Working with a galaxy of stars in various music genres Vassal Benford has more than 57 platinum records to his credit. He has notched up over $150 million in movie box office receipts and if that wasn’t enough he also manages the interests of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and the estate of blues icon B.B. King.
Now Vassal Benford is returning to his roots.
With a focus on breathing fresh energy and creativity into contemporary jazz, songwriter and keyboard player Benford, has just released ‘Melody Man’ on the Benford Jazz label.
In fact Benford was just sixteen when legendary jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis recorded the song ‘Michelle’ that the teenager wrote about his first crush. Taken from Lewis’s album ‘Three Piece Suite’ it went to number one and two years later bass player Stanley Clarke produced the second Benford composition, ‘The Two Of Us’, which was co-written with Grammy winner Jeremy Lubbock. Lifted from the Ramsey Lewis CD of the same name it featured vocalist Nancy Wilson and for Ramsey delivered another number one smash.
As the years rolled by the music kept on coming. Benford’s projects topped the charts in multiple genres and gifted hits to superstars such as DJ Diplo, Toni Braxton, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, U2, Jade, Bobby Brown, New Edition, Lil’ Kim, Patti LaBelle, Faith Evans, Chanté Moore, Oleta Adams, Lisa Stansfield, Tramaine Hawkins, and The Fine Young Cannibals to name only a few.
In recent years, Benford has rediscovered instrumental R&B. It has sparked collaborations with smooth jazz A-Listers Norman Brown and Gerald Albright who will both appear on Benford’s debut album, ‘My Favorite Moments’ that is due to be released in February 2023.
‘Melody Man’ is the first single to be taken from it and as such is a clear pointer that with ‘My Favorite Moments’ the world of contemporary jazz is in for something special.