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House - Released August 18, 1997 | Slip 'N' Slide

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Blaze's second LP, released more than seven years after their Motown debut, finds the duo of Joshua Milan and Kevin Hedge elaborating on the same garage and deep house concepts of their first, though with more maturity and the production techniques learned from remixing Babyface and Donald D during the early '90s. © John Bush /TiVo
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House - Released March 16, 2001 | Slip 'N' Slide

Billed somewhat misleadingly as "Blaze Presents the James Toney Jr. Project," Natural Blaze isn't the result of Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge hooking up with yet another new talent; instead, the billing pays tribute to a dear music-loving friend of the duo who passed away prior to the album's release. Due to the sparse credits on the sleeve, one can only infer that the album is primarily -- or strictly -- the work of Milan and Hedge. Only the most devoted Blaze freak could have predicted that this full-length would have so many elements to it. Natural Blaze, more than any other Blaze work, exemplifies the duo's well-studied mastery of several styles. With the house foundation a given, Milan and Hedge seamlessly integrate disco, jazz, gospel, samba, soul, and Afro-beat into their bold, crisp productions. Their syntheses are as natural as one can imagine. Breezy instrumentals and a trio of spoken-word pieces dot the album, full of horn punches, piano tickles, keyboard warps, guitar spangles, and Latin percussion. Two vocal tracks, "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Better Days," rate with the very best the duo has produced. The former is particularly heavenly, with a brisk tempo played out by some ultra-tight programming and some very sweet vocal arrangements. As with most other Blaze releases, listeners will either feel uplifted and purified or bored to tears. Blaze is always very respectful to its influences -- Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke, the jazzier end of Loft classics -- and, as modern as they sound, have trouble relating to the younger dance music fans who aren't all that open-minded. Regardless of opinion, it is an undeniable fact that Blaze has the market cornered on accomplished, immaculately crafted house music with a positive edge. Natural Blaze is further evidence of that. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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House - Released June 1, 1990 | Slip 'N' Slide

The New Jersey trio's '90 debut album for Maze. Blaze's roster featured vocalist Chris Herbert, keyboardist Josh Milan, and drummer Kevin Hedge, who came together in the '80s doing a good blend of gospel-tinged soul and East Coast dance. They got some attention from the single "So Special," and also the cuts "Get Up" and "Lover Man." They never really hit it big, but did have potential. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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House - Released July 20, 2018 | 4 To The Floor Records

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House - Released September 9, 2002 | Slip 'N' Slide

Just a year after churning out Natural Blaze, the veteran practitioners of dance music known as Blaze returned on Slip 'n' Slide with Spiritually Speaking, a sprawling 74-minute album that shows Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan in fine form as always. At this point, there's just as much sense in referring to the pair as a soul group as there is in referring to them as a house group. Their incorporation of just about every stripe of black music -- with an admiration for all things '70s -- is so present that classifying them without referring to the New Jersey scene that birthed them has become a difficult thing to do. "One World," despite having no direct ties to the dancefloor, honestly ranks right up there with the most sublime of Blaze's '70s soul inspirations, while other moments (including the back-to-back-to-back triple whammy of "Sweeter Than the Day Before," "Where You Are," and "I Think of You") are practically drunk with blissfully romantic sentiments and brilliant arrangements. The two things that take away from this album are its length (between all the interludes, outerludes, and extended grooves, there's simply too much to digest here) and the fact that Hedge and Milan could benefit from taking some risks. Clearly, innovation has played a shrinking role as they've soldiered on, with consistency playing an increasingly greater role; it's frustrating to have artists of this level continue to refine an already refined sound when they could be opening things up a little. Take "Do You Remember House," a mid-'80s throwback production with nostalgic lyrics -- if you wanted to be taken back into house's glory days, you'd just put on a classic, right? Gripes aside, Spiritually Speaking has plenty of joy-inducing and practically life-affirming moments to recommend it. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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House - Released August 23, 2004 | Papa Records

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House - Released December 12, 2007 | Blaze Imprints

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House - Released September 9, 2002 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released March 2, 2001 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released June 7, 1996 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released April 6, 1990 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released April 3, 1987 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released January 8, 2021 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released August 4, 2000 | Slip 'N' Slide

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House - Released October 21, 2019 | FunkHut Records

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Reggae - Released April 29, 2014 | BKO Music

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House - Released September 2, 2005 | Slip 'N' Slide

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Reggae - Released May 29, 2020 | Blaze

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 17, 2019 | Blaze

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House - Released July 12, 2019 | Slip 'N' Slide