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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

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My Wedding Song
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NO PLACE I RATHER BE JESUS THAN IN YOUR ARMS AMEN lowery247
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Alfoti1940

Into My Soul gets into my soul Kirk!
Love listening to one of the smoothest reed players I've ever heard!
GOD Bless!
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You may fall in,or out......aro u n d & about......b u t . . . . . . u n t i l you accept an un-condition a l LOVE.
The Prince-of-Pe a c e . . . . K I N G OF KINGS....WON D E R F U L COUNSELOR... h a s to rapture you with. Your experience. Will never be a comparison in or out of living...... . . . .
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Kirk whalum
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I praise danced to this song at a jazz gospel event and I was soooo filled with God's presence. It was amazing. This song is a great sound, the words will resonate with u and have no choice but to Praise God!
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Why don't all the "Smooth Jazz" artists get together for a HUGE BLOWOUT " some where some city some day.
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A special God given talent. Beautiful!!! ! ! !
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denisecollie r 0 9
LOVE!
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tmommas2
He can play that horn!
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Nice real nice!!!!!
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THE BOY IS BAD !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! OMG
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Light that fire !!!!
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baseball560
LITE IT ON FIRE???????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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HUGO BLACK FEDERAL COURTHOUSE BLDG. IS CENTER
STAGE OF A SOUTHERN DISTRICT
BIRMINGHAM,A L A B A M A THE YEAR
2015-2016... . . . . . . . . S U R E L Y PRAY GOD
RESOLVE WHAT LAW HAS ORDAINED AMONG PUBLIC-PRIVA T E . . . . . . . . . . . . . J E S U S CHRIST..AMEN . . . . . A M E N . . . . . A H M E N !
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Alfoti1940

Thanks Kirk for a tribute to the greatest R & B voice ever!!!!
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Thanks for this nice music! !!!!!
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The New Year 2015 IS PROGRESSIVE ON A MOVE!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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My people believe this for sure........ . .
Political. Leaders which are elected.
Whether we like,or not. Are respected.l
Do not suggest. An under-mined, h i d d e n agenda to rebel their
official term capacity.
LIKE IT OR NOT!!!!!!!!! ! !
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That's my jam..
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No place I'd rather be then in Jesus arms
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Some of us. Awake! By getting out-
of-bed , on a wrong side. Come on.
My people.
Love a life to LIVE!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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The best thing I've ever done!
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Falling in love with Jesus! There's no place I'd rather be !
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Off pick my nutty sister don't. Commit murder,love you lol
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Instead of causing. Dis-ruption and
Indecent order.
Let.
KNOWLEDGE,WI S D O M , A N D UNDERSTANDIN G . BE PRIORITIES.
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Love that man of God!!
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Protecting you still would make sure you make home safe.
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Have beautiful day at work baby praying for your protection.
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Ever time I hear this song it remains me of my daughter wedding, love you .Nicole and Nicolas
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You beautiful person live your life without me in you will be happier. To many depending on me being there,family , friends only person i could depend on died my grandfather seen been gone i trust nobody.
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Why don't white women love jazz the way we do?
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One of the best.
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This jazz master has made so much joyful music come out of his sax, it's as though it can talk, it also has been stated the reason the music is so dynamic, he taught his horn the alphabet, so its been said, !!!!! Hummm ???
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MR,WHALUM .I THANK ALMIGHTY GOD FOR BLESS YOU SO SOLDIER OF LORD KEEP DOING HIS WORK
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What a awesome gift from God to be able to play so efficient. Truly blessed by this song!
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i love this piece, i like the trumpet part
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now thats some soulful horn blowing!!!!! ! !
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Mr.Whalen the way u praise the lord with your music , is truly a blessing to all.
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Christ wants you. Go here http://gotqu e s t i o n s . o r g /
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Me and my Family praise God and his son Jesus. ......yes we love them. .......Amen
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We saw this Man at festival in Houston, Texas. Felt in Love with the passion he plays
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Some fri
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I like this song
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I really enjoyed listening to this song! Amen
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Iit's interesting. . . h o w you can immediately tell when it's Kirk Whalum playing the saxophone. Very interesting, how so many people play the jazz sax, and STILL you can almost immediately tell Kirk Whalum.
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good job Mr.Whalum!
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Thank u Jesus
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happy sunday God bless everyone who needs your healing touch. lord forgive us, and Thank you for your love, Amen
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