Century 22 Productions - Press Release ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ronnie's 26th release, "Voices in the Water" is available now on Amazon, and hits iTunes on July 14, 2009! Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Voices-In-The-Water/dp/B002BX8560/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1243983804&sr=8-2
YouTube. Google. MySpace. Facebook. Enter “Ronnie Laws” in any search engine, and you’ll find worldwide diehard admirers of his unique and compelling musical voice. They describe his work as outstanding, timeless, funky, bad-a$$, high-quality, and real music to make you MOVE! People continue to sample his grooves, and admire his style. For more than 35 years, this musical legend has used his saxophone and his voice to satisfy his audience.
Ronnie’s most recent album, “Voices in the Water,” blends R&B with Jazz Fusion, and a surprising drop of rock and blues. This new album follows the success of his albums “Dream a Little” in 2000 (which yielded the Urban Adult and Smooth Jazz smash hit, “Old Days/Old Ways), an “Everlasting” in 2004.
“Voices in the Water” is co-produced by Laws and veteran producer John Barnes (producer for Michael Jackson, Herb Alpert, and Betty Wright). The project, which was finalized at Long Beach’s Century 22 Productions, is full of texture and imagination. An impressive list of musicians and vocalists add their flavors to the album: Vocalists Louis Price, Martinette Jenkins, Joey Diggs and Bridgette Bryant, guitarists Rob Bacon and Freddie Fox, organist Tim Carmon, bassists Sekou Bunche and Alex Al, and legendary drummer James Gadson.
For Ronnie the title track of “Voices in the Water” with its haunting flutes and intoxicating chorus, holds a special meaning:
“During Hurricane Katrina, witnessing the news blasting on TV, I saw how, literally, a people were being overlooked once again. I just started reflecting historically, figuratively how voices were being washed asunder from the time slaves were brought to North America, and how there were some who literally jumped off ships because they didn’t want to live a life of slavery. Those are voices that will never be heard.”
For another of the album’s tracks, “Shock to the Drum,” Laws teamed up with Century 22 Productions producer George Shaw, and the song holds a meaning similar to the title track. In Africa, drums and rhythm served as an early form of long distance communication, and were used during ceremonial and religious functions. “Shock to the Drum” is homage to the emotion that accompanies the disruption of such a society.
The bouncy “Down and Out Again” touches on the peaks and valleys of love and life. “Material Things” leans on its slow, funky beat and bass guitar. With its warm-groove vocals provided by Ronnie Laws and Bridgette Bryant, it’s reminiscent of a late summer afternoon. “Let’s Talk About It” features Louis Price’s rousing vocals, and offers crunching guitars and a funky bass line. Laws’ adventurous “Hey You,” combines bluesy slide guitar effects with breathy chants and Laws’ classic sax phrasings.
Ronnie also has his own saxophone line called the “Ronnie Laws Signature Saxophone” through Golden Sound Distributors, and is also currently writing his autobiography, tentatively titled, “Friends and Strangers,” a take on his 1977 album of the same name.
In the history of music, few artists have been able to find their true voice and consistently use it to create beautiful, pleasurable grooves. Luckily for us Ronnie Laws, who taught himself to play alto saxophone at the age of eleven, found his voice early on, and continues to make the most of his musical creations, his sax sound, and his true voice.
About his longevity in this ever-changing business, Laws says,
“Never give up, and hold onto your principles. That’s my motto.”
Buy his latest blend of R&B, Jazz Fusion, Rock and Blues and get washed away in the rhythms, beats, voices, and Ronnie's signature saxophone sound.