born on 25/4/1950 in Marlin, TX, United States
Barbara Ann ("Bobbi") Humphrey (born April 25, 1950) is an American jazz flautist and singer who plays fusion, jazz-funk and soul-jazz styles. Bobbi Humphrey has performed for audiences around the world.
She was born in Marlin, Texas, and raised in Dallas. Her flute training included classical and jazz styles in high school. She continued her studies at Texas Southern University and Southern Methodist University. Dizzy Gillespie saw Humphrey play at a talent contest at Southern Methodist, and inspired her to pursue a musical career in New York City. She followed his advice, getting her first big break performing at the Apollo Theatre on Amateur Night. She eventually began playing regularly throughout the city, including a gig with Duke Ellington.
By 1972, she was recording for the Blue Note Jazz label, one of the first female instrumentalists to do so. Humphrey has played with well-known musicians, ranging from Duke Ellington to Lee Morgan. Guitarist George Benson and Humphrey were guest musicians on Humphrey's friend Stevie Wonder's single "Another Star" from his Songs in the Key of Life (1976) album. In 1976, she was named Best Female Instrumentalist by Billboard. In 1994 Humphrey launched her label, Paradise Sounds Records, releasing Passion Flute, which continues to be one of her best-selling recordings.
Bobbi Humphrey has played at the Apollo Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, Russian River Jazz Festival (Northern California), and other venues around the world.
|1971||Flute In||Blue Note|
|1972||Dig This!||Blue Note|
|1973||Blacks and Blues||Blue Note|
|1973||Bobbi Humphrey Live: Cookin' with Blue Note at Montreux||Blue Note|
|1974||Satin Doll||Blue Note|
|1975||Fancy Dancer||Blue Note|
|1979||The Good Life||Epic|
|1990||Let's Get Started||Warner Bros|
|1994||Passion Flute||Paradise Sounds|
Stevie Wonder appears on Home Made Jam which was recorded during the Freestyle sessions in 1977/78 and released as the lead track on Bobbi Humphrey's second Epic album in 1978. Home Made Jam was released as one of Bobbi Humphrey's first-ever Disco 12" singles and gained airplay across the US, UK and Europe. The 7" and 12" single also carried another track as its b-side (but edited) from the album called Sunset Burgundy which in itself became popular with radio stations and DJs of the day. The 2011 CD remastered Freestyle album included the 12" extended version of Home Made Jam as well as the edited version of Sunset Burgundy as bonus tracks.
Bobbi Humphrey's last album for Epic was The Good Life, recorded in 1978/79 at Rosebud Recording Studios, New York. The album is notable for the list of supporting musicians that included Richard Tee, Eric Gale, Ralph MacDonald, Christopher Parker and Marcus Miller - all musicians that were part of the New York contemporary jazz scene at the time. All of the listed musicians were appearing on most of the albums being recorded by Earl Klugh, George Benson, Bob James, Lonnie Liston Smith and Joe Sample and more. The album cover photography is by Dan Weaks. The Good Life LP (Epic US Cat No: JE/BL 35607) has not been made available on CD as at 2013. The original album was deleted from Sony's catalogue in the 1990s.
- Winegarten, Ruthe. Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph, University of Texas Press (1995) - ISBN 0-292-79089-9
- Perone, James E. The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words And Music, Greenwood Press (2006) - ISBN 0-275-98723-X
- [ Billboard: Bobbi Humphrey]
- Bobbi Humphrey official website
- Jazz Museum in Harlem Celebrates Flautist Bobbi Humphrey