The music industry was ROCKED with the recent news of George Michael’s death. The legendary Pop/Soul crooner reportedly died peacefully in his home on Christmas Day.

He was 53-years-old. The cause of death is undisclosed.

As fans continue to grieve, we go through a bit of nostalgia as we pay tribute by listening to his classics that goes back to the days of Wham!

George rose to fame as a member of the British Pop group, along with Andrew Ridgely. The duo gave us hits like “Freedom”, “Careless Whisper”, and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” from their biggest selling album, ‘Make it Big’.

It wasn’t until 1987 when George Michael went solo and proved to America, as well as his hometown of  London, England that he could snatch souls as a solo artist. His introduction as a Soul artist came with a duet with Aretha Franklin with their hit, “I Knew You Were waiting”.

He followed up with countless other hits like “I Want Your Sex”…

“Faith”, Father Figure” and “One More Try”!

By the time “Father Figure” hit the airwaves, I was convinced that soul had no color and British Soul is REAL. George, along with fellow British Soul artist, Boy George, proved that you don’t have to be black or from America to create music that will quench your thirst to hear soulful Rhythm & Blues.

Before there were Adele and Daley, there was George Michael.

He will be sorely missed, but his music lives on.

Today, November 6th, we celebrate Saxophone Day.  This is the birthday of Adolphe Sax, born on this day in 1814.  I love writing this – Sax invented the saxophone.  The saxophone has been memorable throughout R&B and Blues and just about every other music genre.  Kirk Whalum delivered the memorable notes on Whitney Houston’s unforgettable “I Will Always Love You”Clarence Clemons, known as “The Big Man”, wailed on most of the songs by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.  And who could ever forget Steve Gregory’s infamous solo on “Careless Whisper”, by George Michael? From Rock to R&B, to Blues and Reggae, the sax has played an indispensible role.

When it comes to jazz, names that pop out are Kenny G, Boney James, Richard Elliot, Rasaan Roland Kirk, and Cannonball Adderly, just to name a few.  But, one of the most notable saxophone players of all time was John Coltrane.  In my humble opinion, he is solely responsible for making the saxophone the signature instrument of jazz.

John Coltrane, also known as Trane, was born in the height of one of my favorite eras – The Harlem Renaissance, in 1926.  After his early music while serving in the Navy, his big chance came in 1955, when he started playing with trumpeter Miles Davis. Later, on Coltrane’s fifth (5th) LP, he recorded what some say may well be his finest work – “Giant Steps”, from the LP of the same name.  But, for me, his greatest work came in December of 1964, when he and his quartet recorded “A Love Supreme”.

On this day, Saxophone Day, let us pay tribute to the late, great John Coltrane.  Do you self a favor and check him out.

Here is John Coltrane in a live recording of the one and only time he ever played “A Love Supreme” live in his entire career:


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