||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Birth name||Marlina Burgess|
September 22, 1942 |
New Rochelle, New York, United States
|Genres||Jazz, blues, soul|
|Years active||1967 - present|
Marlena Shaw (born Marlina Burgess, September 22, 1942, New Rochelle, New York, United States) is an American singer. Shaw began her singing career in the 1960s and is still singing today. Her music has often been sampled in hip hop music, and used in television commercials.
She was first introduced to music by her uncle Jimmy Burgess, a jazz trumpet player. In an interview with The New York Times, she told the reporter “He [Jimmy Burgess] introduced me to good music through records - Dizzy [Gillespie], Miles [Davis], a lot of gospel things, and Al Hibbler, who really knows how to phrase a song.” In 1952, Burgess brought her on stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to sing with his band. Shaw's mother did not want Marlena to go on tour with her uncle at such a young age. Instead, she enrolled Shaw into the New York State Teachers College in Potsdam (now known as the State University of New York at Potsdam) to study music. She later dropped out of school, got married, and had five children, but never gave up her singing career.
Shaw began to make singing appearances in jazz clubs whenever she could spare the time. The most notable of these appearances was in 1963 when she worked with jazz trumpeter Howard McGhee. She was supposed to play at the Newport Jazz Festival with McGhee and his band, but left the group after getting into an argument with one of the band members. Later that year, she got an audition with Columbia label talent scout John Hammond. Shaw did not perform well during the audition because she was too nervous. Undiscouraged, she continued to play small clubs until 1966. Her career took off in 1966 when she landed a gig with the Playboy Club chain in Chicago. It was through this gig that she met with representatives of the Chess Records music label, and soon signed with them. She released her first two albums on their subsidiary Cadet Records. She moved to Blue Note Records in 1972. She also recorded one of the disco era's biggest hits - a remake of "Touch Me in the Morning" on Columbia Records.
Shaw still performs and records today. In 2001 and 2007 Shaw was one of the performers at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands.
Selected discography 
- Out of Different Bags (1967)
- The Spice of Life (1969)
Blue Note 
- Marlena (1972)
- From the Depths of My Soul (1973)
- Marlena Shaw Live at Montreux (1973)
- Who Is This Bitch, Anyway? (1974)
- Just a Matter of Time (1976)
- Sweet Beginnings (1977)
- Acting Up (1978)
- Take A Bite (1979)
South Bay 
- Let Me In Your Life (1982)
- It Is Love (1986)
- Love Is In Flight (1988)
Concord Jazz 
- Dangerous (1996)
- Elemental Soul (1997)
Soul Brother Records 
- Anthology (2000)
- Live In Tokyo (2002)
- Lookin' For Love (2004)
- Blue Boy's "Remember Me" (1996) included sample from "Woman of the Ghetto" from the Live At Montreux album
- Ghostface Killah's song "Ghetto" (2010) contains samples of the recording "Woman of the Ghetto"
- St. Germain sampled from "Woman of the Ghetto" from Live at Montreux used in "Rose Rouge" on Tourist (2000)
- DJ Day "Gone Bad" Melting Pot Records (2005) included a sample from "Liberation Conversation" from the Spice of Life album
- DJ Shadow sampled her version of "California Soul" for "Midnight in a Perfect World" on Endtroducing, he also sampled the same song on his live Brainfreeze (album) set in collaboration with Cut Chemist. While DJ Premier also sampled the same song for the Gang Starr track "Check the Technique", and Adam Freeland sampled the track for "F.E.A.R." - this is more prominent on the version used as the soundtrack to 'Area 05' in the 2001 videogame REZ. Faze Action's track "Broad Souls" also used a sample from "California Soul". In addition, Syler's lead single off Syler presents The Empire State of Mind, entitled "Holden My Own" used the "California Soul" sample.
- 9th Wonder and Buckshot also sampled "Woman of the Ghetto" in the track "Ghetto", and Evil Dee (of Black Moon)'s remix of the same song.
- Spanish hip-hop group Violadores del Verso uses a sample from "Woman of the Ghetto" for the base of their song "Balantains"
- Dutch beer brand Grolsch used a sample of "California Soul" for a Dutch television commercial.
- Jay Rock feat. The Game "California Soul" (2007) rap song sampled "California Soul".
- "Squire for Hire" Nathan Haines (Chillifunk records 2003) featured Marlena Shaw vocals on the title track "Squire for Hire".
- "California Soul" is played on the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. The song, however, does not appear on the movie's soundtrack.
- In 2008, "California Soul" is used in a Docker's commercial.
- Rapper Qwel sampled Marlena Shaw's song "You" on his song "The Highest Commitment" on the album If it Ain't Been in the Pawn Shop, it Can't Play the Blues.
- Producer Diplo remixed the track "California Soul" for the recent compilation The Verve Remixed Vol. 4.
- DJ Premier sampled 'California Soul' in the Gang Starr track 'Check the Technique' from Step in the Arena (1990)
- A "California Soul" remix featuring Ya Boy appeared over the end credits of The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011.
- "California Soul" (remixed by Diplo) is featured in 2011 action driving game Driver: San Francisco
- Canadian rapper Drake sampled Shaw's "Feel Like Making Love" for the song "Come Winter" from his mixtape "Room for Improvement"
- Lodus Dei sampled Shaw's "Say a Good Word" for their song "Royal Lotus" on The Wasted Talent album."
- "The Wasted Talent Lp | Lodus Dei". Ill Kid Family. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2013-03-18.