On Saturday, September 19 at 7PM PT/10PM ET, three generations of legendary artists will unite to celebrate the release of Narada Michael Walden’s 18th solo album, ‘Immortality’ on Quarto Valley Records (QVR). Presented by Laudable Productions, the livestream event features a lineup of conversations with Sting, Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman Santana, Jeanie Tracy, Billy Amendola, Larry Batiste, and others who reflect on their long-standing relationships with Narada.
Narada Michael Walden has produced music royalty like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Patti, Labelle, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and Barbra Streisand, and worked with world-class musicians like Sting, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Lenny Kravitz.
Producing hits for artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin (including the platinum ‘Freeway of Love’), Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Patti Austin, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Gladys Knight, George Benson, Angela Bofill, Al Jarreau, Nathalie Cole, Regina Belle, Stacy Lattisaw, Steve Winwood, Wynonna Judd, Tom Jones, Clarence Clemons, Kenny G., Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge and The Temptations, the Emmy and multi-Grammy winner (Producer, Album and Song of The Year) has been at the helm of hit music that spans decades. His music flows freely from soul, pop, and rock, to the rarified realms of jazz, fusion and world music. Walden was an integral part of introducing Whitney Houston (producing six of her seven #1 hits to break Michael Jackson’s record) and mega-star Mariah Carey to millions of fans worldwide, producing and writing the breakthrough hits that first brought these divas to the spotlight. Billboard Magazine honored him as one of the Top Ten Producers of all time.
Before he became a mega-successful producer with hits constantly dominating the R&B and pop charts, Walden burst on the music scene as a virtuoso drummer with the groundbreaking jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra. Soon after, his impeccable rhythmic chops and inveterate creativity made him a first-call drummer and collaborator for other instrumental heavyweights such as Jeff Beck, Tommy Bolin, Joe Zawinul, and Weather Report.
On August 7, 2020, the multiple award winner released his dynamic new solo album, ‘Immortality’, via Quarto Valley Records. The album represents a change of direction for Narada, one that brings him back to his roots in Dance and Club Music, Funk and Soul. The superb musicianship and masterful production of ‘Immortality’ are fueled at every beat by Narada’s abundance of amazing energy. He is a true artist, in a class by himself
“‘Immortality’ is an album for that part of my fan base”, Walden explains. “I love pop music, but I come from a world in which we mix it all up together – jazz, rock, pop, funk, soul and R&B. That’s what fusion is all about. A lot of my early fans still want to hear me stretch out and fly, so this record is me drumming and singing and putting my heart out to them. People can hear the love that’s inside of me when they listen to this record”.
Walden, who plays both drums and keyboards on ‘Immortality’, produced and recorded the album at his own Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California, with his longtime engineer, Jim Reitzel, and his astonishingly gifted band Thunder (keyboardist Frank Martin, bassist Angeline Saris and guitarist Matthew Charles Heulitt).
‘Immortality’ makes good on Walden’s goal of making ‘a killer jazz-fusion/progressive-rock record’, but it’s also an album that was made to be performed live.
I was always thinking, ‘We’re going to take this music out to the people. I’m looking forward to playing with the band in the spring. It’s going to be a love fest. My thing has always been to shake, rattle and roll with good spirits and electricity. I can’t wait to get out there, play my drums and bring good times to all of my fans.
Narada Michael Walden
“This is one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with”, Walden says. “The joy they bring to music is remarkable, and there’s literally nothing they can’t play”. Guesting on the record is guitarist Jackson Allen, whom Walden calls “a sensation. He played on a session with me, and I really enjoyed the sounds he got. Bringing him in on the album felt natural to me”.
Unfortunately due to the Corona virus it is not possible to celebrate the launch of the album as Walden is used to, with family, friends, and everyone who has worked on the album. Then you have to come up with something else to celebrate the launch….
Artists set to take part in a virtual event this Saturday, September 19, celebrating the recent release of ‘Immortality’. The livestream gathering, which will be viewable on YouTube and Facebook starting at 10 p.m. ET, will feature conversations with Sting, Carlos Santana, Carlos’ wife Cindy Blackman Santana, good friend and singer Jeanie Tracy, and a number of other musicians chatting about their relationship with Narada.
The virtual retrospective will give viewers a behind the scenes look at his expansive career as a drummer and producer. The livestreaming event also incorporates the premiere of a new music video ‘We Can Live Forever’, the lead-off track from ‘Immortality’, and a screening of the recent video for new COVID-themed tune ‘The Quarantine Blues’ that Narada recorded remotely with Carlos and Cindy Santana and jazz-fusion legend John McLaughlin.
‘The Quarantine Blues’ was written by John McLaughlin with Cindy Santana Blackman and Narada Michael Walden. The song was socially distance recorded and filmed in Monaco, Hawaii, Detroit and San Rafael in a collaboration to raise money for Musicares Coronavirus Relief Fund to help struggling musicians who have been hit hard by the shutdown of all live music. ‘The Quarantine Blues’ features John McLaughlin, Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos Santana, Narada Michael Walden and Ralphe Armstrong and Narada’s dancing kids, Kelly, Kayla and Michael with mom Katie.
Narada, who plays drums and keyboards on Immortality, notes that the album is geared more toward jazz fusion and progressive rock than pop music.
I love pop music, but I come from a world in which we mix it all up together – jazz, rock, pop, funk, soul and R&B. That’s what fusion is all about. A lot of my early fans still want to hear me stretch out and fly, so this record is me drumming and singing and putting my heart out to them.
Narada Michael Walden
As previously reported, Walden also recently produced several tracks for Cindy Blackman Santana’s upcoming solo album, ‘Give the Drummer Some’, which will be released this Friday, September 18. Among the songs is the cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, on which Cindy collaborated with Carlos.
Come into the beautiful world of Narada Michael Walden.