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Bobby McFerrin

Vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music -- equally adept in jazz, pop, andclassical settings, his octave-jumping trademark style, with its rhythmic inhalations and stop-on-a-dime shifts from falsetto to deep bassnotes often sounds like the work of at least two or three singers at once, while at the same time sounding quite unlike anyone else. The sonof husband-and-wife classical singers, McFerrin was born in New York City on March 11, 1950, later studying piano at California State Collegeat Sacramento and Cerritos College. A ...read more

Vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music -- equally adept in jazz, pop, andclassical settings, his octave-jumping trademark style, with its rhythmic inhalations and stop-on-a-dime shifts from falsetto to deep bassnotes often sounds like the work of at least two or three singers at once, while at the same time sounding quite unlike anyone else. The sonof husband-and-wife classical singers, McFerrin was born in New York City on March 11, 1950, later studying piano at California State Collegeat Sacramento and Cerritos College. After touring behind the Ice Follies, he performed with a series of cover bands, cabaret acts, and dancetroupes before making his vocal debut in 1977. While living in New Orleans, he sang with the group Astral Projection before relocating to SanFrancisco. There he met legendary comedian Bill Cosby, who arranged for McFerrin to appear at the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival.

A performance at the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival led to a contract with Elektra, and the following year, McFerrin issued his self-titled debut LP.With 1984's The Voice, he made jazz history, recording the first-ever solo vocal album (sans accompaniment or overdubbing) to be releasedon a major label. His Blue Note debut, Spontaneous Inventions, followed in 1985 and featured contributions from Herbie Hancock, theManhattan Transfer (on the Grammy. winning "Another Night in Tunisia"), and comic Robin Williams; McFerrin also earned mainstreamexposure through his unique performance of the theme song to the television hit The Cosby Show, as well as a number of commercial spots.With 1988's Simple Pleasures, he scored a chart-topping pop smash with "Don't Worry, Be Happy"; around that time, he also formed the ten-member a cappella group Voicestra, featured on 1990's Medicine Music.

With 1992's Hush, McFerrin shifted gears to team with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the record remained on the Billboard Classical Crossovercharts for over two years. The jazz release Play, a collaboration with pianist Chick Corea, appeared in 1992 as well. McFerrin returned toclassical territory in 1995 with Paper Music, a collection of interpretations of works by Mozart, Bach, and Tchaikovsky recorded with the SaintPaul Chamber Orchestra, (which he joined as Creative Chair a year prior). For 1996's Bang! Zoom he teamed with members of theYellowjackets; a second collaboration with Corea, The Mozart Sessions, appeared later that same year. With 1997's Circlesongs, McFerrinreturned to his roots, recording an entire album of improvised vocal performances. He then recorded a collaborative album of classical andjazz standards for Sony Music Special Products in 2001. It teamed him with such esteemed musicians as Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, and theSaint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A year later, Blue Note released his Beyond Words album, McFerrin's first work for the label in nearly adecade. It featured a band comprised of Chick Corea, Richard Bona, Omar Hakim, Cyro Baptista, and Gil Goldstein. Supported by a choir,McFerrin released VOCAbuLarieS in 2010. spirityouall, released in the spring of 2013, was a tribute to McFerrin's father, Robert McFerrin,whose 1957 album Deep River brought black spirituals into the world of high art. « hide

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LPs
spirityouall
05/10/2013

4
1 Votes
Circle Songs
1997

4.5
1 Votes
Medicine Music
1990

5
1 Votes
Simple Pleasures
1988

3.3
2 Votes
The Voice
1984

3.9
4 Votes
Compilations
Don't Worry, Be Happy
1995

3.8
4 Votes

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