Grammy Winner’s Critically Acclaimed “Romance Language” Released Today, First Single Sent To Radio
Memphis, TN (14 February 2012): Flowers wilt and candy goes stale yet time-tested romantic music rendered with love endures. Grammy winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum released a soundtrack for romance on this Valentine’s Day aptly titled “Romance Language,” his 19th solo album which appears on the Rendezvous Music label. The essence of the already critically acclaimed album he produced and arranged with John Stoddart is a reimagining of the 1963 collection of duets recorded by iconic jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and vocalist Johnny Hartman.
The new 10-song record contains all six standards that comprise the original recording along with instrumental versions of ballads that fit the romantic motif, songs that Whalum calls “modern standards.” Whalum’s younger brother, Kevin, capably steps into Hartman’s role and delivers heartfelt vocal performances that are regal, elegant and full of grace. Perhaps stealing the show from his young nephews, 83-year-old Hugh “Peanuts” Whalum poured all of his experience into song on a powerfully poignant rendition of Brandy’s “Almost Doesn’t Count.” The first single, a gospel-inflected instrumental take on Eric Benet’s “Spend My Life With You,” was just shipped to radio.
Today begins a busy week of promotional activities for Whalum. At 11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT tonight, Kirk, Kevin and Hugh “Peanuts” Whalum will perform music from “Romance Language” at a concert streamed live around the world via StageIt and shared on Whalum’s Facebook page. The webcast, originating from the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Oregon, will include a backstage camera offering viewers a rare glimpse behind the scenes. After a Thursday (February 16) morning television performance back home in Memphis, the Whalum’s will play a launch event at the STAX Museum of American Soul Music for which Kirk serves as president/CEO. On Saturday (February 18), the Valentine’s Day concert will be rebroadcast at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT with Whalum conducting a live question and answer session. Tickets for the “Romance Language” live concert stream and the February 18th rebroadcast can be purchased for $3.00 from www.StageIt.com or www.Facebook.com/KirkWhalum.
“Romance Language” will be available as a download optimized for LiveAudio on JAMBOX by Jawbone. LiveAudio allows music to be enjoyed in a 3D-like, surround sound experience from a single, small Bluetooth wireless speaker. Whalum will give away a JAMBOX and announce an exclusive JAMBOX offer as a gift to his fans during the concert webcast.
Whalum, who spent 7 years backing Whitney Houston and recorded the most-played sax solo in pop music history for her worldwide smash hit “I Will Always Love You,” will support “Romance Language” throughout the year at concert dates with Kevin. A Grammy winner in the gospel category, Whalum will tour this spring with Jonathan Butler and CeCe Winans as The Apostles of Gospel on a trek sponsored by The Smooth Jazz Cruise.
Although “Romance Language” was just released today, critics are enthusiastically praising the disc. Below are some of the highlights.
“A flawless recording celebrating the old and the new, Romance Language is a release that will be talked about for years to come.” – Critical Jazz
“…guaranteed to catch you up in the moment and simply sweep you away in splendor.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“…truly sensational…a must for true romantics everywhere.” – Smooth Vibes
“If you like Kirk Whalum’s soulful sound, you’ll love this. If you love vocals that make you focus on great lyrics, you’ll love this. If you love romantic music, you’ll love this. If you admire production that gives great songs all they need to shine, you’ll love this. Trust me, you’ll love it!” – Smooth Jazz Daily
“There are many great elements in this present day R&B/contemporary jazz arrangement of the songs originally released on Romance Language. However, the most admirable consist of the exceptional interplay between Kirk and Kevin, the seductive and genuine passion in Kevin’s romantic baritone that is impeccably comped by Kirk’s tenor sax voice and accompanists that enhance both of their musical voices.” – Sounds of Timeless Jazz
“Romance Language is a Valentine's Day release for Kirk Whalum and it is truly a gift of love…a beautifully romantic session.” – O’s Place Jazz Magazine
“The perfect background for a romantic evening...” – All About Jazz