Styles: Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Fusion, Instrumental Pop
Instruments: Reeds (Multiple), Sax (Soprano)
Smooth jazz-styled soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows was born in West Virginia and raised primarily in Connecticut; after adopting the classical clarinet at age nine, he moved to the saxophone as a teen, later studying composition and arranging at Boston's Berklee College of Music. A protege of Joe Henderson and Eddie Daniels, Meadows later served a long stint as a member of Norman Connors' Starship Orchestra; after a series of session dates and sideman gigs, he made his solo debut in 1990 with the RCA release For Lovers Only, followed in 1992 by Keep It Right There. Resurfacing two years later with Forbidden Fruit, after 1995's Body Rhythm Meadows jumped to Discovery to issue 1997's Pleasure. Another Side of Midnight followed in 1999; Next To You appeared a year later.
- Jason Ankeny (All Music Guide)
My life was about to change on a Saturday night, late, in New York's Grand Central station.
At the urging of a fellow musician, I took out my horn and began to play what would become my destiny's song. You see, my entire musical experience was leading up to this fateful evening.
I began playing clarinet at the age of 9 and then moved to sax at age 15. My musical training, although, at first entirely classical, soon became an insatiable appetite for Jazz.
I played in the all-state orchestra and Jazz band and had the opportunity to travel to Europe with my high school band. It was there that I decided to abandon my dream of becoming a veterinarian and pursue music as a career. My parents did not readily agree with my decision but they soon warmed up to the idea and shipped me off to Berklee School of Music in Boston. It was at Berklee that I met so many great young musicians, many of whom would become lifelong friends.
After studying at Berklee for two years I transferred to SUNY school for the arts in Purchase, New York and studied arranging and film scoring. After college I was in desperate need of a job - musical or otherwise.
I met Norman Connors in New YorkCity and a year or so later he called me to record with him in California. We recorded the "Invitation" album and a few months later Norman asked me to join his band. During my tenure with Norman I played everything from John Coltrane to Pharaoh Sanders and toured the world with many great artists such as Angela Bofill, Jean Carne, Michael Henderson, Glenn Jones, and later Eartha Kitt, Will Downing and many many more.
I then began playing an avant-garde style of music with a band called the "Aboriginal Music Society". It was freestyle with endless boundaries. This band featured New York greats James Blood Ulmur, Juma Sutan and Kasa Allah.
Which brings us back to Grand Central Station. I was returning from an all-inspiring concert with the Aboriginal Music Society at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.
It was an incredible night of Music! At that moment, as I stood in the rotunda of Grand Central Station, the sound coming from my horn made time stand still.
A man came running up to me and exclaimed how enchanting my soprano sounded. That man was Jay Chattaway, (renowned producer and composer of Star Trek fame) who at the time was producing and writing for Bob James and the Tappan Zee label. Jay and I exchanged numbers and soon got together with Bob to do some tracks. It was a great experience and I knew then and there that I wanted to be a solo artist.
Not looking back, I recorded my first album for RCA records in 1990, "For Lover's Only", which featured Eliot Lewis, Porter Carroll, Brian Keane and Average White Band alumnus Alan Gorrie.
In 1992 it was "Keep It Right There", which featuring Will Downing, Sharon Bryant, Jay Rowe, Paul Mills, Morris Pleasure, Bob Baldwin, Asha, Porter Carroll, Norman Brown and Angela Bofill.
I recorded "Forbidden Fruit" in 1994, which featured Derek Bramble and Eric Benet, Michael Bearden, Morris Pleasure, Christian Warren, Johnny Britt, Yutaka Yokokura, Vana Gierig, Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Ricardo Silvera, Don Grusin, Dori Cyammi, Jimmy Johnson, Luis Conti, Michael Shapiro, Joe Melotti and SWV.
1996 was the year "Body Rhythm" hit the streets with guest appearances by Bob Baldwin, Jacques Burvick, Yasha Barjona, Asha, Blake, Bobby Allenda and many more.
I released "Pleasure" in 1997. This work included Michael Bearden, Waymon Tisdale, Marc Dorsey, Norman Brown, Omar Hakim, Victor Bailey, Bashiri Johnson, Rohn Lawrence, Nikki Richards, Jean Norris, Jeff lee Johnson and Chielli Minnucci.
After moving from my home in Connecticut to Phoenix, Arizona, I signed with Heads Up International and recorded released CD number six, "Another Side of Midnight" (1999) with my good friends on board again such as Michael Bearden, Omar Hakim, Bob Baldwin, Chip Shearin, Rohn Lawrence, Norman Brown, Tom Browne and Marc Antoine, and disc seven, "Next To You" (2000). Both discs have been well-received. "In Deep", my third recording for the label, was released in July of 2002, and features writing and production by Michael Broening, and esteemed artists such as Will Downing, Ray Obiedo and Julio Fernandez, among others.
I've been involved in a lot of projects, both my own and group efforts, and my main objective is to keep growing as an artist and engage the fans who have invested so much emotion in my music and my career. Aside from that wonderful sense of live communication, the real magic for me happens in the studio when I put on those headphones and begin to play. That's where the ideas just start to flow. Everything else in my musical life comes out of that moment.