Title - 'Dear Marvin'
Artist - Elan Trotman
For those not in the know, saxophonist Elan Trotman has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist.
Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone.
So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions.
As a recording artist Elan has topped the Billboard Radio Charts over 10 times. As a solo artist charting songs include 'Heaven In Your Eyes' (feat. Brian Simpson), 'Tradewinds' (feat. Peter White), 'Master Blaster', 'As' (feat. Lin Rountree), 'Thoughts of Summer' (feat. Will Downing), and 'Smooth N Saxy'.
Collaborations that have topped the charts include 'Magic Men' (Marion Meadows), 'Groove Me' (Greg Manning), 'Just What You Need' (Brian Simpson), 'Smooth' (Cal Harris), and 'Ride Along' (Julian Vaughn).
Now on his just-released new album, Dear Marvin (Woodward Avenue Records), Elan brings forth a collection of ten of Marvin Gaye’s best-loved songs done in the styling that only he knows best.
1. 'Inner City Blues' (feat. Sherrod Barnes)
2. 'Got To Give It Up'
3. 'Distant Lover' (feat. Patches Stewart)
4. 'Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing'
5. 'Mercy Mercy Me' (feat. Ray Greene)
6. 'I Want You' (feat. Obadele Thompson)
7. 'Sexual Healing' (feat. “Smithsoneon”)
8. 'After The Dance' (feat. Najee)
9. 'Trouble Man' (feat. Jeff Lorber)
10. 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' (feat. Jeff Bradshaw)
Brought out to coincide with the late legendary R&B singer’s 80th birthday, the album kicks off in fine style with 'Inner City Blues.' Featuring the guitar work of Sherrod Barnes, once it starts to play you just know you're in for some incredible music here on this ten track album.
The upbeat 'Got To Give It Up' (which was also the first single released from the album and which was also the #1 most-added track on the Billboard chart that week) is next and that's backed by the late night sultry vibes of 'Distant Lover' (featuring esteemed trumpeter Patches Stewart), and the truly wonderful and vibrantly fresh 'Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing.'
A goosebump-inducing 'Mercy Mercy Me' featuring the pleading vocals of Ray Greene (Santana, Tower of Power) is up next and that's backed seamlessly by both the gentle funk of 'I Want You' (featuring rapper Obadele Thompson) and then a delightful 'Sexual Healing' (featuring Tim “Smithsoneon” Smith).
Another highlight here is the jazz-lite 'After The Dance' (featuring seminal urban-jazz flautist Najee) and then the album comes to a close with the Blaxploitation-toned soundtrack cut 'Trouble Man' (featuring Grammy-winning keyboardist Jeff Lorber) and then a funked up, foot-tappin' version of 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' (featuring soul-jazz-hip hop-funk trombonist Jeff Bradshaw).
With members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra enhancing a pair of tracks with strings, this quite delightful album (which is officially now my favorite album of 2019) also includes Trotman’s core collaborators such as his former colleagues from Berklee College of Music: keyboardist Mitch Henry (Marsha Ambrosius), bassists Kyle Miles and Keithen Foster (H.E.R.), and percussionist Atticus Cole.
Elan Trotman @ Facebook