[JPL] R.I.P. Norman Whitfield, Motown Studio/Songwriting Ace

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 18 11:10:06 EDT 2008


Wow. In my view Norman Whitfield was just as profound and significant to soul music culture as Sly and the Family Stone or the Funkadelic or Marvin Gaye. We just didn't see him but we heard the end results of his work. It's astonishing really. I would say the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland really put Motown on the map but Whitfield's writing brought them back when they were faltering...and into a new era in soul music that was being reshaped by Sly and George Clinton. The difference is that the emphasis and conceptual direction were structured around vocal harmonies...mainly with the Temps. While his early to mid 70's stuff was more fluff his mid to late 60's writing was magnificent and influential. A great loss indeed. 

Jae Sinnett    


--- On Thu, 9/18/08, Jazz Promo Services <jazzpromo at earthlink.net> wrote:

> From: Jazz Promo Services <jazzpromo at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [JPL] R.I.P. Norman Whitfield, Motown Studio/Songwriting Ace
> To: "jazzproglist at jazzweek.com" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008, 10:41 AM
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> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> 
> R.I.P. Norman Whitfield, Motown Studio/Songwriting Ace
> The producer and songwriter who displaced Smokey Robinson
> as the lead
> producer for the Temptations and helped usher Motown into
> its psychedelic,
> socially conscious era has gone to a session in the great
> Studio A in the
> sky.
> 
> He leaves behind a string of truly potent singles and album
> tracks from the
> mid-late 1960s and early '70s. (Well, those and the
> songs he did with Rose
> Royce on his own label, after leaving Motown in 1975.)
> 
> Here are a few of Whitfield's greatest hits (and
> near-misses), most of them
> co-written by Barrett Strong. Some stone-cold classics
> here, even if Chris
> Tucker and Jackie Chan did do their best to ruin
> "War" in "Rush Hour."
> 
> http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postrock/2008/09/rip_norman_whitfield.html
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