A cool stew of jazz, hip-hop and good-time vibes…
Few music subgenres have ever burned as brightly and possessed such a thoroughgoing joie de vivre as acid jazz. A heady, percussion-fuelled brew of jazz, soul, funk and hip-hop, this oh-so-early-90s motion was the child of Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson who fathered the Acid Jazz document label in 1987, with their first launch being Frederick Lies Nonetheless by Galliano, a club-targeted transforming of Curtis Mayfield’s soul funk traditional Freddie’s Useless.
It was Peterson who landed upon the identify Acid Jazz (although it was DJ Chris Bangs who’d coined it), a phrase that fused the style’s jazz foundations with the then present acid home craze. The label had its origins in two membership nights, overseen by Piller and Peterson – Mondays at The Wag in Soho and Sundays at Camden’s Dingwalls.
The faces that got here to outline acid jazz – The Model New Heavies, The James Taylor Quartet, Jamiroquai et al – had been all a part of that achingly hip scene, swiftly signing to this most zeitgeisty of labels.
Peterson would finally stop Acid Jazz to arrange his personal label, Talkin’ Loud, taking Galliano with him and signing such acts as Incognito, Younger Disciples, Wild & Peaceable and Ace Of Golf equipment.
Acid jazz would turn into one of many dominant sounds of the UK charts within the early 90s, however its time within the solar could be short-lived. Digital dance music from the likes of Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers noticed acid jazz off in clubland and, whereas particular person artists like Jamiroquai would proceed to flourish, most of these first wavers would both cut up or discover themselves struggling to match their earliest business peaks.
Acid Jazz – the important singles
The Model New Heavies – Midnight At The Oasis
Incognito – On a regular basis
D’Affect – Midnite
Freak Energy – Flip On, Tune In, Cop Out
Diana Brown & Barry Okay Sharpe – The Masterplan
Acid Jazz – the important albums
Street To Freedom (1991)
An early signing to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label, Younger Disciples would launch only one album of their all-too-brief lifetime. They continue to be finest recognized for his or her No.13 hit Apparently Nothin’ from 1991, however there’s a lot to like on their sole long-player, together with the flute-flecked Get Your self Collectively and epic Mick Talbot co-penned Freedom Suite.
United Future Group
United Future Group (1993)
United Future Group had been fashioned in Japan in 1990 and launched this, their second album, in 1993. Heat and mellow, with traces of trip-hop, this deserved to interrupt greater than it did. Standout tracks embrace Poetry And All That Jazz, Vinyl Junkie and My Silly Dream.
Emergency On Planet Earth (1993)
‘The cat within the hat’, as Jay Kay fancily nicknamed himself, was a relative latecomer to the acid jazz ball, releasing his first album as Jamiroquai in 1993. Thirty years on, its funk-tastic grooves nonetheless have the facility to compel even the shyest onto the dancefloor. In fact it’s closely in debt to Stevie Marvel however the actuality was, even he wasn’t producing something this good within the mid-90s.
Acid Jazz – the important artists
Like their fellow retro-instrumentalists The James Taylor Quartet, Corduroy introduced the sounds of Swinging London into the 90s with a string of Blow-Up-inspired tracks that had the spirit of Carnaby Avenue coursing by way of their chords. Shaped in 1991 by twins Ben and Scott Addison with guitarist Simon Nelson-Smith and former Physician And The Medics bass man Richard Searle, the self-dubbed “cloth 4” launched their first long-player, Dad Man Cat, in 1992. Neither that album, nor its numerous follow-ups, charted extremely and Corduroy remained on fashionable tradition’s culty fringes. They launched their newest LP, Return Of The Material 4, in 2018 on, sure, Acid Jazz Data.
Not like a lot of their Acid Jazz Data labelmates, Incognito had been going lengthy earlier than Piller and Peterson’s brainwave. Shaped in 1979, the band launched their first album, Jazz Funk, in 1981, however didn’t put out one other LP till 1991’s Inside Life, from which they loved their first chart hit, a canopy of Ronnie Legal guidelines’ 1975 observe All the time There. That includes a visitor vocal by US R&B singer Jocelyn Brown, it peaked at No.6 within the UK. A yr later Incognito scored their second High 20 hit, this time with a canopy of Stevie Marvel’s Don’t You Fear ‘Bout A Factor, that includes vocals from American jazzster Maysa Leak. They’ve continued to document and tour within the years since, although, with an ever-revolving lineup – the quantity of previous members give The Fall a run for his or her cash – releasing their most up-to-date document, Tomorrow’s New Dream, in 2019 by way of Bluey Music.
The Model New Heavies
If a Mount Rushmore for acid jazz is ever constructed (c’mon, Sunak!), Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy ought to get first dibs to take the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson spots. The pair fashioned The Model New Heavies in 1985 and launched their self-titled debut (on Acid Jazz Data, natch) in 1990. Most of these early hits, together with Don’t Let It Go to Your Head, Dream Come True and By no means Cease, had been waxed with N’Dea Davenport as singer, who, regardless of leaving in 1995, has returned to the fold a number of instances since. The band are nonetheless collectively, having launched their final album, TBNH, in 2019.