*No, I did not say Betty Crocker cake. Self-taught musician Greg Crockett has baked an eclectic musical cake with the finest mix of artists, writers and musicians.
His new self-titled CD, which dropped October 2017, is a testament to the brilliance he’s known for as a top-shelf producer.
Mentored by none other than Motown founder Berry Gordy who knighted him as a musical genius, Greg was born and raised in Oakland, California. He was introduced to the guitar at age 7 and started performing at age 12. He is credited on the soundtrack of “Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.”
At age 18, Crockett – guitarist, bassist and pianist – was playing on professional recordings that included The Pointer Sisters, for whom he wrote and played all instruments on the title cut “Serious Slammin’,” George Clinton, The Bar-Kay’s, Rocky Robins, and Charles Earland. He also wrote, produced, recorded and/or played back-up guitar and/or bass for Marvin Gaye III, The Bar-Kay’s, TV Mama, LC Good Rockin’ Robinson, Freddie Hughes, Jesse James, Lenny Williams, T-Bone Walker, Bobby Womack, GC Cameron (former lead singer of the Temptations and Spinners) Etta James, Lowell Folsom, Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Zakiya Hooker, Jeannie Tracy, The Two Tons Of Fun (Weather Girls), Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Harvey Mason, The Four Tops, Tower Of Power, Sylvester, Lou Rawls Jr., Rockwell, Rance Allen gospel group, Michael Jeffries, Harvey Fuqua of the Moon Glows, Nikita Germaine, Brian McKnight, Jimmy McCracklin and so many other entertainers. He has played on most of the major labels, and has been an ASCAP member for 47 years.
His new CD, published by Jamisha Publishing, showcases and even magnifies his talent. I particularly like the grind and pizazz of track 3, “Golden Gate,” but there’s so much more! He does a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” and a tribute to Michael Jackson – “Love To The King” – sung by our good friend and songwriter Sharon Barnes. Though he does not showcase his own vocal talent on this CD, Crockett’s voice comes through on his instruments – especially the guitar. Listen to him on “Just Being Me” that he wrote. You’d think he was playing words, not notes.
Across the Atlantic, London music critic Mike Willcocks says, “I love the sonic clarity of ‘Golden Gate’. I am familiar with Greg’s musical journey and the multitude of artists he has worked with and his production/musical/composing contributions over the decades. I also see that he has worked across the soul and funk genres and is creative and adept in all of those genres… I think this album could do very well indeed! All those different sounds/instrumentation/percussion/ are ear treats.”
Then there’s “You’re All I’ve Been Looking For,” and “Mueve Las Caderas” featuring fabulous vocal performances by Michael Jeffries. Willcocks says he was “struck” by those vocal performances.
Just as cake is sweet, the sweet sound of Crockett’s guitar is dominant throughout the entire CD. He seems to never play the same thing twice, but adds just a little spice for a lasting flavor and after-taste. His arrangements and movements can take you to a place whether on the seashore, in a hotel lobby, at an outdoor cookout, or just about any damn where you please – the music will “bake you happy!” I highly recommend this CD. It could very well be on par with the Quincy Jones’ concepts of “Body Heat” of the 70’s, and “Back On The Block” of the ‘80’s. Ray Charles’ daughter Raenee Robinson McClellan says, “I really like the rendition of ‘What’s Going On’!”
As a songwriter, I have worked with Crockett, so I know of his talent firsthand. As all of the new songs are growing more and more on me, I predict that by the summer of 2018, “Golden Gate” will be the chart topper like Grover Washington Jr’s “Mr. Magic” did so many years ago! In his copy of Berry Gordy’s book “To Be Loved,” Gordy wrote: “To Greg Crockett – a great talent, a great friend, and a great protégé…” Go Greg…Go Greg!!
Purchase online at www.CDBaby.com. Contact info: [email protected] https://www.discogs.com/artist/224544-Greg-Crockett http://www.allmusic.com/artist/greg-crockett-mn0001474822
Listen to “What’s Going On” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeXyf0x0v0E