June 25th, the day that rocked the music world with the tragic death of the King Of Pop, will mark a day of celebration of the life of Michael Jackson with the release of “Never Can Say Goodbye”, a fitting title of this thoughtful collection of past to present Jackson hits from contemporary jazz pioneer, Pianist/Arranger Bob Baldwin and speaks of the sentiment felt by millions of fans worldwide. A special radio tribute and promotion will be made available for broadcast, June 25th across the terrestrial, satellite, internet jazz radio spectrum, including his own "NewUrbanJazz Lounge" program.
Having received the blessing of the Jackson estate, and as a followup to previous Jackson hits on previous discs, “Goodbye” is the first jazz record to pay homage to MJ and boasts a sterling handpicked collection of Jackson classics served up Baldwin style. This stirring and feel good tribute to all the man was and the influence he had across the musical spectrum, features original Baldwin reads on the early Jackson 5 hits, the organic “I’ll Be There”, Jackson/McCartney hit “This Girl Is Mine” with a lovely Steve Oliver guitar/scat solo (the first on record) as well as the laid back and soul drenched Temperton classic, “Lady In My Life” (from the "Thriller" vaults) to the funky side with unique touches on “Bad” and the Gamble and Huff classic “Let Me Show You The Way Go”, as well as the highly infectious title track, featuring a cameo appearance from new Fourplay guitarist Chuck Loeb. "She's Out of My Life" gets the Nashville treatment, with the soulful guitar riffs ushered in by Special Efx staple Chieli Minucci. The personal Baldwin tribute "Prodigious" is soulful and sensitive, much like his approach to the entire project, while "Don't Say Goodbye" is haunting and reflective.
Baldwin was not a late-comer to the fanfare of Michael Jackson. "In 2000, it was time to give MJ his kudos", says the NY native. "I grew up listening to 'Never Can Say Goodbye' as a kid and watching the J5 on the Ed Sullivan Show, so he was in the fabric of my musical pop life, in between listening to Duke Ellington and Miles. Quincy really elevated his sense of harmony and you heard it in his later work". Baldwin also released "I Wanna Be Where You Are" in 2004 after recorded the song in Ipanema with some of his Brazilian compadres, so in many ways, the seed was already planted. A week or so following his death, my associate Brenda Hazel suggested I just finish the MJ thought and go full circle. We had to get the business straight, however, so getting the Jackson estate blessing was a real honor". Collaborating with Trippin' N Rhythm will bring this project full circle, which is also an honor.
Baldwin is no stranger to tributes and kudo efforts as his 2nd Haiti effort, the "2010 Jazz For Haiti" benefit concert has led to a worldwide collaboration with the American Red Cross to further assist that tragedy.
“Goodbye”, should do well to invigorate Baldwin’s massive legion of fans across the world as he continues to look forward, but not without keeping an eye on and honoring those who influenced his past. It's the "Feelgood" album of 2010 indeed.
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