Throwback: Jon Lucien-Lady Love

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Jon Lucien was raised on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas where he got his earliest musical inspiration from his guitar-playing father and Nat “King” Cole. As a youngster he played bass in his father’s Latin band. He moved to the United States in the ’60’s and by 1970 he secured a record deal with RCA when executive Ernie Alshulter saw him perform at a Bar Mitzvah. I Am Now was his 1970 debut and according to him, the record company no longer wanted to market him as the “Black Sinatra” when white women became his fans. Three years later he released his sophomore effort Rashida that became his signature recording. “Lady Love” and “Rashida” are two of the songs from the collection that gave him his strongest following in the United States. Rashida also gave him the only two Grammy nominations of his career. Mind’s Eye built on his commercial momentum but not without him taking more artistic chances by incorporating more island rhythms into the music. “Listen Love” and “World Of Joy” confirmed the sensuality of his oceanic baritone as one of the earliest examples of the Quiet Storm radio format. Song For My Lady and Premonition were released on the CBS label in the ’70’s. He also made an appearance on Weather Reports’s 1978 album Mr. Gone. It was not until 1982 that Lucien began releasing music again with the project Romantico. Lucien wasn’t heard from again until Mercury Records released Listen Love in ’91. Mother Nature’s Son emerged in 1993 and both of these early ’90’s projects were good but did not have the earthiness of his ’70’s output. The development of “Acid Jazz” in the UK introduced Lucien to a lot of newer and younger fans. By the time of his death in 2007 Lucien had released all of 16 albums during his 37-year career.