Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Roberta Flack The Finale


Welcome to the Summer Jazz Season where we revisit some of the amazing artists featured at the beginning of the music column back in 2015. William Price King will be taking a break from July 5th until September, but we don’t want you to miss out on the music.

This week is the last post in the Roberta Flack story with William Price King but it is definitely not the end of the story as this wonderful artist continues to perform occasionally.

I will hand over to William who has selected some of Roberta Flack’s quotes about life and music and we feature some of her live performances through the years of well loved songs.

‘Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light’

The first of the live performances is a track that was originally released on Roberta Flack’s ninth album Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway performed here with another favourite collaborator Peabo Bryson You Are My Heaven written by Stevie Wonder and Eric Mercury.

Having become established in the business and achieved recognition from fellow artists and also her legion of fans, Roberta Flack was able to take advantage of her increasing global fame. She moved into a new home in the famous Dakota apartment building in New York City which was also home to some of the biggest names in entertainment including Judy Garland and Leonard Bernstein.

This next live performance is Bridge Over Troubled Water written by Simon & Garfunkel for their 1970 studio album of the same name. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 and has been covered many times by the top names in the music business.

‘As musicians, and as people who sell material for people to hear and absorb, it’s important that we use that voice wisely’

Roberta found herself living next door to John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. She said that on one occasion she heard him playing Imagine through the wall of the apartment. Although not in the building on the day of his murder in 1980 she later said this of their relationship.

I was very upset — and still am — by his untimely murder.”. “John and I were buddies. It was hard not to recognize him because he was so profound.”

She continues to live in the building to this day.

‘My hope is that out of all the anger and seeming hostility that we hear in some of today’s music will come some sort of coalition that will become politically involved’.

The song Oasis written by Marcus Miller and Mark Stephens was from Roberta’s 1982 solo album of newly recorded songs I’m The One.

The album releases in the 90s included Stop The World 1992, Roberta 1994 and The Christmas Album in 1997

Further acclaim for her music came in the form of recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999. The same year Roberta toured South Africa, performing for President Nelson Mandela.

1999 also saw the release of her album Friends: Roberta Flack sings Mariko Takahashi a Japanese singer/songwriter and musician.

In 2003 there was a second Christmas album titled Holiday

After a recording gap of 8 years Roberta paid tribute to John Lennon and the Beatles with her album Let It Be Roberta

Here is Roberta with an acoustic version of Let it Be written by Paul McCartney. It was released in 1970 and was the final single by The Beatles before Paul left the group.

‘So see every opportunity as golden, and keep your eyes on the prize – yours, not anybody else’s’.

And finally Why don’t You Move In With Me written by Gene McDaniels was from Roberta’s sixth album Blue Lights In The Basement released in late 1977. The album would reach No 8 in the Billboard 200 and No 5 in the R&B Albums chart.

‘One of the primary qualities of a good performance is honesty’.

Buy Roberta Flack’s music: http://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Flack/e/B000APXOJE

Additional sources
http://www.robertaflack.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack_discography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the next series when we follow the career of Diana Krall –  Thanks Sally and William.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Roberta Flack Part Two.


Welcome to the Summer Jazz Season where we revisit some of the amazing artists featured at the beginning of the music column back in 2015. William Price King will be taking a break from July 5th until September, but we don’t want you to miss out on the music.

The Music Column will now be posted on Tuesday mornings, just after midnight.

The first series for the summer is the fabulous Roberta Flack who has now officially retired from touring, but still delights her fans from time to time with performances.

Roberta Flack was hugely talented and this did not go unnoticed by some of the best artists of the time. Whilst Roberta was performing at Mr. Henry’s restaurant she was discovered by Leslie Coleman McCann, known in the business as ‘Les’ McCann. Les was born in Kentucky and was a successful American soul jazz pianist and vocalist who later moved into R&B and soul. His big break had come when he won a Navy talent singing contest which led to an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and his career took off in the early 60s.

He was very impressed with the young singer and introduced her to Atlantic Records and they too were very aware that they had a star in the making. They recorded her debut album First Take in November 1968 releasing it in 1969.

Compared to What was a political anthem about the Vietnam War written by Eugene ‘Gene’ McDaniels a singer/songwriter and Roberta Flack released it as the opening track on First Take. It would go on to be covered by over 250 artists including Ray Charles.

Les McCann also covered the song on his album Swiss Movement recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival and both the album and his version of the song when released as a single, were huge Billboard pop chart successes.

‘Gene’ McDaniels would go on to write another of Roberta’s hits Feel Like Making Love. The song was released before her album of the same name and was one of the biggest musical hits of 1974 and of Roberta Flack’s recording career. No. 1 on the Billboard hot 100 singles chart, five weeks No. 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and two weeks as No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts in Canada and the US. It received three Grammy nominations, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Between 1969 and 1972 Roberta released three albums Chapter Two, Quiet Fire and an album of duets Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. This album became a smash hit and the tracks received a lot of radio plays including Where is the Love and You’ve Got A friend. Other tracks that went on to become classics in their own right were For All We Know and I (Who Have Nothing). This song was originally released by Ben E. King 1963 and reached No 29 on the Billboard charts. It would go on to be covered by many artists in different languages but this version by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway is one of the best.

Record sales for Roberta’s albums with Atlantic Records gained a huge boost when Clint Eastwood chose the track from Roberta’s first album, First Take, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for the soundtrack of his film Play Misty For Me. The song stayed in the charts at No. 1 for six weeks and earned Roberta Flack a million-selling Gold Disc. It also boosted the sales of First Take which went on to sell nearly two million copies.

The song was awarded Grammy for Record of The Year in 1973 and Clint Eastwood also asked Roberta to record the end music for the Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact in 1983. The song This Side of Forever was composed by Lalo Schifrin with lyrics by Dewayne Blackwell.

Buy Roberta Flack’s music:  http://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Flack/e/B000APXOJE

Additional sources
http://www.robertaflack.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack_discography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_McCann

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the third part of the Roberta Flack series. Thanks Sally and William.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Roberta Flack Part One.


Welcome to the start of the Summer Jazz Season where we revisit some of the amazing artists featured at the beginning of the music column back in 2015. William Price King will be taking a break from July 5th until September, but we don’t want you to miss out on the music.

The Music Column will now be posted on Tuesday mornings, just after midnight.

The first series for the summer is the fabulous Roberta Flack who has now officially retired from touring, but still delights her fans from time to time with performances.

Roberta Flack – The Early Years.

indexRoberta Flack is a musician and singer best known for her gentle arrangements and performances of Gospel, Soul, Jazz, Pop, R&B and folk music. Some of her most well-known hits include The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Killing Me Softly With His Song and Feel Like Making Love.

Here is one of the most haunting arrangements of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. The folk song was written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger in 1957. When they eventually married they would perform the song in folk clubs around Britain and whilst covered by various singers, it would not become a major international hit until recorded by Roberta Flack in 1972. It won Grammy awards for both Record and Song of the Year and it was ranked number one song of the year in 1972

Over her long career Roberta Flack has influenced and opened doors for many other female singers who were empowered by her spirit and talented dedication to outstanding music. She is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition which advocates the right of artists to control their creative properties and Roberta also founded The Roberta Flack School of Music in the Bronx in New York City. In partnership with the Hyde Leadership Chart School. The programme provides free music education to underprivileged students.

The Early Years.

Roberta was born in 1937 in Black Mountain, North Carolina to Laron and Irene Flack. Her mother was a church organist and Roberta and her family moved to Arlington, Virginia where she was brought up. She was introduced to outstanding musicians such as Sam Cooke through the family Baptist church. And she was influenced by one of the great Gospel singers of the day, Mahalia Jackson. Here is Mahalia’s powerful version of Amazing Grace.

By age nine Roberta began learning to play the piano. It was clear as she entered her teens that she was a very talented classical pianist and she was accepted into Howard University on a full music scholarship. At only 15 she was one of the youngest ever to enrol and it was here that she became interested in using her voice as another instrument. She changed her major from piano and eventually became the assistant conductor with the university choir. Whilst at Howard, Roberta met Donny Hathaway who would become her singing partner on hits such as Where Is The Love.

The song was written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter and recorded by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway in 1972. It reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and a week each at number one on the Easy Listening and R&B charts. It also won best Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with vocal.

Unfortunately, after graduating and continuing her studies in music, her father Laron died and to help support the family, Roberta took a job teaching music and English in North Carolina. She also taught private music lessons at her home but in the evenings and weekends her own music career began to take off in the Washington D.C hot spots.

At first she employed her wonderful musicality as a pianist and would accompany other singers including an opera singer at The Tivoli Club. During the breaks she would entertain in a back room playing piano, singing blues and folk songs with some of the pop standards of the day. These short performances developed into her own gigs several nights a week at the 1520 Club.

Roberta was still taking voice lessons and her teacher, Frederick Wilkerson told her he thought her future lay in pop music rather than in the classics. She took his advice and changed the content of her performances. Her reputation began to spread and in 1968 her professional career took off with a regular engagement at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, in Georgetown.

Eventually Roberta was performing three or four shows a day to a very appreciative audience and that audience included some famous and influential artists of the time including Burt Bacharach and Johnny Mathis.

To close this first part of the Roberta Flack here is Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye from the 1969 album First Take released in 1969. The song had been written by Canadian Leonard Cohen and released originally in 1967

Next week we follow the meteoric rise in Roberta Flack’s career in the 70s and 80s.

Buy Roberta Flack’s music : http://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Flack/e/B000APXOJE

Additional Sources
http://www.robertaflack.com/

Photographs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo called “Clear Cut,” and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the second part of the Roberta Flack series. Thanks Sally and William.

William Price King in Concert – A taste of Jazz with a quartet of exceptional musicians


This week we are treated to a Jazz medley from William Price King accompanied by Eric Sempe – Guitars, Nicolas Luchi – Bass and Jean-Luc Veran on drums.  This coming Saturday it is part four of the Nina Simone story and we both hope you will pop in and join us.

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

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William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Last week’s post of the Nina Simone Story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-nina-simone-part-three-the-civil-rights-movement/

Last week’s William Price King in concert

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/william-price-king-in-concert-a-medley-of-original-compostions-and-jazz-standards/

All previous performances

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-in-concert/

Links to the stories on all Jazz Royalty.. Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald and Roberta Flack.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Please feel free to share the music.