The Velvelettes were a 60's femal vocal group founded in 1961 by sisters Carolyn and Millie Gill with cousins Bertha Barbee-McNeal and Norma Barbee (both from Flint, Michigan) on the Western Michigan University campus, where they were students. The group signed to Motown Records, but weren't given top priority, as other female vocal groups were attracting audiences and recording hits. While the group awaited their chance at stardom, they recorded backing vocals for more established Motown girl groups, including The Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas, and The Supremes.
Born and raised in the UK, Chris Standring is now a respected session musician based in Los Angeles, performer and songwriter. He occasionally tours in the UK, the latest being a series of triumphant dates at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, London to showcase his new album Blue Bolero.
The Supremes were a very successful motown all-female singing group active from 1959 until 1977, performing at various times doo-wop, pop, soul, broadway showtunes, psychedelia, and disco. One of Motown's signature acts, The Supremes were the most successful African-American musical act of the 1960s, recording twelve #1 hits between 1964 and 1969, many of them written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland-Dozier-Holland.
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (born December 28, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American jazz, soul, and funk musician who played with important free jazz artists such as Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis before forming Lonnie Liston Smith And The Cosmic Echoes, recording a number of albums widely regarded as classics in the fusion / Quiet Storm / smooth jazz and acid jazz genres. Lonnie was born into a musical family; his father was a member of Richmond Gospel music group The Harmonizing Four...
Chuck Loeb is a skillful guitarist capable of numerous styles of music, most notably jazz. Loeb's own solo projects have generally been commercially successful crossover jazz, which has "contemporary" or "smooth" jazz. He started playing guitar when he was 11, discovered jazz when he was 16, took lessons from Jim Hall, Pat Metheny and Joe Puma, and attended the Berklee College of Music. Loeb freelanced in New York (with Hubert Laws, Chico Hamilton, Joe Farrell among others) and then in 1979 joined Stan Getz's group for two years.
Oli Silk plays some nice mellow lines, somewhat like Bob James of Fourplay, although with more prominent orchestration. His melodies are very catchy and engaging. Although not strictly a minimalist he utilizes a sparse approach to make an excellent musical statement.
Earth, Wind & Fire is an American funk band, formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1969. Led by Maurice White, they are best known for their hits of the 1970s, among them "After the Love Has Gone", "September," "Reasons," "Fantasy" and "Shining Star." Earth, Wind & Fire became the first black performers to headline throughout the world without an opening act, to receive Madison Square Garden's Gold Ticket Award for selling more than 100,000 tickets and to receive the Columbia Records Crystal Globe Award for selling more than five million albums in foreign markets.
Kim Weston (born Agatha Natalie Weston, December 30, 1939, in Detroit, Michigan) is an African American soul singer, and Motown Records alumna. She was signed to the record label in 1963, scoring a minor hit with "Love Me All the Way" (R&B #24, Pop #88). Her biggest solo hits with Motown were "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" (R&B #4, Pop #50, 1965; later covered by The Isley Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Doobie Brothers) and "Helpless" (R&B #13, Pop #56, 1966; previously recorded by The Four Tops on their Second Album LP).
Bob James (born December 25, 1939) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz keyboardist. Though he has recorded a couple of straight jazz albums, most of his recordings contain "pop-jazz" which is a type of instrumental pop music. Bob James was an important figure in turning 1970s fusion jazz more commercial. For their album One on One, Earl Klugh and Bob James received a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1981.