Saxophonist Elan Trotman has “Got To Give It Up” to Marvin Gaye

Elan Trotman

Saxophonist Elan Trotman has “Got To Give It Up” to Marvin Gaye

He drops a tribute album, “Dear Marvin,” on April 2, the iconic crooner’s 80th birthday. The first single, “Got To Give It Up,” is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week.

BOSTON (20 March 2019): Sax salutes sexy soul on Elan Trotman’s “Dear Marvin,” a collection of ten of Marvin Gaye’s best-loved songs that drops on April 2, the late legendary R&B singer’s 80th birthday. Preceding the set’s arrival is the single “Got To Give It Up,” a vibrant reboot of one of Gaye’s funky dance tracks that is the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard chart this week as an instrumental from the Woodward Avenue Records album produced by Charles Haynes (Marcus Miller, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah) and Trotman.

“It’s amazing how this project came about. ‘Got To Give It Up’ has been a huge part of my live show for the past two years and has always been a crowd favorite. That is just one of the many factors that inspired me to record the song and to dig deeper into Marvin’s catalogue and life story. I had no idea that his 80th birthday would be coming up around our time of completing the album, but once I found out, I knew we had to release it on April 2 to mark the occasion,” said Trotman, an award-winning saxophonist who has topped the Billboard singles chart more than ten times.

In reimagining Gaye’s catalogue in instrumental form, Trotman shares the spotlight on “Dear Marvin,” with premier soloists, including Grammy-winning keyboardist Jeff Lorber, seminal urban-jazz flautist Najee, esteemed trumpeter Patches Stewart, soul-jazz-hip hop-funk trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and veteran guitarist Sherrod Barnes. Trotman strategically deploys vocals to illumine a few key tracks. Ray Greene (Santana, Tower of Power) begs on “Mercy Mercy Me”; rapper Obadele Thompson plies his come-on skills to “I Want You”; and Tim “Smithsoneon” Smith provides the cure through “Sexual Healing.” Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra enhance a pair of tracks with strings. Including Haynes, Trotman’s core collaborators are his former colleagues from Berklee College of Music: keyboardist Mitch Henry (Marsha Ambrosius), bassists Kyle Miles and Keithen Foster (H.E.R.), and percussionist Atticus Cole.

“It’s been an honor to be able to share my interpretations of some of Marvin’s classics. As with all cover projects, I made an extra effort to learn lyrics and storylines for each composition in order to truly understand his interpretations and performances on each song,” said the Boston-based Trotman, who is planning to be in Los Angeles on April 2 for an 11am ceremony held by the United States Postal Service at The Greek Theatre to celebrate the release of the Marvin Gaye commemorative Forever stamp.

“We, Marvin’s family, heard about Elan doing a musical tribute to Marvin. We are very pleased with his album ‘Dear Marvin,’ and are so happy that it will be released on his birthday, April 2. The musicians are all incredible! Thank you, Elan Trotman. Job well done,” said Janis Gaye, Gaye’s second wife.

“Dear Marvin,” is Trotman’s eighth album and second on the Woodward Avenue Records imprint. The label issued the saxophone-flute player’s 2013 disc, “Tropicality,” an autobiographical album that colors contemporary jazz with native sounds from Trotman’s homeland, Barbados. Trotman curates, produces and hosts the Barbados Jazz Excursion and Golf Weekend annually over Columbus Day Weekend with the sixth edition taking place this October 10-14. Bringing that winning formula closer to home, he will launch the first annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Excursion and Golf Weekend in Oak Bluffs, MA on June 28-30. To support the album release, Trotman will perform at festivals, theaters and nightclubs through October beginning with the prestigious Boscov’s Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, PA on April 5.

“Dear Marvin,” contains the following songs:

“Inner City Blues” featuring Sherrod Barnes

“Got To Give It Up”

“Distant Lover” featuring Patches Stewart

“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”

“Mercy Mercy Me” featuring Ray Greene

“I Want You” featuring Obadele Thompson

“Sexual Healing” featuring “Smithsoneon”

“After The Dance” featuring Najee

“Trouble Man” featuring Jeff Lorber

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” featuring Jeff Bradshaw

For more information, please visit


What do you get when you release an album enriched with songs–some of which were written over a decade ago? You get Joey Sommerville’s latest album, “Overnight Sensation.” With over 20 years of experience, Joey is still motivated to pour his heart and soul into every song because he is keenly aware that he has a gift that is meant to be shared through music. Although the industry has changed significantly over the years, Sommerville remains comfortable in his skin and true to his craft. Joey brings his music to life when performing, fueled by energy from the crowd. It helps that he is not a shy kind of guy. He shares the sentiment of most musicians that music is meant to be felt. From start to finish, “Overnight Sensation” is a powerhouse of music that can be overwhelmingly felt. Each song, leading with the title track and first single, “Overnight Sensation” sends the listener on a whimsical journey amassed with emotional twists and turns. The album was produced by Joey along with Jeff Lorber on a couple of songs–definitely a match made in heaven. Also lending their talents to the album are Earl Klugh, Jeff Bradshaw, Elan Trotman, and Eric Essix. Each collaboration enhances the treasure trove of songs in Joey’s vault. You will be spell bound after listening to “Overnight Sensation” and taking the heartfelt musical journey led by Joey.

I had an awesome interview with Joey:



An evening with INNERTWYNED, Shelby J, and Jeff Bradshaw

What a beautiful evening it was in Charlotte. The backdrop for the evening was Club Label at the NC Music Factory.  The Jazz Diva Tammy Greene once again gave guests a show to remember. INNERTWYNED opened the show for Jeff Bradshaw.  They featured vocalists J’Vito  and Shelby J. Shelby J brings to the stage her amazing vocals. She’s not only an artist in her own right, she’s also a a back-up singer for Prince.  Their on stage energy is amazing.  The vocals were POWERFUL.   INNERTWYNED is undoubtedly the BEST band in the area.  They’re not just a band, they are REAL musicians playing REAL instruments.  They’re so good, they recorded their debut CD “The Takeover” in one day.  When asked, they describe their music as universal, timeless, labeless, feel good, old school quality with a new school groove, soulful, authentic, and sexy because it comes from the heart.  Reggie Graves, the base player in the group has a Gospel CD out titled “The Time Is Now.”  J’Vito, lead vocalist of the group is working on his debut R&B CD.  I can’t leave out the very important fact that INNERTWYNED is Grammy Award winning artist Anthony Hamilton’s band.


Then Mr. Jeff Bradshaw takes the stage and brings energy that has the audience on their feet, and dancing in their seats.  He doesn’t just play the trombone, he entertains.  I had a chance to sit down with Jeff after the show and ask him a few questions.  Jeff realized at age 23 that he wanted to be a trombone player for a living.  His father was a trombone player as well as a singer. He was raised in the United House of Prayer Church where there was brass instrumentation and trombones all around.  Growing up he listened to the music his Father loved, old funk and gospel.  Artist such as James Brown and Fred Wesley.  He says, “once I met Fred Wesley, that was it for me.”  Some of his other musical influences are Prince, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Jackie Wilson, and the legendary George Clinton. This year he is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of his first CD “Bone Deep.”  He’s also in midst of celebrating the 1 year anniversary of “Bone Appetit” which earned him an NAACP Image Award Nomination.  He’s working on a new project that includes some major artists, and should be released later in 2013 or early 2014.  He told me “This album will be my BEST work.”  It was an honor to interview Jeff.  I’m looking forward to his new project, and i’ll definitely be seeing him again.

Jeff Bradshaw

Click on the link below to watch a clip of my interview with Jeff Bradshaw.