In 1983, Kirk Whalum caught the attention of the pianist Bob James. And, Whalum joined his album "12" (1985). He released his debut album "Floppy Disk" with James' support. From the latter term of 1980's, Whalum began to make a name for himself as a sideman of great insight and musicianship, playing on albums by a wide variety of artists -- including Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, Al Jarreau and many others. He also toured with Whitney Houston. Her song I Will Always Love You's sax solo is Kirk's performance.