Throwback Thursday: Blaze @ SOBs – August 22 & 23, 1990

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein tells us about Blaze’s 1990 shows for their debut album. What were some of your favorite Blaze tunes?

We started out the Groove Academy in June of 1990 with our main focus on shows highlighting older funk & soul artists, but the third show we did was with a new group called Blaze from New Jersey.

Representing the New Jersey underground house scene, they were heavily influenced by 70s soul, dance music, and gospel. Signed to Motown by Timmy Regisford, Blaze were pegged as the next generation of the label (in the spirit of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”).

We were really excited to work with them, especially with Blaze being a band that I was very keen on and the fact that Motown had really gotten behind them. Their tune “So Special” was a big hit in NY house music community.

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Exclusive Interview: Brand New Heavies Move ‘Forward’

 

by Jennifer Parker

Famed London acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies are set to make heads turn with their latest studio record in almost seven years, Forward, which drops tomorrow. Jan Kincaid, Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy, as well as original vocal contributor N’Dea Davenport and Dawn Joseph, a new vocalist, create a high energy funk and soul groove with a twist of disco. If anything, BNH is indefatigable – they’re constantly touring and always on the road. Check out what Jan Kincaid had to say:

On getting back in the recording game after an almost seven-year hiatus:

We were really motivated by a sense of frustration. We had been on the road for a long time and were reinventing our business, changing management, and many of us were starting families. So we were extremely productive. We have a live album but a studio record was long, long overdue. We were more than ready to go forward, but our frustration was the motivating factor. The title of the album is a reflection on moving forward into the new millennium. We’re the same band, but this album is a fresh outlook. And it’s uplifting.

On people’s different reactions to funk music:

You can see a lot of new people coming into funk, especially a lot of young people. It seems there’s a lot of interest in NY, especially in the Afrobeat scene. But it’s mainly young people interested in the music – it’s accessible, dynamic, exciting, and people can feel it. If you look at today’s pop music and alternative, funk is the antithesis of that. As much as people want to plug into the matrix and be a part of the machine, there’s a lot of people who want something more real.

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