Darron McKinney
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Darron McKinney

Detroit, Michigan, United States | INDIE

Detroit, Michigan, United States | INDIE
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Smooth jazz saxophonist and recording artist, Darron 'The Sheriff' McKinney, is proud to present his much awaited new CD, Feel Like Makin' Love on Bluepie Records.

The 13-track CD, which is McKinney's third, is a strong collection of songs that shows the broad talents of this giant artist. In addition to the title cut, recorded and made famous by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, the CD contains 'Between the Sheets' a big seller for the Isley Brothers. As always his trademark, McKinney shows his spiritual side by recording such inspirational songs as 'Never Alone.'

Often called 'The Sheriff,' McKinney, who served 14 years as a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff in Detroit and currently works as a police officer for the Detroit Public School District Police first made international news when he recorded a riveting song entitled, 'A Call to Courage.' McKinney (soprano saxophone) and Nichelle Colvin (vocals) performed the composition at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Candlelight Vigil held in Washington, DC in May, 2001. Prophetically, the song was performed four months prior to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, giving the composition a new meaning of patriotism. At the candlelight vigil, the two artists mesmerized 18,000 law enforcement officers and the families and friends of America's fallen law officers. Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Sen. Trent Lott were among the attending dignitaries who were visibly moved by McKinney's incredible musical salute, which can be viewed on Youtube by clicking here.

McKinney is the recipient of the Discovery Award, presented by BET Jazz, and has been compared to the late Grover Washington, Jr. by jazzreview.com.
- NEW RELEASES NOW




The spiritually minded, melodic saxman Darron McKinney is the smooth jazz equivalent of vocalist Daniel Rodriguez, the NYPD officer who shot to national prominence with his stunning rendition of "God Bless America" post-9/11. Although the inspirational "A Call to Courage" (presented as both an instrumental and vocal, sung by Nichelle Colvin) arrives at the end of the set, it's clearly the soul of the project. McKinney, a Detroit native and deputy sheriff, performed it at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Candlelight Vigil in 2001 in Washington, D.C., as a tribute to fallen officers. It's a lush soprano tune that epitomizes McKinney's cool, graceful approach on tracks like the title cut. Smooth jazz radio embraced the similarly lyrical but slightly more upbeat "Shift Change," which features ethereal backing vocals. For those seeking something more soulful, "McKinney" goes a little jazzier on the lower-toned, tenor-driven "75 South." McKinney's faith is also a powerful thread weaving through here, from the gospel-flavored ballad "What a Friend" to a dreamy rendition of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" and the vocal/instrumental tandem of "Never Alone." Only time will tell if McKinney like Rodriguez will be able to parlay the musical aspect of his public service into a full-time gig. As a newcomer trying to make inroads into the smooth jazz scene, he's off to an above average start. ~ Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide
- All Music Guide


I found the Cd release by Darren McKinney titled 'Soft Spoken' to be extremely pleasant listening. A well produced and colourful collection of music, accompanied by an attractive and eye catching promotional package. I for one as a jazz presenter for FM radio 3mbs Australia appreciate the effort that Darron has put into this album. To date we have programmed for on air playing the composition 'Inner Prizm'and we have so far received good feed back about the Cd form our listeners. Good luck for the future Darron, and keep up the good playing. >From all at 3mbs. Regards Larry Groves
- 3MBSFM 103.5 Australia


Don Smith, 'Night Train' & 'Peninsula Update' programs @ Radio Port Phillip, (98.7 & 98.3 FM) Melbourne, Victoria Australia..

The music on Darron McKinney's 'Soft Spoken' is indeed well described by its title, smooth and liquid soprano saxophone gently backed multiple electronic voices of many shades of many colours. The theme as espoused in McKinney's sleeve notes is a humanitarian signpost for us all, and the music amply urges us along the path.

The average 'Night Train' listener, with the emphasis on hard bop and other simliar jazz forms would certainly praise McKinney's skills but might also consign his work to the 'World Music' basket, but that, of course is precisely where the larger daytime audience of 'Peninsula Update' is coming from. On its first outing on that show "Soft Spoken' provoked several positive 'phone comments and would seem to to be set to attract a less specialised, but larger audience. And that is as it should be, Darron McKinney is an imposing physical presence but a gentle musical giant nonetheless - Radio Port Phillip, (98.7 & 98.3 FM) Melbourne, Victoria Australia..


Review: Detroit, Michigan, native Darron McKinney is not only a former sheriff in Wayne County, but an assistant minister of music at Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church and a talented saxophonist, as well. McKinney caught the attention of people nationwide when he gave a riveting performance of the track, "A Call to Courage," at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial candlelight vigil on May 13, 2001, in Washington, D.C. The song was a tribute to slain police officers and their families.
"A Call to Courage" and an instrumental version of the song is included in the 15-track album, "Soft Spoken." McKinney studied with the legendary Alvin Batiste, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Betty Carter and Joe Sample. Music is certainly not foreign to McKinney, who is in a family of 10 siblings who also play musical instruments and sing. He is also a recipient of a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Discovery Award and often compared to the late Grover Washington Jr.

For a soft reflection, check out the track and notable hymn, "What a Friend." Another track, "Inner Prizm," gives a different view, presenting a subtle and exciting mix of smooth jazz. This song was co-written and produced by McKinney's brother, Nathan McKinney. The background voices in the track, "Never Alone," are not only smooth, but harmonized. I like the mix of tunes McKinney presents in this album. Overall, "Soft Spoken" is a great addition to any jazz music library.
Natasha Washington - Jazz Review - Jazz Review


Zeitgeist, , , PO Box 13499, Edinburgh EH6 8YL, United Kingdom
March 19, 2006
Of course you can't go wrong in America by appealing to patriotism, so when a jazz playing saxophonist former deputy sheriff writes a song called "A Call to Courage" ( here, as both an instrumental and with vocals by Michelle Colvin) and dedicates it as a tribute to fallen police officers after 9/11, then its not going to fail.

McKinney says he wrote "A Call to Courage" to serve as an inspiration to police officers everywhere and to inspire police officers to establish a relationship with God, and there is a strong Christian message running through a lot of the material.

But McKinney is more than just lowest common denominator patriotism. He is also an accomplished saxophonist operating in the smooth milieu. The highlights include the two gospel tinged numbers "What a Friend" and a beautiful "His Eye Is on the Sparrow". Best of all, though, is the title track, "Soft Spoken", which is an absolute treat
- Zeitgeist


October 14, 2005
Media name: Claude Colpaert

Company name: Radio Campus France

Date: 2005-10-05 07:54:08

Feedback:
Soft Spoken by Darron (The Sheriff) McKinney
1. Personal comments : a saxophonist with a good feeling, specially on soprano saxophone
2. Playlists / Charts : on the air, radio campus lille north of france, "jazz à l'âme", www.campuslille.com, Sept 27th, 7-8pm, "soft spoken"
- Radio Campus France


Media name: Keith West

Company name: Kvmr Radio in Nevada City, Ca.

Date: 2005-10-06 04:20:57

Feedback: Darron is a true artist and I love his music. This is the smooth jazz style and one of my favs. Keith West The Fusion Intrusion show KVMR in Nevada City, Ca. Most recently aired on oct. 4th
- : Kvmr Radio in Nevada City, Ca.


Media name: Larry Groves
Company name: 3MBSFM 103.5
Date: 2005-09-21 07:51:28
Feedback:
Hi, this is Larry Groves from 3mbsFM 103.5 Victoria Australia, presenter of the program 'Colours of Jazz'.

This well written and professionally recorded Cd form Darron McKinney, I was rather impressed by the presentation of the promotional pack, and after a complet listen to the whole CD I played on air the title track of the album [Soft Spoken] & also 'Inner Prizm' on Friday 16th September at 10pm.

I had quite a few calls from listeners about the Cd [positve feed back] I also gave Darron a good rave before the tracks went played to air.

Good luck with any future recordings.

Larry - 3mbsFM 103.5 Victoria Australia


Discography

Feel Like Making Love 2011, A Call To Courage 2007,Soft Spoken 2003, Inner Prizm 1997

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Bio

Saxman Darron McKinney majored in criminal justice and jazz studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge LA under Jazz Master Alvin Batiste. After Leaving Louisiana, he returned to Detroit, quickly getting back into the mainstream. Among the artist he has shared the stage with are Ben Tankard, Pieces Of A Dream, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Jimmy Heath, Roy Ayers, Betty Carter,Joe Sample, Cuba Gooding Sr., Regina Belle, Mikki Howard and Waymen Tisdale. As a newcomer trying to make inroads into the smooth jazz scene, he's off to an above average start. ~ Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide Darron McKinney is an imposing physical presence but a gentle musical giant nonetheless. Chicago DJ Markie Bee's Comments - Ah, that smooth jazz has the old Skool steppers slow drag beat. This is from Darron McKinney's CD called Feel Like Makin Love. It's definitely a danceable song for the steppers As the testimonials say below, this artist is well known across the world. Don Smith - Radio Port Phillip 98.7 & 98.3 FM Melbourne Victoria Australia McKinney studied with the legendary Alvin Batiste, Music is certainly not foreign to McKinney, who is in a family of 10 siblings who also play musical instruments and sing. He is also a recipient of a Black Entertainment Television (BET)Jazz Discovery Award and often compared to the late Grover Washington Jr. Natasha Washington - Jazz Review. His sax playing style will remind you of Najee and George Howard. His sound is crisp and clean, very professional. In addition to Smooth Jazz, he also plays Inspirational and Christian Music. Mike James Smooth Jazz and More. Very touching music perfect for relaxing and meditating to. Kenny Wako Joy Radio 89.6FM Malawi South Africa. Absolutely fantastic album from Darron. I thought that I was listening to Kenny G when I first played the CD!! Great music,well produced and very easy to listen to time and time again I trust that we will hear more from Darron in the near future. Terry Neal 101FM Logan City Queensland Australia. Darron is a true artist and I love his music. This is the smooth jazz style and one of my favs. Keith West The Fusion Intrusion show KVMR in Nevada City, Ca. Superb Jazz that every Jazz lover should hear. I thank the Artist for the excellent contribution to Jazz. Yarden ben Yaakov Radio and Media Productions Australia.