“I’d Rather Be In Love With You (The Sax Way)”
Sheree Brown returns to the UK in November for a live show at The Barbican. She also gives us a special treat with a single release of a rare recording, not previously made generally available. In the late 70’s Sheree worked passionately on a demo that she thought would be a good representation of who she is and what she does in this business called music. All of her hard work and creativity birthed two songs that she presented to Capitol Records (in 1980), “You’ll Be Dancing All Night” and a second one added entitled “I’d Rather Be In Love With You.”
For this demo, she had the pure joy and pleasure of collaborating on the arrangements and music with other creatives that were a part of her circle; Patrice Rushen, the late Ricky Lawson, Alexander Thomas (EWF) who was her music director and also helped produce the demo; Jim Gilstrap, the late Syreeta Wright, Abraham Laboriel, Brad Williams, Gerald Albright, Paulinho Da Costa, Curtis Robertson, Jr., and Paul Jackson, Jr. Capitol Records listened and loved it! Her record deal with Capitol had a lot to do with that demo. When it came time to record her first album, “Straight Ahead”, producer, Richard Rudolph did such a magnificent job of capturing the arrangement and essence of her demo for “You’ll Be Dancing All Night”, but “I’d Rather Be In Love With You” had a certain raw sensitivity and sweetness and Sheree yearned to produce and re-record it herself. So, she decided to hold off putting it on the album until that opportunity presented itself sometime in the future.
Then in the late 90’s that opportunity finally presented itself. She recorded a new version of this song for an event to raise funds for her daughter and two of her friends traveling to NY for the summer to attend Alvin Ailey and the Dance Theater of Harlem’s summer youth dance programs. It was entitled “I’d Rather Be In Love With You (The Sax Way)”. It featured saxophonist Dean James (now with Innervision Records) and background by Juliana Jai Bolden and was produced by Sheree and musician/songwriter/singer Lisa Huang. She performed it live for the fundraiser, accompanied by a tap dancer Miles Jeffries from the Broadway musical Stomp who danced to the rhythmic pulse of the song. In the new recording she used the rim shot from the drums on the original version throughout the song, along with her guitar, bass, and keyboards, and of course the backgrounds.
In 2010 she added this version to a limited licensed album CD for Straight Ahead. It was available exclusively as a bonus track and is now being made available as a single. So the track is not new, but technically it has been in the vault until now, ready for the world to hear. Sheree Brown appears at The Barbican, London, 29th November.
Single release on Expansion: 13th, October ’23.
Jay Ross Soulcravers
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