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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Legendary Bobbi Humphrey


Bobbi Humphrey is a jazz flautist whose musical tastes lean toward fusion and smooth jazz-pop. From the outset of her career, Humphrey was quite popular, winning a large crossover audience with her pop-oriented jazz-fusion. Throughout her career, her popularity exceeded her critical acclaim, but she received high marks for her technique and showmanship. Audiences stayed with Humphrey for decades, buying her records and attending her concerts from the Montreux Festival to Carnegie Hall.

Although Bobbi Humphrey was born in Marlin, TX, she was raised in Dallas. She began playing flute in high school and continued her studies at Texas Southern University and Southern Methodist University. Dizzy Gillespie saw Humphrey play at a talent contest at Southern Methodist and, impressed with what he had heard, he urged her to pursue a musical career in New York City. She followed through on his advice, getting her first big break performing at the Apollo Theater on amateur night. Shortly afterward, she began playing regularly throughout the city, including a gig with Duke Ellington.

Humphrey signed with Blue Note in 1971. Her smooth blend of jazz, funk, pop, and R&B fit in well with the new sound of Blue Note, and her six albums for the label -- Flute In, Dig This, Blacks and Blues, Satin Doll, Live at Montreux, and Fancy Dancer -- were all successes. In particular, 1973's Blacks and Blues was a rousing success, earning her a crossover pop and R&B audience. That same year, she played the Montreux Festival in Switzerland. In 1976, she was named Best Female Instrumentalist by Billboard. The following year, she switched record labels, signing with Epic and releasing Tailor Made that same year. She also played on Stevie Wonder's platinum album Songs in the Key of Life in 1977.

Tailor Made was the first of three albums for Epic Records; Freestyle followed in 1978 and The Good Life appeared about a year afterward. During the '80s, Humphrey continued to perform regularly, even if she didn't record often. She returned to recording in 1989, releasing City Beat on Malaco Records. Five years later, Passion Flute appeared on her own Paradise Sounds label, where she is President and C.E.O.


  • 1972 Dig This
  • 1972 Flute In
  • 1973 Live at Montreux
  • 1974 Blacks and Blues
  • 1975 Satin Doll
  • 1975 Fancy Dancer
  • 1977 Tailor Made
  • 1978 Freestyle
  • 1979 The Good Life
  • 1982-90 Rare Singles
  • 1989 City Beat
  • 1994 Passion Flute
  • 1998 Blue Breakbeats

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Legendary Latimore


Deep-voiced Latimore's sultry mid-'70s output for Miami's Glades label was a steamy marriage of soul and blues. Initially billed as Benny Latimore, the Tennessean began recording for Miami mogul Henry Stone in 1965, and his late-'60s Dade singles are solid deep-soul. Dropping his first name on Glades, Latimore finally found stardom in 1973 with a jazzy reading of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday." He topped the soul lists in 1974 with the anguished "Let's Straighten It Out," a simmering soul/blues hybrid, and encored with the incendiary "Keep the Home Fires Burnin'" the next year. Most of Latimore's Glades sides were produced in Miami by Steve "Every Day I Have to Cry" Alaimo, and when he wasn't cutting his own hits, Latimore acted as a house pianist for parent TK Records. Latimore moved to Malaco during the '80s, his appeal undiminished.

1973 - Latimore
1974 - More More More
1975 - Latimore III
1976 - It Ain't Where You Been
1978 - Dig A Little Deeper
1980 - Getting Down To Brass Tacks
1982 - Singing In The Key Of Love
1983 - I'll Do Anything For You
1985 - Good Time Man
1986 - Everyway But Wrong
1989 - Slow Down
1991 - The Only Way Is Up
1993 - Catchin Up
1996 - Turnin' Up The Mood
1998 - All You'll Ever Need
2000 - You're Welcome To Ride
2003 - Latt Is Back
2006 - Back Atcha

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