Itaal Shur

Itaal Shur (born October 22, 1966) is an American composer,[1] producer and musician. He has written songs for a number of musicians, including Maxwell, Jewel and Enrique Iglesias, and has produced records for various artists, including Kronos Quartet, The Scumfrog and Lucy Woodward. He was the founding member of the acid jazz group Groove Collective, and has released three solo albums.

One of Shur's most notable works is the song "Smooth", which he co-wrote with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas for Santana's Grammy Award winning album Supernatural.[2][3] "Smooth" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999,[4] and won Shur and Thomas the 1999 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.[5]

Itaal Shur
ItaalShur at RockwoodMusicHall(1)(crop)
Itaal Shur, December 2009
Background information
Also known asBig Muff
BornOctober 22, 1966 (age 52)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresAcid jazz, avant-garde jazz, funk, techno, hip hop
Occupation(s)Composer, record producer, musician,
InstrumentsKeyboards, vocals
Years activeearly 1990s – present
Associated actsGroove Collective, Repercussions


Itaal Shur was born in Los Angeles, but was raised in Seattle and Cincinnati, Ohio.[2] His parents are the late Bonia Shur, who was a composer of Israeli and Jewish music and director of Liturgic Arts at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, who had emigrated to the United States from Russia via Israel,[6][7] and Fanchon Wechsler Shur, born in Chicago, Illinois, a former dancer and a choreographer.[8] Shur attended middle school at The School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, and studied jazz and composition for a year at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. In the early 1990s he joined a local art rock band called Sleep Theater with Rob Hamrick and Chris Sherman (later known as Freekbass).[8]

Shur moved to New York City in 1992 where, in between doing odd jobs, he played in a Moroccon band and performed at the Knitting Factory, an avant-garde jazz venue.[6] Then he switched to acid jazz and co-founded the acid jazz group Groove Collective, featuring on their first two albums. Shur also began composing songs, and his first hit was "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)", which he co-wrote with Maxwell for Maxwell's 1996 debut album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite.[2]

In the late 1990s Shur explored funk, techno and hip-hop, and released two solo albums under an alias Big Muff, which he took from the name of an old Electro-Harmonix guitar distortion pedal, Big Muff.[2] "My Funny Valentine" from his first album, Music From the Aural Exciter was a minor hit in the United Kingdom in 1998. But the song that launched Shur's career was "Smooth",[8] which he co-wrote with Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas for Santana's album Supernatural.[2] When he heard that Santana needed a song for their new album, Shur composed the song over a weekend.[8] Thomas, who sang the lead vocals with Santana, wrote the song's lyrics.[6] Carlos Santana's "samba-like guitar riff" on "Smooth" was "note-for-note" as Shur had written it.[8] "Smooth" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999,[4] and won Shur and Thomas the 1999 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.[5] Supernatural also won a Grammy Award in 1999 for Album of the Year.[3]

Shur released another solo album, Milk & Honey – 10 Hits To Bliss in 2001, this time under his real name. He also produced a number of albums for various artists, including Kronos Quartet, Hinda Hicks, Mark Farina, Lighthouse Family, The Scumfrog and Lucy Woodward.[9] Shur has since established his own artist development and production company.[2]

Solo discography

  • Music From the Aural Exciter (1998, Snapt Records) – released under the alias Big Muff
  • Aurally Exciting Remixes (2000, Razor & Tie) – released under the alias Big Muff
  • Milk & Honey – 10 Hits to Bliss (2001, Wave Music)


  1. ^ Margot Whitmire (October 30, 2004). "Expansion Team". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 44–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Prato, Greg. "Itaal Shur". AllMusic. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Grammy Award Winners: Searchable database". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (search parameters: Title = Supernatural)
  4. ^ a b "Supernatural awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Grammy Award Winners: Searchable database". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (search parameters: Artist = Itaal Shur)
  6. ^ a b c Kimpel, Dan. "Itaal Shur". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "Itaal Shur on Songs, Business and Life in General". September 30, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e Bird, Rick. "Grammy catapults Itaal Shur's career". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  9. ^ "Itaal Shur credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2011.

External links

5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards

The 5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards were held on Wednesday, September 1, 2004, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

This was the last telecast of the awards nationally in the United States in English with a CBS contract. Effective in 2005, the awards were announced in Spanish with an exclusive Spanish-language telecast. Alejandro Sanz was the big winner winning four awards including Album of the Year.Live performances included Alejandro Sanz and Destiny's Child singing a mostly Spanish bilingual version of Sanz's Quisiera Ser.


7752 is the third album by Italian jazz vocalist Chiara Civello. The title gives the distance in kilometers from New York City to Rio de Janeiro, the two cities that inspired the album.

All American Boy (Steve Grand album)

All American Boy is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Steve Grand. It was released on March 23, 2015 independently by his imprint Grand Nation Music and was disseminated through Brody Distribution Group via Sony RED Distribution. The album's tracks feature genres spanning from mostly country to pop music, as well as rock music. In the making of the album, Grand took his musical influences such as Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and Sum 41 onto the album. Some tracks on the album express a celebration of a person's sexuality or identity, predominantly aimed to the Gay community and also represents and reminiscences his younger life.

The album garnered mostly mild commendations from critics who lauded the album's content and production, many noting Grand's talent, also some tracks for its "radio-friendliness", and that some songs could relate to anybody no matter what sexual orientation. For such an independent release, the album was a moderate success, making its debut on the U.S. Billboard 200 at No. 47 and its components charts Digital and Independent albums at No. 19 and No. 3, respectively.

Grand financed his album with a Kickstarter online campaign, surpassing an expectation of USD $81,000 with $326,593 donated, making it the third most funded music project never to be affiliated with a major label in Kickstarter history. Prior to the release, Grand had released a total of four singles: "All-American Boy", "Stay", "Back to California", and "Time". He went on a promotion campaign for the album throughout 2012 to 2015 on TV talk shows, Gay Pride Parades, and numerous interviews.

Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)

"Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" is a 1996 song by American R&B/neo soul singer Maxwell and is the second single released from his debut album Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. The track peaked in the top ten on Billboard's R&B songs, reached top forty on the Hot 100 and No. 28 on UK's Singles chart.

Groove Collective

Groove Collective is an American band. In 2007 they were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year for the release People People Music Music on the Savoy Jazz label.

Heather Holley

Heather Holley is an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, vocal producer, composer, pianist, and Pro Tools engineer, whose credits have yielded combined sales of over 29 million albums. She specializes in artist development and is known for her role in launching Christina Aguilera's career. She and Elicit Productions partner Rob Hoffman (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Etta James), wrote and produced the recordings that led to Aguilera's signing to RCA Records.

Holley has also developed and/or worked with artists including Meredith O'Connor; Holly Brook aka Skylar Grey; Jackie Evancho; Nikki Williams; Katie Costello; Bebe Rexha; Martha Wash; Rebekah del Rio; Kat Perkins; Itaal Shur; and Dave Eggar. Her songs have been featured in prime time television series such as Grey's Anatomy, 90210, American Idol, The Office, Private Practice, So You Think You Can Dance, Ugly Betty, The Hills, Keeping Up With the Kardashians; feature films and trailers including Pursuit of Happyness, Kiss of the Dragon, and David LaChappelle's Rize; and runway shows for New York Fashion Week and ad campaigns for global brands such as Mercedes Benz, Pepsi, and Microsoft. Heather has been interviewed for VH1's Driven: Christina Aguilera and two E! Entertainment Christina Aguilera Specials. In their show at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Concert, Le Petit Cirque performed to Heather's song We All Need A Hero.[1]


Hooked! is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Lucy Woodward. It was released on June 15, 2010 as her debut album for Verve Records. The set's first single, "Slow Recovery" was released to iTunes on May 4, 2010.The album includes nine original songs and three covers versions ("Sans Souci", "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" and "Stardust"). Two of the originals ("Slow Recovery" and "Too Much to Live For") had previously appeared on Woodward's second album Lucy Woodward Is...Hot & Bothered but were reworked for this release with different vocals and arrangements. The iTunes version also includes another cover, "Fashion", originally recorded by David Bowie for his album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).

Lucy Woodward

Lucy Woodward is an English-American singer-songwriter. She has released four studio albums on Atlantic Records, Barnes & Noble and Verve Records. She has contributed to a number of movie soundtracks and has also performed backing vocals for Rod Stewart, Snarky Puppy, Celine Dion, Pink Martini, Gavin DeGraw, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Nikka Costa and Randy Jackson. She co-wrote Stacie Orrico's Top 40 worldwide hit "(There's Gotta Be) More to Life" the same year her own Top 40 single "Dumb Girls" charted in 2003. In 2016, her fourth album Til They Bang on the Door was released on Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael League's label, GroundUP Music/Verve/Universal.

MTV Unplugged (Maxwell EP)

MTV Unplugged is a live EP by American neo soul singer Maxwell, released by Columbia Records in mid-1997. The album features recordings of Maxwell's performance on the MTV concert series program MTV Unplugged, filmed in New York City earlier in the year. The album includes covers of songs such as Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" and Nine Inch Nails "Closer."The singer was asked to do MTV Unplugged, despite only having released only one album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. Maxwell's episode of MTV Unplugged first aired on the network on July 22, 1997".

Maxi Records

Maxi Records was an independent dance record label.

Established by Claudia Cuseta and Kevin McHugh in 1990, the New York CIty based label helped establish the House Music scene in the 90s working with producers Mood II Swing, Cevin FIsher, Naked Music NYC, Itaal Shur, Danny Krivit; artists Daphne, Sagat, Big Muff, Judy Albanese; and established names Masters At Work, Danny Tenaglia, Roger Sanchez, Joe Claussell, Francois Kevorkian, Armand Van Helden, Byron Burke, Benji Candelario, and Shay Jones.

The label achieved fame in 1994 with the success of the Sagat single "Funk Dat" . "Funk Dat" went on to sell over half a million copies and reached the top ten of Billboard's Dance Charts.Following this success, the label expanded their marketing to other cities such as Miami.Maxi signed a licensing deal with Razor & Tie records in 2000.The Maxi Records Catalogue was purchased by Nettwerk Music Group in 2015.

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is the debut album by American R&B singer Maxwell. It was released on April 2, 1996, by Columbia Records.

Maxwell recorded the album between 1994 and 1995 in sessions at Electric Lady Studios, RPM, Sorcerer, and Chung King Studios in New York City, and CRC Studios in Chicago. The record's music features a mellow, groove-based sound with elements of funk, jazz, smooth soul, and quiet storm. A concept album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was composed as a song cycle that focuses on an adult romance, based in part on Maxwell's personal experiences.

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was not an immediate commercial success, but it was helped by the release of its second single "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" in July 1996, and the album eventually became a million-seller. It was also a success with critics, who praised it as a departure from the mainstream, hip hop-oriented R&B of the time, while earning Maxwell several accolades and comparisons to soul singers of the past, particularly Marvin Gaye and Prince.

The success of Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite elevated Maxwell's reputation to that of a sex symbol and a notable performer in the music industry. He was credited with shaping the "neo soul" movement of musicians that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Along with D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Erykah Badu's Baduizm (1997), the album provided commercial exposure to neo soul and has since been cited by several critics as Maxwell's greatest work.

Más y Más

"Más y Más" (English: "More and More") is a single by Draco Rosa from his 2004 album Como Me Acuerdo. It was nominated as Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards. The English-language version of the song, entitled "Crash Push", was released on the album Mad Love. Rosa again produced this song as the first single for his 2013 album Vida, the first one after his 2009 "Amor Vincit Omnia" as well as his first album after his cancer diagnosis in April 2011. It was released in 2004 as a CD single, while the duet with fellow ex-Menudo bandmate, Ricky Martin, was released as a digital download on January 6, 2013. The new recording nominated for the 2013 Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year, the only song to be nominated twice in this category.

Postcards from Heaven

Postcards from Heaven is the second album released by UK duo Lighthouse Family in 1997 on Wildcard / Polydor Records. The album produced three Top 10 hits ("Raincloud", "High" and "Lost in Space") and two Top 30 hits ("Question of Faith" and "Postcard from Heaven"). It reached 6 times Platinum status.

Repercussions (band)

Repercussions, were an American R&B, soul and acid jazz group of the 1990s at Giant Step, formed by former Groove Collective members, New York native vocalist, rapper, drummer and music producer Genji Siraisi. (who is Japanese American and Russian), Russian/Jewish vocalist Itaal Shur, African-American R&B singers Nicole Willis and Mark Anthony Jones, African-American percussionist Gordon "Nappy G" Clay and Jewish American bass player Jonathan Maron The group also consisted of other underground soul and jazz musicians and performers in the New York area. The group released two albums, which only their debut did somewhat moderately well commercially. Other members include Aya, Andy Faranda, and Daniel Wyatt.

Serve the Ego

"Serve the Ego" is a song by Jewel, released on September 24, 2002, as the fourth single from her album This Way. Unlike previous singles released by Jewel, it embarked new territory for the artist and a new fan base. By the time Jewel's third LP was released she stated that she had been getting into the club scene of LA. She was fascinated and intrigued by the music being played at the clubs in LA and NYC (house music). Jewel grew fond of the new genre she discovered and decided to release "Serve the Ego" to DJs for a remixing. This decision paid off, getting Jewel a number one single on the Billboard Club and Dance Charts within the US and single sales charts.


Shur may refer to:

Shur (Bible), location in the Hebrew Bible

Shur-e Qarah Kand, a village in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Shur-e Tazeh Kand, a village in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Shur, Fars, a village in Iran

Shur, Qazvin, a village in Iran

Shur, Iranshahr, a village in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran

Shur, Tehran, a village in Iran

Shur-e Bala, a village in Iran

Shur-e Sofla, a village in Iran

Shur Qazi, a village in Iran

Itaal Shur (b. 1966), American songwriter

Michael Shur (born 1942), Soviet-born professor of solid-state electronics and physics in the United States

USS Shur (SP-782), a United States Navy patrol boat in commission from 1917 to 1919

Taurus (constellation), one of the constellations of the zodiac

Smooth (song)

"Smooth" is a collaboration between Latin rock band Santana and Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas. The song was written by Itaal Shur and Thomas, produced by Matt Serletic and sung by Thomas. It won three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Not only was it the final number-one Hot 100 hit of the 1990s, but it was also the first number-one Hot 100 hit of the 2000s. "Smooth" is the only song to appear on two decade-end Billboard charts. As of 2018, "Smooth" is ranked the second most successful song of all time by Billboard.

Ultimate Santana

Ultimate Santana is a compilation by rock band Santana, combining hits from recent albums Supernatural, Shaman and All That I Am with early classics. Amongst the 18 tracks there are three new recordings. This album was made possible when Sony Music Entertainment (parent of Columbia Records) merged with BMG (parent of Arista) to form Sony BMG (Sony later bought BMG's share, subsequently reforming SME).

On November 3, 2007 the album debuted at number eight on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 56,000 copies in its first week.

Vida (Draco Rosa album)

Vida (Life) is the twelfth studio album by Puerto Rican recording artist Draco Rosa, released on March 19, 2013 by Sony Music Latin. It consists of 16 duets of Rosa's hits featuring guest artists chosen personally by Rosa himself. This is the first album released by Draco after his non-hodgkin lymphoma cancer diagnosis near his liver on April 25, 2011. It is entitled Vida symbolizing Draco's recovery after his cancer treatment. The album won Album of the Year at the 2013 Latin Grammy Awards and won for Best Latin Pop Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.


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