|Birth name||Thomas LiPuma|
|Born||July 5, 1936|
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||March 13, 2017 80) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, rhythm and blues|
Tommy LiPuma (July 5, 1936 – March 13, 2017) was an American music producer. He received 33 Grammy nominations, 5 Grammy wins, and his productions sold over 75 million albums.LiPuma worked with many musicians, including Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Gábor Szabó, Claudine Longet, Dave Mason, the Yellowjackets, the Sandpipers, Michael Franks, Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Ben Sidran, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford and Dr. John. In 2020, his biography, The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma, written by Ben Sidran, was published by Nardis books ("The music biography of the year" according to The New York City Jazz Record.)
When LiPuma was a child, an extended bone infection caused him to find solace with a bedside radio, where he discovered rhythm-and-blues and jazz artists of that time – Little Jimmy Scott, Ruth Brown, Big Maybelle, Charles Brown and Nat Cole. Inspired by the music, he began taking lessons on the tenor saxophone. While playing in local big bands, he also attended barber school, intending to follow in his father's footsteps.However, a chance opportunity to go on tour with a band changed his plans. His first real job in the music business was as an entry-level employee for a local Cleveland music distributor, M.S. Distributors, where eventually he became the local promotions representative.
In 1961, LiPuma worked as a promotional representative for Liberty Records which eventually acquired Imperial Records and its publishing catalog. From here, LiPuma began working in music publishing, but also produced demo sessions for young songwriters such as Jackie DeShannon, Randy Newman and P.J. Proby. In late 1964, LiPuma produced his first recording for release with fellow Clevelanders The O'Jays, yielding the Top 40 R&B hit, "Lipstick Traces". In 1965, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss hired him to be the first staff producer for their A&M label. Over the next four years, he produced the Top 40 hits, "Guantanamera" for the Sandpipers, "The More I See You" for Chris Montez; and gold albums for French singer Claudine Longet (Claudine and The Look of Love). He delivered dialogue in Claudine Longet's 1968 single "A Walk in the Park".
Inspired by the cultural changes of the late 1960s, including such events as the Monterey Pop Festival, LiPuma formed the Blue Thumb label with Bob Krasnow in 1968. Feeling that his productions for A&M were pigeonholed to a certain style, LiPuma saw this as a chance to expand his musical horizons. Phil Upchurch, a label signing, said that Tommy LiPuma had the best ears in the record industry. Blue Thumb Records assembled an eclectic roster of musical talent, also including Ben Sidran, Gerry Rafferty, The Credibility Gap, The Crusaders, Hugh Masekela, Ike & Tina Turner, the Pointer Sisters, Dave Mason, Gabor Szabo, João Donato, The Jazz Crusaders, Southwind, Mark-Almond, Nick DeCaro, comedy troupe National Lampoon, and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.
In 1974, LiPuma took on a production assignment for Columbia Records (as Blue Thumb's co-owner, he could freelance at will), working with Barbra Streisand to create an album featuring the theme song to the film The Way We Were . By late 1974, he joined Warner Bros. Records as an A&R staff producer. It was at Warner Bros. that he had his first multi-platinum success with George Benson's 1976 album Breezin' , winning his first Grammy for the track "This Masquerade". Further chart success continued with music by Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, Stuff, Eumir Deodato, Bill Evans, Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and Dan Hicks.
From 1978–79, LiPuma was hired to handle Horizon Records, an imprint of A&M, where he worked with Brenda Russell, the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Seawind, Dr. John and Neil Larsen. At the end of 1979, he became Vice President of Jazz and Progressive Music at Warner Bros. Records. For a little over a decade at Warner Bros., he produced records for Randy Crawford, Brenda Russell, Peabo Bryson, Patti Austin, the Yellowjackets, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Bob James, Miles Davis, Earl Klugh, Randy Newman, Dr. John, Aztec Camera and Everything But The Girl.
In 1990, LiPuma left Warner Bros. to become Senior Vice-President at Elektra Records. There he executive produced Natalie Cole's Unforgettable... with Love (he produced 8 tracks on the album). It is considered one of his most commercially successful projects as it was certified 7 times platinum, winning three Grammy awards, one with which LiPuma received his second of three. He revived the career of Little Jimmy Scott (Sire Records) and once again was involved in a film's soundtrack, producing the music for David Mamet's film Glengarry Glen Ross .
From 1994 to 2011, LiPuma worked for GRP and Verve Records. At the beginning of his tenure he met singer and pianist Diana Krall, eventually leading to long history of successful collaborative efforts amounting to around a dozen albums. Her album, When I Look In Your Eyes , sold 2 million copies and was nominated for Album of the Year. 's Albums chart, selling over 4 million copies globally.[ citation needed ] Krall's 2002 album, Live in Paris , netted LiPuma his third Grammy.Her next album The Look of Love , debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard
From 2004 to 2011 he was Chairman Emeritus at Verve. While at Verve, LiPuma was able to freelance again, producing tracks for non-Verve artists such as Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson, Barbra Streisand, Joe Sample & Randy Crawford (PRA Records), Luis Salinas, and Paul McCartney (producing the ex-Beatle's first-ever standards album, Kisses on the Bottom ).
Outside of music, LiPuma collected 20th Century American Modern art.Works from his collection, featuring pieces from artists Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Arthur Dove and Alfred Maurer, have been exhibited at various galleries and museums throughout the United States.
On March 26, 2012, Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, named their new arts studies center the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts.
LiPuma died in New York City, at the age of 80.
Anthony Wilson is an American jazz guitarist, arranger and composer. He is the son of bandleader Gerald Wilson.
Diana Jean Krall is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer, known for her contralto vocals. She has sold more than 6 million albums in the US and over 15 million albums worldwide. On December 11, 2009, Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz Artist of the Decade (2000–09), establishing her as one of the best-selling artists of her time.
Blue Thumb Records was an American record label founded in 1968 by Bob Krasnow and former A&M Records executives Tommy LiPuma and Don Graham. Blue Thumb's last record was released in 1978. In 1995, the label was revived and remained active until 2005.
Ernest James Watts is an American jazz and rhythm and blues saxophonist who plays soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone. He has worked with Charlie Haden's Quartet West and toured with the Rolling Stones. On Frank Zappa's album The Grand Wazoo he played the "Mystery Horn", a straight-necked C melody saxophone. He played the notable saxophone riff on The One You Love by Glenn Frey.
Larry Eugene Carlton is an American guitarist who built his career as a studio musician in the 1970s and '80s for acts such as Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. He has participated in thousands of recording sessions, recorded on hundreds of albums in many genres, for television and movies, and on more than 100 gold records. He has been a member of the jazz fusion group the Crusaders, the smooth jazz band Fourplay, and has maintained a long solo career.
Tutu is an album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, released in 1986 by Warner Bros. Records. It was recorded primarily at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Clinton Recording in New York, except the song "Backyard Ritual", which was recorded at Le Gonks in West Hollywood. Davis received the 1986 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist Grammy Award for his performance on the album.
Ben Hirsh Sidran is an American jazz and rock keyboardist, producer, label owner, and music writer. Early in his career he was a member of the Steve Miller Band.
Leo Sidran is an American Grammy-nominated musician, composer, performer, and producer whose credits include co-producing the Oscar-winning song "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" for the soundtrack to the movie The Motorcycle Diaries.
Philip Upchurch is an American jazz and blues guitarist.
Alan Leonard Broadbent is a New Zealand jazz pianist, arranger, and composer known for his work with artists such as Sue Raney, Charlie Haden, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Irene Kral, Sheila Jordan, Natalie Cole, Warne Marsh, Bud Shank, and many others.
Ella is a 1969 studio album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and the first of two albums she recorded for the Warner Bros. owned Reprise label. This album continues the theme set on Fitzgerald's previous album, consisting in the main part of cover versions of popular songs from the late 1960s. The production of this recording was in the hands of Richard Perry, who had joined the Reprise label in 1967. Perry later went on the produce albums by Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. The album was re-issued on CD with alternative artwork, in 1989. Released together on one CD with Ella's final album recorded for Reprise label, Things Ain't What They Used to Be .
Claus Ogerman was a German arranger, conductor, and composer best known for his work with Billie Holiday, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, and Diana Krall.
John Pisano is a jazz guitarist born in Staten Island, New York.
Ask a Woman Who Knows is a 2002 jazz album by vocalist Natalie Cole, with guest Diana Krall, and receiving four Grammy Award nominations.
Mark Sholtez is an Australian singer-songwriter. His debut album, Real Street from 2006, has resulted in nominations for an ARIA Award and APRA Awards winning an APRA for 'Most Performed Jazz Work' for "Love Me for the Cool" in 2007. His follow-up album is titled The Distance Between Two Truths.
Love Is the Answer is the thirty-second studio album by American singer Barbra Streisand released on September 29, 2009. The album consists of jazz standards and was produced by Diana Krall and Tommy LiPuma. It also features Krall on piano and orchestral arrangements by Johnny Mandel, Anthony Wilson and Alan Broadbent. A deluxe edition contains a bonus disc featuring versions of the songs with just Streisand's vocals and Krall's quartet.
American Classic is the fifty-seventh studio album by American country music artist Willie Nelson, released on August 25, 2009. It focuses on the American popular songbook and standard jazz classics, and includes guest appearances by Norah Jones and Diana Krall.
Randy Hall is an American singer, guitarist, and record producer who collaborated with Miles Davis during the 1980s. Hall helped Davis arrange The Man With The Horn, and its title track featured lead vocals by Hall, who also played guitar, synthesizer and celesta on the track.
Jesse Willard "Pete" Carr was an American guitarist. Carr contributed to successful recordings by Joan Baez, Luther Ingram, Bob Seger, Joe Cocker, Boz Scaggs, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Wilson Pickett, Hank Williams, Jr., among many others, from the 1970s onward.
Lyle Joseph Ritz was an American musician, known for his work on ukulele and bass. His early career in jazz as a ukulele player made him a key part of the Hawaii music scene in the 1950s. By the 1960s, he had begun working as a session musician, more often on double bass or electric bass guitar. His prominence in the Los Angeles session scene made him a part of the Wrecking Crew, an informal group of well-used Los Angeles-based musicians. Ritz contributed to many American pop hits from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. Starting in the mid-1980s, a rediscovery of his earlier ukulele work led to him becoming a fixture in live festivals, and a revival of his interest in playing the ukulele. He was inducted to both the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007.
| Chairman of Verve Music Group |