“Growing up, I learned that it ain’t SOUL if you don’t feel it in your bones and get that tingle down your spine,” declares saxophonist, composer and producer Marion Meadows. It is this creed coupled with Meadows’ consummate musicianship and quest to connect with his audience that have earned him a place as a mainstay on the Contemporary Jazz charts for several decades. “I always hope that people will feel inspired by my recordings,” shares the strikingly handsome saxophonist, who has been known to moonlight as a brilliant digital designer/photographer and semi-professional cyclist. “My purpose is to keep humanity moving forward,” shares Meadows who has collaborated with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, George Benson and The Temptations among others. Meadows’ earnest desire to offer his music as a force of positivity coalesces on his new and 14th recording as a leader, Soul City. It is a star-studded affair that unites the saxophonist with such luminous talents as vocalists Will Downing, Peabo Bryson and Maysa, guitarists Peter White and Norman Brown, among others. Imagine a city defined by soul, where the rhythms of the city keep all things moving in the right direction. Marion Meadows has created the soundtrack for such a world on Soul City. Surrounded by an all-star line-up and co-produced by Meadows along with Chris “Big Dog” Davis, and Rahni Song, Marion Meadows takes us on a euphoric journey. Meadows, whose mantra is “Health, Happiness and Love” says, “When we get into the studio each song is a canvas, on which we all paint and create.”
“I came up listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington but at the same time musicians like Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Chicago and Parliament Funkadelic,” confesses Meadows who early on cut his teeth playing in Avant-Garde jazz groups alongside heavyweights Rashied Ali and James Blood Ulmer. Hailing from West Virginia and raised in Stamford, CT, Marion Meadows began his musical endeavors at age eight, studying clarinet. At age 15, after hearing iconic saxophone masters like Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges and Stanley Turrentine, Marion Meadows’ switch to saxophone was imminent. The stars aligned for Meadows one evening at New York’s Grand Central Station. While waiting for the trian, Meadows took out his sax and started playing. His saxophone was mysteriously overheard reverberating through the Big Apple’s oldest railway. Emmy-winning TV composer Jay Chattaway (Star Trek fame) was headed for his train and was so enchanted by the sound that he introduced himself and shortly after introduced Meadows to Grammy-winning pianist, producer and label owner Bob James, who helped Meadows to launch his career as a solo artist.
Check out one of the tracks on the album, “Samba De Playa”. This features vocalist Will Downing.
Soul City is due on February 16th.