Throwback Thursday: ‘New Music Nights’ in NYC – July 21-23, 1993

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein tells us about the three New Music Nights we hosted for New Music Seminar from July 21 to July 23 in 1993. Be sure to catch music from some of the great artists we presented after the jump! And as always, feel free to share with us your favorite memories from these nights and of these artists!

The first night of the New Music Seminar we presented under our Groove Academy name. We held it at the New Music Café, which later came to be known as the Canal Room.

Weldon Irvine was on the bill. He was a very well respected funk and soul artist from the 60s and 70s, was Nina Simone’s musical director in the 1960s, and co-wrote “Young, Gifted, & Black.” He also put out a number of very influential albums in the 1970s on RCA, which were heavily sampled and were very, very rare.

I met him when he came to the Giant Step club in 1991 at the Village Gate and introduced himself to me; I was totally blown away – I didn’t even know he was still alive! At that point, he’d been putting out music under the name Master Wel with his own band. Also important to note is that he trained a lot of the great funk and soul musicians who came out of Jamaica, Queens in the 1970s, like Marcus Miller, Don Blackman. In fact, Don Blackman was in his band.

Read the rest after the jump

Throwback Thursday: New Music Seminar Showcase @ Sweet Jane – June 17-20, 1992

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes us back to the 1992 New Music Seminar series of events we held at Sweet Jane, which culminated in a huge night with Atlanta band Arrested Development.

For a period of time in the summer of 1992, Giant Step weekly relocated to a venue called Sweet Jane that is today the Jane Hotel (legend has it that that was where survivors of Titantic where brought after the fatal accident). There was a large room, which was a like an old ballroom where somebody ran a club – I don’t remember his name, but he was a shady guy at the best of times. Actually, I think his name was Guy (maybe some of the old timers can jog my memory).

Every summer in New York there used to be something called the New Music Seminar, and that year we put together four nights of Groove Academy and Giant Step shows. This was our second year putting on events during New Music Seminar – the first year we had held our events at the Village Gate and will feature that one soon in this series.

It was a pretty big undertaking putting together four nights of music. The first night we had ED O.G and da Bulldogs, a live hip-hop band called SSL, which stood for Smoking Suckers With Logic, a band called Lovehead who were a local band, and Pal Joey, the DJ who produced the track “Hot Music.”

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Throwback Thursday: Jamiroquai US Debut Show @ Supper Club – Nov 4, 1993

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes it back to Jamiroquai’s US debut! We know you’ve got some Jamiroquai memories – serve ‘em up!

This was Jamiroquai’s US debut. We first became familiar with them in the very early 90s when they released the “Too Young To Die” single on Acid Jazz. Very quickly, they were signed to a major deal on Sony in the UK. This was first artist we worked with from the “acid jazz” scene that really garnered major label interest. You had the Brand New Heavies before that, but this was huge – it was a massive, massive deal.

The album came out in the UK; it was a double album called Emergency On Planet Earth and it went straight to number one – #1 in Europe, #1 in Japan – massive. Keep in mind that before this all happened, the type of music we were all promoting was underground and not mainstream at all – but this was total mainstream.

With that said, it was then time for Jamiroquai to come to the US. Leading up to the show, the band came out to the states a few times to do bits of promo, and each time they’d come to the club and hang out with us; we got to get to know the guys pretty well.

Read the rest after the jump

Throwback Thursday: Groove Collective Debut Album Release Party @ AKA – March 25, 1994

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein shares a funny story about the Groove Collective debut album release party in 1994. Chime in with your memories from the evening!

Groove Collective’s debut album came out on Reprise, which was part of Warner Brothers Records – we had the record release party planned for that same spring. The event was to be held at AKA where the band kept their Friday night weekly residency.

Funny enough, the show never actually happened; the fire marshal shut it down because we had so many people trying to get in. We were over capacity inside the venue and there were still hundreds of people waiting outside. It still ended up being a great way to celebrate the album coming out, though – having a crowd so big that it all got shut down.

Throwback Thursday: Groove Collective Live Recording Session @ Clinton Recording Studios – June 25, 1993

 

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For today’s Throwback Thursday Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein shares his memories on Groove Collective’s 1993 live recording event for their debut album. What do folks remember about these early Giant Step staples? Let us know!

Groove Collective was a band who grew out of the crew of musicians who jammed with our DJs at the Giant Step club. From there, we started managing the band and between the weekly club and their shows created a huge buzz and eventually got them signed to Reprise Records.

When it came time to put together the album, the idea was to capture the essence of Groove Collective’s live show experience since that’s what they were all about. We actually used to do shows with them every Friday at Sybarite on Wooster Street, and then moved the shows over to AKA on Houston Street where they continued the residency.

The album was recorded in three parts; we first did a live recording at the Giant Step club at Metropolis Café where the full band played with DJs Jazzy Nice and Smash and a mobile recording truck parked outside. The next day we held a live recording session at Clinton Recording Studios where we invited an audience of friends to help create the live show atmosphere. Finally, we mixed everything down, tracked it all and added overdubs at River Sound, the studio owned by Donald Fagan and Gary Katz of Steely Dan fame.

Gary Katz was instrumental in getting us signed to Reprise and produced the album, too. And Elliot Scheiner, who worked with Steely Dan and Eagles amongst other artists, mixed the album. They both did a great job of capturing the experience of a Groove Collective and Giant Step party while translating it into an album, too.