Grady Nichols

Grady Nichols

BandJazzPop

Biography

From small town Midwest beginnings to the big-time as an internationally known saxophonist, Grady Nichols enjoys an audience as broad as his musical taste. “My influences are so varied and I try to reflect that in my music. As I’ve matured as a songwriter, that growth has allowed me to infuse more of myself into each record. Using this mixture of flavors has helped me to create a sound with widespread audience appeal. As a result, you’ll see people of all ages at my shows. With the project I’m working on now, I’m trying to capture something new and fun that is another layer of my musical personality.”

Grady is currently working with writer/producer and former Nixon’s frontman Zac Maloy. They are crafting his latest CD, tentatively titled “Take Me With You”. Once again, this project reflects a different side of Grady’s unique and ever-expanding musical repertoire. “Zac and I are from completely different schools of thought with regards to music. He’s a modern rocker and I’m basically an R&B guy. But isn’t that what creates great music, two people with varied backgrounds coming together, discovering musical chemistry, and with those differences, creating something unique.”

Hot off the success and critical acclaim of his most recent CD, Sophistication, saxophonist Grady Nichols has enjoyed great success in the smooth jazz genre. Heralded by well-known jazz critic and writer Jonathan Widran as “most likely to spearhead the next generation of great smooth artists”; Nichols was able to pull together the best in the smooth jazz world to help with this CD. Grammy-nominated recording artist Jeff Lorber, who discovered Kenny G, produced Sophistication. A legendary keyboardist and known as the father of fusion, Lorber also produced and contributed keyboards for Herb Alpert, U2, Eric Benet, and Bruce Hornsby to name a few. Jeff calls Grady “the awesome new sax player for the millennium.”

Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Brown mixed the CD.

Other artists contributing to Sophistication include:

• Chris Botti, led trumpet on the song “End Of The Night.”
Botti’s credits include recording with Bob Dylan, Aretha
Franklin and touring with Paul Simon and Sting.

• Paul Pesco contributes rhythm guitar on the CD and has
previously recorded with Madonna, Mariah Carey, Celine
Dion and recently toured with Jennifer Lopez as her music director.

“I have been very blessed to have had the unique opportunity of working with such a talented variety of artists both in Los Angeles and at home in Tulsa,” says Nichols, who, with Lorber, wrote all of the songs on the CD. “This project was put together over a long period and during two major life-changing events in my life – getting married and having a child. There is a culmination of a lot of different emotions throughout and I hope people will feel that when they hear it.”

Nichols continues, “Working with Jeff Lorber was a dream come true. When I was in college, I would practice playing along with his records, absorbing everything he did. Jeff had a very big influence on my approach to playing the sax. He has produced and worked with the best saxophonists in the business. I am extremely proud to be a part of that lineage and to have gained a good friend in the process.”

Sophistication yielded three hit singles – “Allright”, “Tuesday Morning”, and “Sneak”.
The first single for radio, “Allright” quickly became an airplay favorite, with its up-tempo groove and smooth-textured, sexy vibe. Samantha Wiedmann, APD/MD of KTWV/Los Angeles, 94.7 The WAVE, agrees: "Allright" is just that - All Right. The strong hook and funky melody sound great in the mix on the Wave”.

In the world of Internet radio, Sophistication made a strong debut on the SmoothJazz.com charts and remained there for over 40 weeks.

Sophistication certainly received its share of awards –
Named #28 of top 50 Smooth Jazz Albums of 2004*
Smoothie Award Winner: #14 top selling Smooth Jazz Album of 2004*
#8 Most Played Album of 2004**
#3 Break-thru Artist for the Year**
(*SmoothJazz.com year end reporting)
(**Café Jazz Radio)

The sound of this project showcases a more confident and defining style that is representative of Grady’s continued growth as a musician. “I am constantly striving to mature as an artist. You can never stop learning. Music is a constant opportunity to expand yourself."

Consider Grady’s rural upbringing in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. How does a young guy from a Mayberry-like, dirt-road-dominated town discover the hip sounds of the saxophone? Ironically, it was that rural and tornado-prone area that introduced Grady to his passion for music. While frequently watching The Weather Channel to follow thunderstorms and tornados headed his way, Grady fell in love with the instrumental music played during the updates. So much so that he wrote The Weather Channel offices to request their playlist. From there, he was hooked.

After convincing his band director that

Discography

Sophistication (CD)
In The Fullness of Time (CD)
Mysterious Intentions (CD)
Between You And Me (CD)