R.I.P. legendary soul music musician and producer, Jimmy Levine

(August 10, 2016) Over the thirteen years that SoulTracks has been around, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting a lot of fine people who also just happened to be talented artists. Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Levine was one of the best. Sadly, I’ve just learned that Jimmy has died after a battle with cancer (see Jimmy's Facebook page).

Jimmy was a fixture in the pop and soul music worlds for decades. As a keyboardist, saxophonist and producer, he worked with such legendary artists as Sly & the Family Stone, Al Green, Rick James, Teena Marie, Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin and Herbie Hancock, and made a name for himself as an A-Lister session musician.

(August 10, 2016) Over the thirteen years that SoulTracks has been around, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting a lot of fine people who also just happened to be talented artists. Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Levine was one of the best. Sadly, I’ve just learned that Jimmy has died after a battle with cancer (see Jimmy's Facebook page).

Jimmy was a fixture in the pop and soul music worlds for decades. As a keyboardist, saxophonist and producer, he worked with such legendary artists as Sly & the Family Stone, Al Green, Rick James, Teena Marie, Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin and Herbie Hancock, and made a name for himself as an A-Lister session musician.

His status in the music industry was exemplified in 2006, when he decided to record his own album, Share My Love. After years of supporting others, he found himself inundated by stars willing to support him on the disc. Musicians such as Ray Parker, Jr., Everette Harp, Wah Wah Watson and Ray Fuller as well as top flight singers Howard Hewett, Maysa, Phil Perry, Kenda Hathaway, Lori Perry, Phillip Ingram and others came together to provide real firepower for Levine's soul/jazz project. European audiences responded immediately to the album, taking it to the top of the Sweet Rhythm Chart for a couple weeks in early 2007, while Levine introduced it more slowly in America.

Over the last few years, Jimmy continued to actively work, launching several labels (including the Mo-Philly imprint) and continuing to record with both new and established artists. But was most notable was Jimmy’s always-present enthusiasm for every project on which he was involved, and his just as consistent graciousness. In a note he he wrote to SoulTracks at the time he released Share My Love, he said:

“This is my first CD in almost 20 years and the love SoulTracks and your readers are showing me is just incredible. For SoulTracks to grace me with the honor to be on your featured artist page is truly a blessing. I had no idea something like this could happen to me. All I ever wanted is to "Share My Love" of music with the world. I thank God for blessing me so many good friends that help make this happen and support me. Much peace and love through the music to you, your readers and fans around the world.”

Jimmy Levine was a true one of a kind person and artist. We will miss him terribly. Godspeed, Jimmy.

By Chris Rizik

August 13 Update -- The family of Jimmy posted the following:  The family of Jimmy Levine wishes to thank each and every one of you that stopped by to send your love and condolences in regard to Jimmy's passing. The memorial services will be held August 20, 2016 at St. Matthew Baptist Church, 1534 W. Vernon Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90062 at 10:00 a.m.

Thanks to SoulTracker Kecia for letting us know

 
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