Monday, April 16, 2012

Conversation with Ronnie Laws

HBCU Network had the pleasure of a "sit down" with the legendary musician Ronnie Laws.  Laws attended Stephen F. Austin State University (HBCU) in Nacogdoches, Texas, for two years.  In 1972, Laws joined the fledgling group Earth, Wind & Fire, playing saxophone and flute on their album Last Days and Time. He left the band soon afterwards, long before they achieved their commercial success.  In 1975, he began his solo career with the album Pressure Sensitive, which yielded his most famous instrumental song, "Always There." The song became an instant jazz-funk classic, covered by numerous artists.  In 1978 he released the album titled Flame under United Artists Records and from it a 12" single was released called "All for You," as well as additional tracks (from previous albums) entitled "Let's Keep it Together" and "Nuthin' 'bout Nuthin." The 12" single was his first issued in the UK as well as the US, and paved the way for this format to be used for promoting artists' work at the time without the need to obtain the full LP.  Apart from playing saxophone, Laws also sings. Notable vocals include "Every Generation" (1980), "Stay Awake" (1981, included on the album Solid Ground) and "Mr. Nice Guy" (1982).  Laws has also recorded with numerous other artists, including Arthur Adams, Howard Hewett, Brian Culbertson, Ramsey Lewis, Jeff Lorber, Hugh Masekela, Alphonse Mouzon, David Sea, and Sister Sledge.

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