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Monday, August 15, 2011

Weldon Irvine


Weldon Jonathan Irvine, Jr. (October 27, 1943 – April 9, 2002), also known Master Wel,was an American composer, playwright, poet, pianist and organist.

Irvine, an African American, was born in Hampton, Virginia on October 27, 1943. He moved to New York City in 1965. He was involved with various musical genres including Jazz-Funk, jazz, hip hop, funk, rhythm and blues, and gospel.He served as the bandleader for jazz singer Nina Simone and was a mentor to many New York hip-hop artists, including Q-Tip and Mos Def. He wrote over 500 songs, including the lyrics for "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black", performed live for the first time by Nina Simone on the album Black Gold (1970). It became the official Civil Rights anthem.
Irvine's last major project was The Price of Freedom (1999), a compilation of original songs by hip-hop, jazz, funk, and R&B artists to respond to the shooting of Amadou Diallo. Irvine committed suicide outside of EAB Plaza and in front of the Nassau Coliseum located in Uniondale, New York on April 9, 2002. The location was chosen because it was the offices of his record company who were in part responsible for his desperate financial situation through refusing to pay him an advance. In 2004, Madlib produced a tribute to Weldon Irvine, A Tribute to Brother Weldon.
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Discography

As Leader

1972: Liberated Brother (Nodlew) 
1973: Time Capsule (Nodlew)
1974: Cosmic Vortex (Justice Divine) 
1974: In Harmony (Strata-East Records)
1975: Spirit Man (RCA)
1976: Sinbad (RCA) 
1979: The Sisters (Saucerman) 
1994: Music Is the Key (Luv N Haight)
1995: Keyboards Wild DJ's Smile (Tuff City Records)
1998: Embrace the Positive (Nodlew)
2000: The Amadou Project: The Price of Freedom (Nodlew)

Compilation


As Sideman





Dr. Lonnie Smith

Dr. Lonnie Smith (born July 3, 1942 in Lackawanna, New York) is a jazz Hammond B3 organist and pianist.

He was born in Lackawanna, New York, into a family with a vocal group and radio program. Smith says that his mother was a major influence on him musically, as she introduced him to gospel, classical, and jazz music. He was part of several vocal ensembles in the 1950s, including the Teen Kings. Art Kubera, the owner of a local music store, gave Smith his first organ, a Hammond B3.
Smith's affinity for R&B melded with his own personal style as he became active in the local music scene. He moved to New York City, where he met George Benson, the guitarist for Jack McDuff's band. Benson and Smith connected on a personal level, and the two formed the George Benson Quartet, featuring Lonnie Smith, in 1966.
After two albums under Benson's leadership, It's Uptown and Cookbook, Smith recorded his first solo album (Finger Lickin' Good) in 1967, with George Benson and Melvin Sparks on guitar, Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax, and Marion Booker on drums. This combination remained stable for the next five years.
After recording several albums with Benson, Smith became a solo recording artist and has since recorded over 30 albums under his own name. Numerous prominent jazz artists have joined Smith on his albums and in his live performances, including Lee Morgan, David "Fathead" Newman, King Curtis, Terry Bradds, Blue Mitchell, and Joe Lovano.
In 1967, Smith met Lou Donaldson, who put him in contact with Blue Note Records. Donaldson asked the quartet to record an album for Blue Note, Alligator Bogaloo. Blue Note signed Smith for the next four albums, all in the soul jazz style, including Think (with Melvin Sparks, Marion Booker, Lee Morgan and David Newman) and Turning Point (with Lee Morgan, Bennie Maupin, Melvin Sparks and Idris Muhammad).
Smith's next album Move Your Hand was recorded at the Club Harlem in Atlantic City, New Jersey in August 1969. The album's reception allowed his reputation to grow beyond the Northeast. He would record another studio album Drives and one more live album Live at Club Mozambique (recorded in Detroit on May 21, 1970) before leaving Blue Note.
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Lonnie Smith converted to Sikhism. Smith has also been referred to from around that time as "Dr. Lonnie Smith" although the honorific does not represent an academic doctorate degree.
Smith toured the northeastern United States heavily during the 1970s. He concentrated largely on smaller neighborhood venues during this period. His sidemen included Ronnie Cuber, Dave Hubbard, Bill Easley and George Adams on sax, Donald Hahn on trumpet, George Benson and Larry McGee on guitars, and Joe Dukes, Sylvester Goshay, Phillip Terrell, Marion Booker, Jimmy Lovelace, Charles Crosby, Art Gore, Norman Connors and Bobby Durham on drums.
Smith has performed at several prominent jazz festivals with artists including Grover Washington, Jr., Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Donaldson and Ron Holloway. He has also played with musicians outside of jazz, such as Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Etta James, Joan Cartwright, and Esther Phillips.
He was named the "Organ Keyboardist of the Year" in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 by the Jazz Journalist Association.


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Discography

as a lider
1968: Think! (Blue Note)
1969: Turning Point (Blue Note)
1970: Drives (Blue Note)
1970: Live at Club Mozambique (Blue Note)
1971: Mama Wailer (Kudu)
1975: When the Night is Right! (Chiaroscuro)
1975: Afrodesia (Groove Merchant)
1976: Keep on Lovin' (Groove Merchant)
1977: Funk Reaction
1978: Gotcha (TK) 
1993: Afro Blue (Music Masters) part 1 \ part 2
1994: Foxy Lady: a Tribute to Hendrix (Music Masters)
2000: The Turbanator (32 Jazz)
2003: Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute (Scufflin')
2004: Too Damn Hot (Palmetto)
2006: Jungle Soul (Palmetto)
2009: Rise Up! (Palmetto)
2010: Spiral (Palmetto)

as a sideman

1965:Red Holloway - Red Soul
1988:Jimmy Ponder - To Reach A Dream part1 \ part2
1993:Lou Donaldson - Caracas 
1994:Lou Donaldson - Sentimental Journey
1996:Essence All Stars - Organic Grooves 
1998-Ximo Tebar - Goes Blue
1999:Jimmy McGriff - McGriff's House Party
2000:Bobby Broom - Modern Man
2003:Crash - The Doctor Is In
2007:Saori Yano - Little Tiny


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Dr. Lonnie Smith discography at dougpayne.com



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