Ms. Wilson is a multifaceted artist who career has spanned jazz, blues and cabaret. She has also started singing while she was a child in the church choir. In an interesting note she started college so she could become a teacher but later dropped out to become a singer. Nancy Wilson later met Julian Adderly (a jazz musician) and came under the same management as he and helps guide her career in the beginning. Her first album ‘Like In Love’ had my favorite song performed by her entitled “Save Your Love for Me”. Another token to her vocal prowess is her ability to cross multiple genres while performing as a solo artist or in a duet. Ms. Wilson is also an accomplished actress; most notably she appeared in Spike Lee’s “School Daze”. As an actress she has a certain energy and sophistication only seen in a small class of thespian that has both a natural talent for and great training in the theater arts from which seems to have been carried over from her lengthy musical career.
My number three artist on the countdown is Maze ft. Frankie Beverly formerly known as Raw Soul. Maze is commonly known to have started out as a backing band for Motown artist Marvin Gaye. The one thing I appreciate about Maze is they’re a full-fledged band; Singing, songwriting, instruments, etc... Maze signed their record deal in ’76 and released their self-title debut album in ’77. Now on their self-titled album they had a song title “Happy Feelin’s and I see it as an excellent example of their musicianship: the lyrics are well written, had just the right balance instrumentally, and the lead singer Mr. Beverly has a smooth yet gruff voice that carries feeling in it that is only heard in someone who is in touch with their inner spirit; I guess that’s why it’s called soul music. I recommend anyone who is a serious fan or anyone who has never heard the group before to listen to the tribute album in honor of Maze entitled “Silky Soul Music: An All-Star Tribute to Maze”.