Melvin Sparks

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Melvin Sparks
BornMarch 22, 1946
Houston, Texas, United States.
DiedMarch 15, 2011(2011-03-15) (aged 64)
Mount Vernon, New York, United States
GenresSoul jazz, hard bop, jazz blues
OccupationsGuitarist
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1960s–2011
LabelsPrestige, Savant
 
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Melvin Sparks
BornMarch 22, 1946
Houston, Texas, United States.
DiedMarch 15, 2011(2011-03-15) (aged 64)
Mount Vernon, New York, United States
GenresSoul jazz, hard bop, jazz blues
OccupationsGuitarist
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1960s–2011
LabelsPrestige, Savant

Melvin Sparks (March 22, 1946 – March 15, 2011)[1] was an American soul jazz, hard bop and jazz blues guitarist. He recorded a number of albums for Prestige Records, later recording for Savant Records. He appeared on several recordings with musicians including Lou Donaldson, Sonny Stitt, Leon Spencer and Johnny Hammond Smith.[1]

Sparks was born in Houston, Texas, United States, and raised in a musical family. He received his first guitar at age 11. Sparks began working in the rhythm and blues genre as a high school student, first with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and then with the Upsetters, a touring band formed by Little Richard, which also backed Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye.[2]

Sparks moved to New York City and worked as a session musician for Blue Note and Prestige Records. As part of the burgeoning soul-jazz scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Sparks often backed organists like Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Charles Earland. Sparks released his debut album, Sparks!, for Prestige in 1970.[2]

He was seen on Northeastern television commercials as the voice of Price Chopper's House of BBQ advertising campaign.[3]

Sparks died on March 15, 2011, at age 64, at his home in Mount Vernon, New York. He had diabetes and high blood pressure.[2]

Contents

Discography

As leader

As sideman

With Henry "Pucho" Brown

With Rusty Bryant

With Hank Crawford

With Dennis Day

With Joey DeFrancesco

With Karl Denson

With Lou Donaldson

With Charles Earland

With Ceasar Frazier

With Red Holloway

With Plas Johnson

With Etta Jones

With Charles Kynard

With Ron Levy

With Johnny Lytle

With Jack McDuff

With Jimmy McGriff

With Idris Muhammad

With John Patton

With Houston Person

With Sonny Phillips

With Bernard Purdie

With Alvin Queen

With Rhoda Scott

With Lonnie Smith

With Leon Spencer

With Dakota Staton

With Tom "T Bone" Stinson

With Sonny Stitt

With Leon Thomas

With Reuben Wilson

With Jimmy Witherspoon

References