Tue. Dec. 12, 2017

10 essential Summer jams / Cast your fav!

10 essential Summer jams10 essential Summer jams… So, here we are. On our way (once again) to enjoy the delights of the hottest season of the year. Hard to not think of the countless pictures/flavors that come with it. From the blue of the Ocean and the sweetness of the sand to the chillin’ sunsets. From the languorous strolls with the beloved one to some hot party time with pals. And that specific feeling as if the clock had slowed down to let us take our time for at least a while…

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of jams celebrating the holiday season.

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome…

10 essential Summer jams / Sunday Brunch – Midsummer Night (Svek)
Unlike what its title suggests this atmospheric aural delight doesn’t highlight what would be like the middle of the Summer. But, contrary, comes as a celebration of the longest daytime period of the year. In other words, as the opener to the reputedly holiday season. Therefore finding place at the Summer solstice the date of which varying between June 21 and June 24 from a year to another. This festivity, which finds some echo in certain parts of Germany, is more of a Scandinavian thing as a matter of fact. With future married eventually jumpin’ over a firework to make a wish.
10 essential Summer jams / DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime (Jive)
Hard to not think of this cool gem as a turning point, if not a release. Here as well, inviting us to enjoy the delights of the supposedly warmest days of the year. If the commplicity between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith (The Fresh Prince) happened to be for much in the success of ‘Bad Boys’ on the screens, the exact same could be said about the association between the latter and DJ Jazzy Jeff musicwise. Both of them perfectly recapturing the hedonistic feeling comin’ along with the Summer. Cleverly borrowing a sample from Kool & The Gang‘s classic ‘Summer Madness’.
10 essential Summer jams / Jill Scott – Spring Summer Feeling (Ron Trent Mix) (white label)
Neo-Soul songstress Jill Scott came up with the sultry ‘Spring Summer Feeling’ back in 2004. A languorous ballad from her ‘Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2’ album. Chicago studio wizard Ron Trent would soon after get it to another dimension. Turnin’ it into a fascinating uptempo while bringin’ it that syncopation which stands as a part of his trademark. Therefore crafting up the perfect contrast to enhance the overall feeling of Scott‘s performance…
10 essential Summer jams / The McCrarys – Love On A Summer Night (Capitol)
Although they released a total of 6 albums between 1972 and 1982, L.A. family-band The McCrarys most likely stand as a one hit wonder. They would ironically score their only success before disbanding. Droppin’ ‘Love On A Summer Night’ as a part of their ‘All Night Music’ with production work by the likes of Wayne Henderson. A sweet and sophisticated gem among the most sought after on the second hand market. Therefore due to be getting a mention in our Most Wanted section. And most likely in a forthcoming episode of our 10 essential Disco Jazz cuts series…
10 essential Summer jams / Baiser – Summer Breeze (Celsius)
A quick look back at history and you would realize how the Canadian scene had so much on offer back in the Disco days. With the first names coming to mind being Gino Soccio and Lime. Not to mention France Joli or Claudja Barry to name but a very few, in an enviroment that gave birth to countless transient projects. From Boule Noire (‘Aimer d’amour’) to Metropole (‘Miss Manhattan’) among others. Baiser (which means Kiss) adding their name to the list with the Boogie Jazzy ‘Summer Breeze’. With thanks to the awesome vocal arrangements and stellar production by the likes of François L’Herbier.
10 essential Summer jams / Kool & The Gang – Summer Madness
Just like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Commodores, Kool & The Gang had 2 lives. They most likely opened their account in the early 70’s in a blend of Jazz and Funk vibes. Eventually exploring lascivious ambient territories on the influential ‘Summer Madness’. A cut which, just like Manuel Göttsching‘s ‘E2 E4’ stands as a chill out / Ambient manifesto. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince eventually borrowing parts of it on the memorable ‘Summer Time’. But also Ray Hayden obviously getting some inspiration from it on Opaz featuring Maysa Leak‘s ‘When We’re Makin’ Love’…
10 essential Summer jams / R. Kelly – Summer Bunnies (Jive)
“Summer bunnies drive me crazy…” R&B/New jack Swing crooner R. Kelly going straight to the point with the sexy in yer face ‘Summer Bunnies’. Bringin’ us to the image of the inevitable bimbos brought to our screens on films or series shot on location at Miami Beach. Blending Hip-Hop parts along with his voice singin’ style itself reminding of Aaron Hall if not Charlie Wilson. The whole, no surprsingly over a bassline which he got from the Gap Band‘s classic ‘Outstanding’.
10 essential Summer jams / Narada Michael Walden – Summer Lady (Atlantic)
Singer / drummer Narada Michael Walden delivering the cheeky ‘Summer Lady’ back in 1982. Somehow standing as an unlikely soundtrack to the Miami Spring Break. An infectious horn led funk gem which might pretty well have deserved a mention in our 10 essential sexy jams. With backing singer Martha Rubinson spicin’ up the whole with French horny lyrics. “Je m’appelle Monique. Veux-tu faire le freak?”
10 essential Summer jams / Love Club – Hot Summer Nights (West End)
I suppose it won’t be an offense to Jay ‘Mixin’ Dixon statin’ he most likely made his name as a radio jock. Havin’ a long history at NYC’s Kiss FM where he played deep House and Garage on the station’s legendary mastermix show in the early 90’s. He nevertheless made a quick foray into producing. Delivering the infectious ‘Hot Summer Nights’ for West End Records back in 1983. Hard to understand how and why it most likely remained like an under the radar gem. This despite its slick, synth heavy, infectious futuristic sounding. Not to mention the presence of an uncredited female vocalist comin’ up with sultry vocals. With Dixon eventually adding a rapped verse towards the end of the track.
10 essential Summer jams / J.T. Taylor – Long Summer Nights (MCA)
J.T. Taylor, who established himself as the voice of Kool & The Gang by the end of the 70’s, eventually escaped from the band at times. Opening his 1991 ‘Feel The Need’ album, ‘Long Summer Nights’ shows once again the delicacy of the singer on his appraoches. Turning it into like another evidence. With Gary Barnacle‘s flute part appearing as the icing on the cake. And co-production work by the likes of Simon ‘The Funky Ginger’ Law. A man whom you might also remember for his collaborationns with Bay Area songstress Chanté Moore

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