Skipper Wise

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Skipper Wise
Skipper Interview 01.jpg
Skipper Wise
Background information
Birth name Bernard Louis Wise
Born (1957-03-06) 6 March 1957 (age 57)
Genres Jazz fusion, Smooth jazz, Pop, Alternative Rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, entrepreneur
Instruments Bass, Fretless Bass, acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar
Labels ITI/Allegiance Records, Intima/Capitol Records, Cypress/A&M Records, Cypress/Gold Mountain Records, Innovative Communications Records, Higher Octave/Virgin Records, JVC America Records
Associated acts Al Stewart, Peter White, Janis Ian, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Brian Bromberg, Rahsaan Patterson, Louie Louie, Take 6, Ronee Martin, Lisa Taylor, Neal Morse
Website SkipperWise.com [1], Blue Microphones [2]

Skipper Wise, (born: Bernard Louis Wise, March 6, 1957) is an American Singer/Songwriter/Musician and entrepreneur born in Los Angeles, California.

In 1983, he fronted the contemporary jazz group, Windows, which delivered four top 10 radio records punctuated by the album, "The French Laundry," which reached number one on the radio charts. Wise's solo debut onto the music scene came with the 1989 Top 30 Single, "Standing Outside in the Rain" on the European pop charts. Partnering with producer Les Pierce [3] in 1994, Colour Club was born, delivering three albums from JVC America,[1] with the self-titled album reaching number seven on the radio charts. Several videos and singles in the USA and Japan helped establish Colour Club as a pioneer in the acid jazz movement of the 1990s. Best known for his music recording career, Wise is also the co-founder of Blue Microphones,[2] the highly respected audio manufacturer. In 1999, Skipper left the music industry to dedicate his time and passion full-time to Blue Microphones.

Life and career[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Skipper Wise was born in Los Angeles, California 1957. He first experienced music through piano lessons given by his mother and grandmother.

As a teenager, he began taking guitar lessons during this time leaning folk music and the art of finger picking. He later began playing the bass finding it was easier to get into a band as there were so many guitarist around.

Teaming up with high school friend, Ed Cohen, Skipper formed a contemporary jazz group, Windows, which would go on to release 11 albums through 1980s through early 90s and jump start a long career in the music industry.

1982 Wink[edit]

Wink, a band led by Skipper Wise (bass, lead and backing vocals), and including David Nielsen (guitars, lead and backing vocals), Ed Cohen (keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals), Craig Mesco (drums, percussion, backing vocals), and special guest Michael Acosta (saxophone). The 11 song album was produced by Skipper Wise and Wink, and arranged by Wink. The Joan Miroesque cover was done by Jeff Gold. The songs were published by F.F. Publishing 1982. Also some songs were copyrighted by Rich Little Riff Kids and Wico Publishing. This mention is not included below because I don't know for sure how to do it properly.

1983-1988 Windows[edit]

Original Windows Line-up

Windows, an instrumental contemporary jazz group signed with ITI Records in 1983 and included Skipper (Bassist), Ed Cohen (keyboard), Dudley Brooks (guitar), Tim Timmermans (drums) and Michael Acosta (saxophone). Windows, the self-titled album was released in 1983 on ITI Records and received positive reviews that allowed the group to play locally and create a small following. This local buzz attracted Jim Martone of the new-formed Jazz label Intima/Enigma. Windows was signed in 1984 to Intima/Capitol Records and their second album "Is It Safe" was released soon after.

In the summer of 1987, Windows released third album "Mr. Bongo" [4] and it charted Number Three on the new R&R radio format charts now called N.A.C (New Adult Contemporary).

In 1989, signed to a new recording contract at A&M/Cypress records, Windows released "The French Laundry," the first album to feature Skipper and, guest vocalist Al Stewart, on vocals on the title track. The album immediately went to Number One on the radio charts and stayed there for six weeks.

In 1990, a new Windows album "Blue September" was released on Cypress/Gold Mountain records. The album peaked at Number Three on the radio charts. This album included Al Stewart, Janis Ian and Skipper singing the three vocal tracks.

In 1992 Ed Cohen left Windows. Skipper reorganized an entirely new Windows lineup which released the Album "From the Asylum" on Blue Orchid/DA Music. The album reached number 14 on the radio charts.

The seventh Windows record "My Red Jacket" [3] released in 1993.

"Live Laundry" was released in late 1994. It was composed of live performances of songs from the French Laundry record and unreleased material from that period.

The ninth Windows album "Apples and Oranges" was released in 1995 on Blue Orchid/DA Music.

"The First Three Years" a double CD, released in 1994, included the best of the first two Window's albums and 'Mr. Bongo" in its entirety.

In 1996, Skipper, along with Les Pierce (of Coulor Club), released the eleventh and final Windows album, "A Funky Distinction."

1987-1994 Solo and Production Projects[edit]

Skipper Wise: Photo from The Clock and The Moon

In 1987, Tim Timmermans and Skipper went into the studio—separate from Windows— to record "Poem of the Five Mountains."The album was released on the label "Innovative Communications" only on vinyl and was later released in 1989 on Higher Octave Music as a CD with a different last track. The track "In a Ten Bamboo Studio" from the album was included on the nationally released "Wave Aid" CD in 1988.

In late 1987,Skipper produced and contributed writing to the album "Vibrate" from the Spencer Davis Group released in Spain.

In 1989, Cypress/A&M offered Skipper a solo record deal. Peter White, agreed to produce the record with Skipper and eight weeks later in late 1989, "The Clock in the Moon" was released.

From Skipper's first solo album "The Clock in the Moon," the single "Standing Outside in the Rain" was picked up by KTWV-The Wave in Los Angeles, who at the time played almost no vocal material. The airtime resulted in the song being picked up by Adult Contemporary (AC) radio stations around the country. "Standing Outside in the Rain" began to climb the European pop charts eventually peaking out at number three.

In 1990, Skipper co-produced Peter White's [5] first [6] album[4] titled "Réveillez-Vous." Upon its release, the album reached Number One on the NAC radio charts and Skipper sang the lone vocal track "Play Your Guitar For Me" [7].

Play Your Guitar For Me became the follow-up single to "Standing Outside in the Rain" in Europe.

Free of his obligations with Cypress Records in 1992, Skipper began working with Peter recording new material for his second solo album to be called "Harry." One of the early sessions yielded the song "I Want to Be With You" written with Peter and released as a single on the Crisis record label in Europe.

In 1999, Sjaak De Bruijn, the head of A&R for Gold Circle Entertainment in Europe, released "Walking on a Wire" which included song selections from "The Clock and the Moon," along with songs from the unreleased "Harry" album.

1994-1997 Colour Club[edit]

Colour Club - Skipper Wise, Les Pierce

In 1994, Skipper was introduced to Les Pierce who had a Top 40 hit at the time with the pop group "Louie Louie" and was producing the vocal group, "Take Six". Skipper was signed to JVC Records for a three album deal along with Les Pierce as the group "Colour Club"

Colour Club, the self-titled album was released on the JVC label in early 1994 and reached number 5 on the NAC radio charts. The album was branded as the new movement in Europe called "Acid Jazz"

The video for the single "Freedom Words"[5] was shot in Zuma Beach, Malibu in Southern Calif and produced by Mitchel Linden. The results yielded a video of the year nominations from The American Billboards Video awards.

The album "In the Flow" was released in 1996 on the JVC/VERTEX label. Now with a permanent singer Lisa Taylor, the album yielded three singles: "Be Yourself" which charted in the top 40 in Japan; "If it's all Good"and "Pearls."

The third and final Colour Club record, "Sexuality," was released in 1997 on JVC/Vertex and the single "Tenderness" was issued. The accompanying video was released and six weeks later JVC America closed its doors.

1999-Present Blue Microphones[edit]

Skipper Wise & Martins Saulespurens, Founders of Blue Microphones receiving TEC Award

In the 1980s, Skipper met Martins Saulespurens in Europe while promoting "Standing Outside in the Rain." Martins, an electronics engineer, was able to fix the vintage European microphones necessary for Skipper to capture the audiophile sound of Jazz records required under his contracts. Eventually the pair started to create their own products and launched Blue Microphones[6] in 1995.

In 2008, Skipper and Martins sold Blue Microphones to Transom Capital, a private Equity firm from Southern California.[7] Skipper and Martins both retained an interest in the company. Blue Microphones designs and produces an extensive line of award-winning microphones, known for cutting-edge designs and audiophile performance.

In 2010, Blue was named as one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine and included in The Deloitte Technology Fast 500. In 2011 they were recognized by the CEA Innovations Award, Los Angeles Business Journal 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies, San Fernando Valley Business Journal's Manufacturing Leadership award and Retail Vision Award.

Skipper Wise in 1989
Skipper photographed in the late 1990s

Discography[edit]

Solo Releases[edit]

Albums

Year Album Details Peak Chart Positions
1989 The Clock and the Moon
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress/A&M #YD0129
  • Format: vinyl
NAC (R&R): #7
1999 Walking On A Wire
  • Label/Catalog No.: Gold Circle Entertainment

Singles

Year Album Details
1987 Skipper
  • Label/Catalog No.: Polydor 13CX1444 / YO8707
  • Format: Polydor KK cassette single
1990 Standing Outside In The Rain
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress YY 5007 -
  • Format: 7 inch vinyl
1990 Standing Outside In The Rain
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress YD 17889
  • Format: CD single
1990 Tell Me, Tell Me
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress YY 8068
  • Format:
1991 Play Your Guitar For Me
1994 I Wanna Be With You
  • Label/Catalog No.: Crisis 599 999
  • Format: 2 CD Single

Tim Timmermans & Skipper Wise

Year Album Details
1989 Poems Of The Five Mountains
  • Label/Catalog No.: Higher Octave Music #HOMCD7018
1989 Compilations You Can Help Save The Ocean
  • Label/Catalog No.: Teichiku Records TECP-25895
1989 Wave Aid II: USA Benefit album for AIDS research
  • Label/Catalog No.: KTWV02-2

Windows[edit]

Year Album Details Peak Chart Positions
1983 Windows
  • Label/Catalog No.: Intima/Capitol #SJ-73219
1984 Is It Safe
  • Label/Catalog No.: Intima/Capitol #SJ-73218
1986 Mr. Bongo
  • Label/Catalog No.: Intima/Capitol #SJ-73220
#3 NAC (R&R),
1989 Tell Me, Tell Me
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress YY 8068
1989 The French Laundry
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress/A&M #YD0124
#1 NAC (R&R)
1989 Single-New Sneakers
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress - YD 17813
  • Format: CD single
1990 Blue September
  • Release:
  • Label/Catalog No.: Cypress/Goldcastle/A&M #71336
#3 NAC (R&R)
1992 Windows - The First Three Years
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2011
1992 From The Asylum
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2014
#12 NAC (R&R)
1993 My Red Jacket
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2012
1993 So Many Times - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.: Blue Orchid 2012-2
1994 Live Laundry
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2013
1995 Apples & Oranges
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2017
1996 A Funky Distinction
  • Label/Catalog No.: DA Music/Blue Orchid #2022-2

Colour Club[edit]

Year Album Details Peak Chart Positions
1994 Colour Club
  • Label/Catalog No.: JVC 2034-2
NAC (R&R): #7
1994 Freedom Words - Japanese Release
  • Label/Catalog No.: VICJ-5091
1994 Freedom Words - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.: JVC-8005-2
1994 Trust Me - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.: JVC DPRO-126
1996 In The Flow
  • Release:
  • Label/Catalog No.: JVC / VTX 3004-2
1996 In The Flow Japanese Release
  • Label/Catalog No.: VICP-5681
1996 If It's All Good - Single [8]
  • Label/Catalog No.: (JVC) VVPRO-304
  • Format: 12 inch single
1996 If It's All Good - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.: (JVC) VDPRO-304
  • Format: CD Single
1996 Pearls - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.: (JVC) VDPRO-306
  • Format: CD Single
1997 Sexuality
  • Label/Catalog No.: JVC / JMI 7002-2
1997 Tenderness - Single
  • Label/Catalog No.:

Production and Other Appearances[edit]

Year Album Details Peak Chart Positions
1990 Réveillez-Vous
  • Peter White
  • Label/Catalog No.: Chase Music Group #CMD8027
#1 NAC
1990 Play Your Guitar For Me - Single
  • Peter White
  • Label/Catalog No.: NTI Music (France) 7 LM 100 & 8 LM 100
7 inch / CD
1992 Excusez-Moi
  • Peter White
  • Label/Catalog No.: Sin-Drome CGD1802
#1 NAC
1991 Heartsong
  • Stephen Longfellow Fiske
  • Label/Catalog No.: Higher Octave Music #HOMCD7037
1996 Torrid Rain
  • Dave Camp
  • Label/Catalog No.: Blue Orchid #2020-2

Music Videos[edit]

Song Album Video Link
Standing Outside In The Rain The Clock And The Moon
  • Release: 1990
  • Details: Released in Europe for MTV and European Television
Live [9], Music Video [10]
Play Your Guitar For Me Réveillez-Vous
  • Release: June 1991
  • Details: Produced in France for French Television
Music Video [11]
Freedom Words Colour Club
  • Release: 1995
  • Details: Produced by Mitchel Linden, nominated for Billboard Video New Artist
Music Video [12], Remix [13]
If It's All Good In The Flow Music Video [14]
Pearls In The Flow Music Video [15]
Tenderness Sexuality
  • Details: Directed by Mitchell Linden.
Music Video [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard (1994-07-02). "The JVC Music". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  2. ^ Nathan Olivarez-Giles (2009-07-21). "Blue Microphones turns up the volume". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  3. ^ Jazzlynx (2006-01-01). "Off the Cuff - Windows". Cafe Jazz Radio. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  4. ^ John Beaudin (2002-07-26). "Our First of Many Interviews With Peter White (2002)". SmoothJazzNow.com. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  5. ^ Jazzlynx (2006-05-01). "Vintage Collection: Part One". Cafe Jazz Radio. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  6. ^ Owen O'Malley (2008-04-10). "Blue Microphones Encore 100: Skipper Wise And Martins Saulespurens On Their Company's Newest Baby". Gearwire.com. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  7. ^ Music Inc Magazine (2009-10-20). "Transom Capital Acquires Blue Microphones". Music Inc Magazine. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 

External links[edit]