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Kirk Whalum

From his early days in Memphis where he played in his father's church choir, veteran saxophonist Kirk Whalum drew inspiration from the rich musical traditions of that city, including gospel, R&B, blues, and eventually jazz. He received a scholarship to attend music school at Texas Southern University, where he formed a band in 1979 and began playing shows on the local club circuit. When he opened for Bob James in Houston in 1984, the pianist was impressed with Whalum's expressive style, and invited him to play on his album 12. Whalum soon signed with Columbia Records and released his first solo album, Floppy Disk, in 1985. That album (as well as the next two, 1988's And You Know That! and 1989's The Promise) was produced by James, continuing the musicians' fruitful partnership. The early '90s saw Whalum issuing two more albums on the Columbia label -- Caché in 1993 and In This Life in 1995 -- each of them earning the saxophonist increased commercial attention and critical praise. Later, a duet with James titled "Joined at the Hip" took Whalum's career to a new level, as the song garnered Whalum his first Grammy nomination.

In 1997, Whalum jumped labels to sign with Warner Bros. His first solo album on Warner's tab, Colors, was released that same year, and perhaps more than any other album, showed Whalum's ability to synthesize music from a variety of sources to produce a fusion of pop, jazz, and R&B. The following year, Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter 1 exhibited his ability to return to the music of his childhood stylistically, while also pursuing the kind of spiritual depth that has a long history in jazz, echoing artists like John Coltrane in taking advantage of the saxophone's unique expressive qualities. The decade also brought Whalum an amazingly diverse series of session and touring jobs, working with artists like Whitney Houston, Babyface, Yolanda Adams, Take 6, Bebe & Cece Winans, Barbra Streisand, Edwin Hawkins, Quincy Jones, Kevin Mahogany, Al Green, and Luther Vandross. In addition to his solo albums, Whalum worked on a number of film scores, including those for The Prince of Tides, Boyz in the Hood, Grand Canyon, and Cousins. His sax solo was featured on Whitney Houston's wildly popular single "I Will Always Love You," on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard.

The fan base that Whalum had been building throughout the '80s and '90s exploded with his 1998 release, For You, which spent nearly two years at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and yielded four Top Ten NAC hits. His self-produced album, 2000's Hymns in the Garden, made a much quieter impact but was critically acclaimed, even earning Whalum a second Grammy nomination. Also in 2000, Whalum recorded again for Warner Bros. and released Unconditional, his third album for the label. Unconditional returned to the contemporary jazz style that had marked his early releases, with a few unexpected covers, including versions of Macy Gray's "I Try" and *NSYNC's "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You." "Can't Stop the Rain," a song written and sung by Shai, is the only other song on the album not composed by Whalum. Since 2001, Whalum has released four studio albums, including his second volume of gospel songs, The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter 2, and Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songbook, released on Rendezvous Music in 2005. In 2008, Whalum released Promises Made, a benefit album for the Millennium Project dedicated to the relief of hunger, disease prevention, and economic development in Africa. In 2010, Whalum issued The Gospel According to Jazz: Chapter III. This volume included appearances by George Duke, Lalah Hathaway, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Kevin Whalum, among others. Whalum was made President and CEO of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music later in the year, and in August, he released Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway, his second album of the year on Rendezvous Music. ~ Stacia Proefrock, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: He's Been Just That Good (Radio Single)

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Track List: Make Me A Believer (Radio Single)

Comments

Beautiful!!! ! Lord I love you....
God is good All the time
Real talented brother using what God has given him to glorify our lord and Savior
God is so Good, he's been just that Good oh yes that GOOD.
Nonono
Keep doing your thing man
Truly one of the great ones
Kirk I'm really familiar with your Resume, Playing on the Bodyguard CD with Whitney(Rest her Beautiful Sole&My Dear friend Rickey Minor(The Rickey Minor Band)I've Admired your Music for many many years,you're one of the Great Sax Players!
So excited! He is headlining the Austin Jazz Festival next weekend! :)
the Roundtrip cuts are awesome.
Its real dog good jass.
THANK YOU YOUR UNDERSTANDIN G THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GRACE THE LORD JESUS IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISE FORM THE RAISEN OF THE SUN UNTIL THE GOING DOWN OF THE SAME HIS IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISE. JESUS IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISE. DEBBIE.
.....


There's NO place I'd rather be.......... . . .
This is as good as it gets. Come back to the Fraze!!
Yes I'm falling in love with Jesus... Do it Jesus.....
This guy is the real deal with this sax very inspiring music
drjaye19
He stands out amongst the great sax players
love this gifted brother
tommi.eanes
I went to TSU with Kirk and he is not only a great sax player. He is just GOOD!! PEOPLE!!
Sax music, it can't get any better than Kirk Whalum!
LYING ON SOME BEAUITFUL SAND WITH A COOL DRINK ENJOYING MYSELF SMILE...
WAITING FOR THE WARM WEATHER TO COME AND ENJOY THE BEACHES AND NICE RESORTS GO TO LISTEN TO JAZZ MUSIC SMILE...
falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I've ever done!!!!!
Up lifting song
great sounds :)
This is my favorite song by Kirk Whalum- Falling In Love With Jesus
Kirk is so awesome. He just played here in Houston at TSU on my birthday. It should have been recorded live. It was my birthday and I had a blast. Love you Kirk baby.
Boy he make U just luv it at the club..;-)
jcolon1264
The wave what a great song
Beat!
Heat...
Great set of chops anointed sax man
Amen I needed to hear this song this early morning.
The best thing i've done!! Thank you Jesus for loving me!!!!
He played at my church for free and we had a wonderful time he also took pictures after the service and was very humble and gracious.
Thank god for Kirk Whalum and thank you Kirk
And his mercy endures forever AMEN!!!!
Good music clh
latoya_colli n s 2
Sing it boy The Lord has u in his hands
It is such a wonderful feeling to know that God is good all the time...
I love this sound there is so much much romantic energy
gardenofmone y
love this fingerpoppin g , pat your feet to the beat song.....sas s y . kind of cut you listen to with the top down.
Yea falling in love with Jesus is my best song
bryonwinborn e 1
Thank God for anointed men and woman that your their gifts to bless God's people! I have been richly blessed by Kirk's music.
Kirk you know you are BAD!!!
tmurr41
Product of Orange Mound and Melrose grad.. A true talent and gracious being. The family is super talented,.
god is good
It's very soothing follow me i'll follow you back
So soothing
Love this song so much
Peace be still! . Kirk Whalum, I am so thankful for your blessing you give through your music.
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