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R&B/Soul - Released July 19, 2019 | Strut

It was an inspired decision to shine a light on the endearing but often neglected star of late 70s/early 80s smooth jazz and soul music that is Patrice Rushen. She released her debut jazz album at just 20 years old, before quickly transitioning to a funkier disco sound. Beginning to fall into oblivion, it was the continuous sampling of her songs from rappers like Mobb Deep, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Slum Village, Mary J. Blige, Organized Konfusion and most notably Will Smith (who sampled Forget Me Nots for the Men In Black soundtrack) that breathed new life into her career.A gifted pianist and an expert composer, Rushen signed to the Prestige label at a very young age in 1974, before later joining Asylum/Elektra four years later. It is this period (1974 – 1984) that has been compiled here by the British label. “The idea was to create music that was good for commercial radio/R&B,” the Californian explains. “We were all making sophisticated dance music, essentially”. The album is full of top-tier funky soul, played by the some of the biggest and best names working in music today. “L.A. musicians were not so locked into tradition. None of us were accustomed to limitation and the record label left us to take our own direction”. Remind Me (The Classic Elektra Recordings 1978-1984) is a perfect collection of beautiful ballads (Settle For My Love), dancefloor anthems (Never Gonna Give You Up), groovy tunes with heavy basslines (Music Of The Earth, Let’s Sing A Song Of Love) and disco (Haven’t You Heard). Enough to remind you that this legend of soul and disco is deserving of an artistic renaissance. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

CD$8.99

R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

When Patrice Rushen was being lambasted by jazz snobs for making the switch from jazz instrumentalist to R&B/pop singer, she was also winning over quite a few people. R&B fans didn't care if she was no longer playing long, improvised piano solos with Joe Henderson or Hubert Laws; they loved her singing, and couldn't have cared less what jazz snobs thought of her new direction. Rushen's profile in the R&B world continued to increase with Pizzazz, her second album for Elektra and fifth overall. The song that did the most to make this LP a success was "Haven't You Heard?," a gem of a single that soared to the top of R&B radio play lists and was among Rushen's biggest hits. Many listeners bought Pizzazz because of "Haven't You Heard?," and they quickly discovered that the rest of the album was also excellent. Drawing on such influences as Earth, Wind & Fire, Minnie Riperton, Stevie Wonder, and the Emotions, Rushen has no problem holding an R&B lover's attention with treasures that include the funky opener "Let the Music Take Me," the soulful ballad "Settle for My Love," and the perky "Keepin' Faith in Love." Pizzazz might have received tongue-lashings from jazz critics, but from an R&B/pop perspective, it's among Rushen's most rewarding and essential albums. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

After recording three jazz-oriented albums for Prestige, Patrice Rushen switched to Elektra and gave herself a major R&B/pop makeover with Patrice. Even the funkiest parts of Shout It Out, the last of Rushen's three Prestige/Fantasy albums, couldn't have prepared listeners for this LP, which finds her taking the commercial plunge and successfully making the transition from jazz instrumentalist to R&B/pop vocalist. As expected, jazz's hardcore audience cried foul: Like Roy Ayers, George Duke, George Benson, and other jazz instrumentalists who took up R&B singing, Rushen was called a sellout and vilified in the jazz media. Patrice was trashed by jazz critics. Instead of hating this album because it isn't jazz, however, they should have judged it by R&B/pop standards. When those standards are applied, it becomes obvious that Patrice is, in fact, a rewarding R&B/pop effort. Patrice demonstrated that she could be an expressive, charming singer, and her writing or co-writing is solid on cuts that range from the funky "Hang It Up" and the lovely ballad "Didn't You Know?" to the socio-political "Changes (In Your Life)." With Patrice, the Los Angeles native made it clear that she was as appealing as an R&B/pop singer as she had been as a jazz pianist/keyboardist. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

It seems a paradox to peg the singular transcendental moment of Patrice Rushen's very contemporary Signature as the one tune where acoustic jazz sensibilities take over. But without the kick starting impact of "L'Esprit De Joie," a perfectly titled free for all featuring Gerald Albright's roaring alto and real ivories instead of keyboards, this would be simply another typical -- albeit well performed -- slickly produced radio ready affair. The first three original tracks blow by mid-tempo and cool, but offer little rhythmically to distinguish one from the other. Based on "L'Esprit..," however, one could almost make a case for abolishing electronics on this project altogether, but Rushen's lively runs on the final few tracks also eclipse the laid back, humdrum qualities of the early parts of the disc. Sort of like bland wine and cheese -- given no further pep by a by the numbers take on Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" -- before a spicy main course. Once she taps into her traditional roots, she seems comfortable applying those deeper chops to more modern grooves. The getting there takes far too long. ~ Jonathan Widran
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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

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R&B/Soul - Released December 6, 2017 | Strut

Patrice Rushen entered the 1980s on a high note with Posh, her third album for Elektra and sixth album overall. By that time, it seemed unlikely that Rushen would become a full-time jazz instrumentalist again -- she was enjoying too much success as an R&B/pop singer. And sure enough, it wasn't until 1997's Signature on Discovery that she recorded another instrumental album under her own name. When Posh came out in 1980, jazz's loss appeared to be R&B's gain. If you were a jazz lover, it was frustrating to see Rushen -- a talented improviser with a healthy appreciation of Herbie Hancock -- neglecting jazz. But if you loved sleek, sophisticated R&B/pop, you couldn't help but savor Posh and get into such offerings as the exuberant, Emotions-influenced "Look Up!," the vulnerable, slightly Stevie Wonder-ish "I Need Your Love," and the infectious "The Funk Won't Let You Down." Meanwhile, "Time Will Tell" has a bit of a rock edge and may very well be the most rock-influenced tune Rushen has ever recorded. Posh is enthusiastically recommended to anyone with a taste for late 1970s and early 1980s R&B. ~ Alex Henderson