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Subject: Leon Ware

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Date Posted: 05:54:50 02/28/17 Tue

I had a sad start to the day today with news of Leon Ware's passing. This guy was a very positive influence on the music of AWB and continues with my music.
He was on the first sessions we ever did in the US with Bonnie Bramlett and contributed the song This World Has Music which never made Bonnie's album but made our first record Show Your Hand. A couple years later the Quincy Jones album Body Heat was released and yet another of Leon's tunes made it's way into our repertoire and became a central part of our live show - If I Ever Lose This Heaven was tailor made for us.
What followed next was Leon's classic with Marvin Gaye I Want You. Harmonically inspiring stuff which is still influential.
He wrote lot of songs and I think began as a staff writer at Motown, writing for The Isleys and other acts on the label.
After the breakup of AWB Leon and myself did some writing but the last time we worked together was a tribute to Marvin at Midem in 92. Leon was the musical director and had a stellar rhythm section of James Gadson, Chuck Rainey, Wah Wah Watson and Clarence Henderson plus strings and horns. Chaka, Al Jarreau, Randy Crawford and Omar all performed and I did Grapevine (of course) then Leon did some of the I Want You songs with El De Barge, Marvin's daughter Nona and myself on background vocals. It was quite a night and Leon was truly at the top of his game but unfortunately it was the last time our paths crossed.
He has toured the UK with Bluey and Incognito but unfortunately work schedules never enabled me to catch any of those shows.
Leon Ware had a unique musical voice and a wonderful harmonic sensibility which continues to inspire.
Thanks for all the music Leon.

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Subject Author Date
Re: Leon WareNigel (Sadness)01:23:23 03/05/17 Sun

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