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Marquee Names: John Klemmer – “Free Soul” and Jazz Fusion


In the discussion of music, numerous names are tossed around. Sure, there are many recording artists who are worthy of some level of research. But then there are those names that are worthy of intense MusicStudy. These are the Marquee Names…

John Klemmer’s “Free Soul” was one of the very first records I ever hunted down and bought at a record convention. I first heard the song when I was 19 on a now defunct jazz program that used to air on WNYC in New York. I remember desperately calling several radio stations trying to get the name of the artist. All I heard was the name of the song, “Free Soul.” After finally receiving the name — John Klemmer — I went about trying to find (dig for) any and everything that had John Klemmer’s name on it.

With a powerful sax-based rhythm “Free Soul,” a stellar blues-soul-jazz demonstration of what is commonly known as jazz fusion or free jazz, taught me a great deal. “Free Soul” was one of the first songs to really convey to me the possibilities of merging styles and contexts. And because hip hop/rap music is a sound that can truly convert any other sound into it’s own form, I’ve found that it’s very helpful to really study the broad strokes and subtle nuances of those other music forms that inspire me.

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

John Klemmer – “Free Soul”

John Klemmer – “Cry”

Nancy Wilson – “Sunshine” featuring John Klemmer

Articles, BeatTips, Featured Music, Marquee Names

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