Marilyn McLeod, Hit Motown Songwriter with A Coltrane Connection
(Published: June 14, 2011)
Marilyn McLeod comes from a musical family that reads like recording Royalty. The late-great jazz pianist, Alice Coltrane was Marilyn's sister, and the legendary saxman, John Coltrane, was her brother-in-law. Her older brother Ernie Farrow played with jazz greats Yusef Lateff and Stan Getz, her nephews Oran & Ravi Coltrane have followed in their famous parents' footsteps, her niece Michelle Coltrane is also a great vocalist and her grandson (yes, grandson!) Steven is taking the dance music scene by storm under the moniker, "Flying Lotus."
But she is a formidable talent in her own right. "I Believe In Me," her brand new Twinn Records CD is a timeless collection of songs composed by McLeod and fellow tunesmith, Janie Bradford. They are both known for an array of Motown hits that they penned for many of the label's legendary artists, including Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The 4 Tops, and Smokey Robinson.
Even though McLeod enjoyed watching her compositions become superhits by other artists, she wanted to put her own voice to a collection of her songs. She noticed that the songs she had created had a way of influencing audiences for decades, and decided to collaborate with Bradford and record "I Believe In Me," a collection of songs created on a foundation of proven "old school" melody lines with a fusion of smooth jazz and new school attitude.
"I never saw myself as an artist, but I always liked to sing, so it was inevitable that I'd end up right where I am now," Marilyn explains. "I wanted to create an album that other artists could appreciate, songs that make people feel good, songs with great positive messages."
Those great messages are almost innate with McLeod, and began at an early age with piano lessons that turned into personal compositions, which eventually led to her stint at Motown Records. As a staff songwriter for the label, she penned such R&B gems as "Love Hangover" for Diana Ross, "Walk In the Night" for Jr. Walker, "Same Ole Love" (co- written with her nephew Darryl Roberts) for Anita Baker and "You Cant Turn Me Off" for High Inergy.
Working with her friend, Janie, was a "no-brainer" as Janie's enduring catalog includes the oft recorded "Money (That's What I Want)" and Marvin Gaye's "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby." In fact, their shared adoration for Marvin Gaye was the impetus of the first single on the project, "What Would Marvin Say."
"We loved Marvin!" Mcleod exclaims. "I think he'd like this album. It's about what's going on today, stuff that's in the headlines everyday. The time was right."
More Information: http:// www.twinnrecords.com