Hi there folks!
Yepp i ain’t got anything better to do than write a new edition of my little blog here. I can live with that so i think you can do it as well 😉 Today it’s time for a new style, latin jazz and today’s artist is the very talented drummer/percussionist Sheila E.
The year was 1957 and the month was December and the date was 12 when she arrived at this world and she is of mexican and creole origin. She is born Sheila Escovedo but only uses the first letter in her lastname on stage. Her mother was a dairy factory worker and the father was/is a percussionist! Not gonna mention them all by pretty much everyone in her family are in the musicians and are in the business. Someone say it runs in the family her profession? I’d say duh! Her godfather was Tito Puente, a huge name in the circles of latin music/latin jazz.
Picture above shows left to right Pete Escovedo (father of Sheila), Sheila and her godfather Tito Puente all playing Timbales.
Her recording debut came in 1976 with fusion jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on his album “Yesterday’s Dreams”. Before this she played with her dad’s and uncle’s fusion big band Azteca but it didn’t took long before she got established. By her early twenties she had played with George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Herbie Hancock! Wow that’s quite an achievement i’d say but it only proves what i said in the beginning that she’s very talented. In 1978 on a concert when performing with her father she met a guy from Minneapolis whose stagename i think it’s familiar, Prince.
Picture shows Sheila and Prince in action.
After the show when Prince met Sheila the first thing he said was that he and his hass player were “fighting” about which of them would be her husband! No wonder they did cause she’s very beautiful and in her late twenties she must have been even more gourgeos… Since Prince alreday was “going on” he prophetically vowed was that one day Sheila would join his band and as you can see on the pic above he sure was right about that! Thou it took another 6 years before they joined forces for Prince’s Purple Rain recording sessions. She provided vocals for the B-side to “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Erotic City”.
Picture from the “Purple Rain” tour 1985.
After Prince had taken her under her wings she soon proved to be a successful artist in her own right and first solo album came in 1984. She scored hits with “The Glamorous Life #7 on the Hot 100 list. The song also topped the dance charts for 2 weeks and the video for the song gave her a MTV award nomination for “Best Female Video”. Her second release “The Belle of St. Mark” (#34) would be NME “Single Of The Week”. That’s not all that happend that year she also had a short fling with her employer Prince…while he still was seeing another girl. No business like showbiz.
Picture shows Sheila’s solo debut from 1984.
During the 80.s she recorded another two albums and got some smaller hits and even earned a nomination for an American Music Award and 2 Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female for the song “The Glamorous Life”. In She appeared in the movie Krush Groove along with hip hop group Run-D:M:C., hip hop artist/rapper turned actor LL Cool J and actor Blair Underwood. She could also be seen in Prince’s concert movie Sign “O” the Times from 1985. Another 2 years later she appeared in a third movie Ford Fairlane. Despite releasing solo albums she remained touring and recording with Prince during the 80:s. In 1989 she moved on and left the Prince organization. After that she has released 3 albums thou none of them have gained any bigger attention.
Especially the Sex Cymbal from 1991 didn’t get much attention at all since Sheila was struggling with health issues which stopped her from touring and promoting it. If you ask me it’s not a particularly good album however those who came after Writes of Passage and Heaven are much better. From the last one is actually today’s song taken. She did 3 sessions with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band as drummer in 2001, 2003 & 2006 see picture below.
Her drum “duets” with Starr are a moment of comic relief in the show, where they play the same parts but he quickly falls behind, shrugs and smiles as she takes off on an extended percussion solo. Says Sheila E.: “Ringo truly is one of the greatest rock n’ roll drummers in the history of music. He enjoys the joke!” Needless to say she’s been and still is super busy and has been ans still is involved in many different projects. I mentioned earlier that she also sings but her skills are not as good at singing as they are at drumming. Besides drums/percussion she also plays the guitar and bass as well.
Picture above Sheila plays the bass with hip hop/r&b group The Roots.
Some years ago we used to have a like drum ascosiation here in Gothenburg, Sweden where i live and my late drum teacher i used have was very active in this ascosiation and he once told me that his dream drummer/artist to do a clinic with was Sheila! I guess for many reasons partly it’s cool with a female drummer but also since my teacher was from Argentina they had this latin origin incommon but it never became more than just a dream. So the song then and as i already mentioned it’s from the album Heaven, picture above.
Sorry but i gotta say something about this album cover, it’s so totally lame! Come on Sheila is really super talented and sure can handle the drums7percussion so i don’t see why we must see her boobs on the cover. If it was some no-talented-whatever genre-wannabe girl i’d understand but not in this case. With that said here comes “Bahia” with Sheila E.
As always enjoy your listening!!
Tags: #worldofslickmusic #sheilae #sheilaescovedo #peteescovedo #titopuente #alphonsojohnson #azteca #georgeduke #marvingaye #dianaross #herbiehancock #lionelrichie #minneapolis #prince #americanmusicaward #grammyaward #rundmc #llcoolj #blairunderwood #ringostarr #allstarrbandband