To many, John L. Nelson is best known as the father of Prince, yet he was a jazz performer and a prolific composer in his own right. Today, a recording of his jazz compositions has been released within his Don’t Play with Love EP, produced by his daughter Sharon L. Nelson.

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The project captures not only the feel of a golden era in Jazz, but also the subtle melodies that characterize John L. Nelson’s style. Each song is woven through a decidedly modern tapestry of jazz styles, primarily served in a quintet formation.

Shelved for a time due to his frequent collaborations with Prince, the sheet music re-appeared in a rather fortuitous way and destiny was fulfilled. Now, Sharon is insuring that her father begins to receive the attention and acclaim he and his music rightfully deserve.


For years, John L. Nelson intended to collaborate on the release with his eldest daughter. After the passing of her father, and then the untimely passing of her brother, she decided it was time to complete the recording. Sublime in its presentation, with classic melodies the writer mastered, Don’t Play With Love brings a rich past to the present day.

“Our dad was a loving, caring, hardworking father and a prolific jazz musician most notably known as the father of the musical genius, our brother Prince. Our dad wrote and composed many songs, but they were never recorded until now,” said Sharon. “He was Prince’s musical inspiration, and this project is very special because it was recorded in Paisley Park.”

Calling on John’s nephew, Louis Hayes, Sharon assembled the band at Paisley Park and the tracks were recorded live, in one take with little editing.

As producer, Sharon has properly carried forward the intent and legacy of John L. Nelson and his compositions. Her choice of musicians, setting and method deliver a piece of work that lives as a dynamic historical document and a fitting tribute to a man who left a legacy of both music and family.

Don’t Play With Love consists of Producer Sharon L. Nelson, co-producer Charles F. Spicer Jr., plus musicians led by legendary jazz drummer Louis Hayes (nephew of John L. Nelson), pianist/arranger Rick Germanson, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and bassist Dezron Douglas. The NorthStar Group’s Chairman and prominent attorney L. Londell McMillan serves as the Executive Producer.

“Our personalities are a lot alike but his music is like nothing I’ve ever heard before. It’s more complex. A lot of beautiful melodies are hidden beneath the complexity.” – Prince on the music of his father, John L. Nelson

Don’t Play with Love is available on iTunes, Apple Music and everywhere digital music is sold and at local record stores worldwide.