Throwback: Rodney Franklin-The Groove

Rodney Franklin is a native of Berkeley, California where he began jazz piano lessons at Washington Elementary School under the tutelage of Dr. Herb Wong. He worked with Freddie Hubbard and Marlena Shaw before he got a recording deal with CBS Records in 1978. His debut album In The Center from that year received a lukewarm response on the bean-counter front but “I Like The Music Make It Hot” and the album overall was a fast favorite of fusion fans. It was his third album You’ll Never Know that became his most important work and he managed the feat of getting the fusion of “The Groove” on R&B radio. Franklin continued to record never becoming a huge commercial star of his genre but one of the best of his peers. There were other songs along the way that endeared his music to ears of all persuasions. “Song For You,” “Endless Flight,” and “Life Moves On” were a few of the tracks that put his name into the Quiet Storm, jazz and R&B universes.Franklin still resides in the Bay area where he is a local legend.

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