After two years and 500 hours in the making,
"MelloWonder / Songs in the Key of Stevie"
will take flight on June 16, with the single,
"Love's Light in Flight / Love Trippin'"
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OVER 70 MINUTES OF NEW MUSIC - SOUND CLIPS BELOW
(CLICK SPEAKER ON LEFT)
|| 1. The Real Thing / Keepin' It Real - f/ Chieli Minucci & Ragan Whiteside
|| 1. Creepin' - f/ Ragan Whiteside
||3. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing - f/ Chieli Minucci
|| 4. That Girl - f/ U-Nam
||5. Lately / No More Tears
|| 6. Love's Light in Flight / Love Trippin'
||7. The Stevie Wonder Mashup - f/ Stanley Thompson & Toni Redd
|| 8. Wonder Wander
|| 9. Stevie - f/ Marion Meadows
||10. You & I / The Wedding Suite - f/ Ryan Kilgore
||11. Rocket Love / Back to Earth
||12. Superwoman - f/ Ragan Whiteside
||13. Looking For Another Pure Love
||14. Love's In Need of Love Today
SESAC Award-winning and Grammy nominee Pianist/Arranger Bob Baldwin
continues his flow of music, and follows up with his tributes to
Michael Jackson and Songwriter extraordinaire Thom Bell with his MelloWonder/Songs In the Key of Stevie CD. MelloWonder… takes
some of his favorite songs from the catalog of Stevie Wonder, and
particularly a huge chunk between 1969-1974, when Baldwin believes this
was the beginning of an era where Wonder turned the keyboard into a
“one-man orchestra.” The project is a dream project, which took two
years to complete.
a young budding musician and keyboardist, the key albums that impacted
me the most were ‘Innervisions’, ‘Fulfillingness First Finale’, ‘Music
of My Mind’, and ‘Talking Book,’” says the New York native. “These
projects featured this behemoth analog keyboard they called
‘T.O.N.T.O.’ and Stevie’s Producers at the time (Bob Margouleff and
Malcolm Cecil) were the most forward programmers of that instrument,
and the producers of those projects. While they are flipping knobs and
pushing buttons on T.O.N.T.O. machine, Stevie was getting busy on the
creativity with the funky bass-lines, clavinets, Wurlitzer and Rhodes
Keyboards. Those projects had a warmth that was unexplainable, and as a
result, those four projects are very unique to his entire catalog, so I
wanted to create my own vibe that spoke to his use of the keyboard as
an arranging tool, which of course, is miles ahead these days due to
the application of digital technology.”
I do a cover project, I want to make sure I’m not covering music that
has not been overdone in the market. Stevie’s music has been covered
thousands of time over the years but rarely by a keyboardist. Hugo
Montenegro did a moog-based project back in the 1970’s, George Duke
produced a record for Najee years ago “Songs in the Key of Life”, so we
wanted to stay away from that period, but by-and-large, a
keyboard-focused disc covering Stevie Wonder has not been done in 40
years. I pulled out the old vintage pieces; the Moog, Rhodes,
Wurlitzer, but also added some new keyboard pieces to keep things
to the fact that Stevie Wonder’s birthday is 65 (5/13), and his
recently intense tour schedule, the timing of this project is pretty
special in its’ own way. “In observing the vehicle that this living
legend is driving today as he approaches his 65th birthday and his tour theme, the title “MelloWonder/Songs in the Key of Stevie” just felt right.
disc contains 14 songs total, of which 2 are original Baldwin tracks.
He added some flava to a few of Stevie’s originals, such as “Rocket
Love / Down to Earth”, “Love’s Light in Flight / Love Trippin’”, and
“The Real Thing / Keepin’ it Real”. The disc features Marion Meadows, U-Nam, Chieli Minucci, Toni Redd, Ragan Whiteside, and Stevie sideman Ryan Kilgore, who was on his most recent 2014-2015 “Songs in the Key of Life” tour.
Bob Baldwin has been obliterating the lines between Urban, Jazz, and Gospel for years since his earlier works in 1988. This project is no different - a must-have for your BB collection.