Stepping out from behind his drum kit, Valentine thrives playing his skills as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist on Velvet Groove, playing keyboards, synths, bass, vocals, percussion and drums on the disc comprised of ten full songs – nine of which he penned or co-penned – along with three reprises. The star power illuminating the high-level session of deft rhythms and grooves include Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, multiple Grammy nominee Gerald Albright and chart-toppers Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Adam Hawley, Elan Trotman, Brian Simpson and Greg Manning are among those who texturize the lush tracks.
An artist who had a significant impact on Valentine was late bassist Wayman Tisdale for whom Valentine wrote “‘Tis So Sweet” for Velvet Groove.
“The sounds and grooves on Wayman’s early recordings made me study and practice to his music, not knowing that I would go on to perform shows on a couple of tours with him. His melodies are always sing-able and his grooves are strong. He’s definitely still one of my musical influences.”
– Eric Valentine
Listen to Tis So Sweet on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/3).