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BeatTips MusicStudy: Ronnie Laws – ‘Fever’

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Jazz Fused with Funk; Drums Still the Anchor

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Saxophonist Ronnie Laws is one of those engaging and enigmatic recording artists of the twentieth century. His music falls anywhere from jazz funk to smooth jazz, and perhaps other fusion-based musics in between. Formerly a member of Earth, Wind & Fire (their early years), Ronnie Laws’ solo career was personified by his silky sax passages that effortless flowed over, light funk arrangements.

Although Ronnie Laws never became the sort of popular mainstay that he perhaps could have, his musical legacy shares many pivotal characteristics with other like recording artists such as Norman Connors and Grover Washington, Jr. All of these aforementioned artists scored acclaim with a smooth jazz funk hybrid that was often groovy, relaxing, steadfastly smooth, and always anchored by solid, straight-ahead drumwork.

Below I have included several songs from Ronnie Laws’ album, Fever, arguably his greatest full length release.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Ronnie Laws – “Night Breeze”

Ronnie Laws – “Fever”

Ronnie Laws – “Stay Still”


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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual