Classics: Dawn Tallman – Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me (West End Records)
‘Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me’… A devastating jam which we welcomed back then as a Single Of The Week on the first version of Indamixworldwide.
Blaze in charge of the remix(es). Co-written by label CEO Mel Cheren. Was it premonitory as the latter would pass away a few months after??? ‘Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me’ stands as an obvious wink to The Paradise Garage DJ resident Larry Levan.
Such as vibrant delivery by the likes of NYC house diva Dawn Tallman reachin’ one of her absolute peaks. With ‘Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me’ becoming therefore a tribute to our Uncle Mel who, wherever he is, keeps on dancing, watching over us…
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– Born and raised in Danbury, CT, Dawn Tallman began singing in the house of God from childhood. Something one can definitely feel in her impressive repertoire. Dawn clearly belongs to the first league of singers such as Mary J Blige, Oleta Adams or Mica Paris. Her ear for harmonies and her perfect sense for the placement of backgrounds & adlibs make her a producers’ dream and an audience’s delight. Therefore, no wonder why she’s been collaborating with the producers’ who’s who since the mid 90’s.
An ambassador of Gospel, she has brouhgt her (he)art to some of the most significant projects in the history of House Music. From the memorable Voices‘ ‘Can U See The Light’ together with Michelle Weeks and the late Sabrynaah Pope. To Club Artists United‘s ‘Sweet Chariot’ along with Eddie Stockley, Jazmina, Carolyn Harding, Gerideau, Kenny Bobien and Su Su Bobien. Not to mention UDAUFL… A collective of artists which Blaze put together with the aim to raise funds to fight against AIDS back in 2003.
In 2006, she teamed up with DJ Disciple, delivering ‘Work It Out’ which became a hit. She would follow soon after with ‘Save A Place On The Dancefloor For Me’. A cut which West End CEO Mel Cheren wrote a few months before his death.
One might more recently remember her for ‘Feel The Vibe’. A track which got her back to the top of the charts back in 2015 with French producer Bob Sinclar. That same year seeing her collaborating with Wipe The Needle on ‘Release’. But also with Gianni Junior on the firing ‘Why?’ with remix courtesy of DJ Spen and Gary Hudgins. The same who remixed ‘Believe In Love’ which she also released on Quantize. Meanwhile Tyrone Francis reworked ‘Burning Up’ for her.
2016 getting her to release ‘I’m Not Afraid’ with remix courtesy of Louie Vega on Josh Milan‘s Honeycomb Music label. But also to join forces with Soulstar Syndicate on ‘Take Me’ as reworked by Sean McCabe, among others…
– Blaze saw the light during the mid 80’s when Chris Herbert introduced Josh Milan to Kevin Hedge. The release of their debut-single – ‘ Yearnin’ For Love’ back in 1985 on Ace Beat Records markin’ the opening of one of the most impressive accounts in the history of House Music. Under their own guise or in terms of remixes. A long time Black Music fan, I naturally found the substance in the Jersey Sound. With props due to Joey Negro who got me into it via his ‘The Garage Sound of Deepest New York’ compilations at the time.
From then on, it would only be a matter of time before we meet. Via the late Peter Harris at Slip’N Slide where we both happened to be signed (with me as a compiler). Via the late Mel Cheren with whom they shared an office in NYC. In Miami, during the WMC. Or at the Sunslice Festival in the early 2000’s where we both happened to be spinnin’…
The first singles I got from them bring me back to the souvenir of Abigail Adams‘s Movin’ Records label. A quick listen to Phase II‘s ‘Reachin” and LaChandra‘s ‘Just Started’ which they produced got me as a definitive follower of their sound from then. But also into what Tony Humphries was championing at the time – the Jersey Sound (also known as Garage for some reason) – at the Zanzibar. They soon after would be followed by Phase II‘s second single (‘It’s A Mystery’) and Blaze‘s own ‘Can’t Win For Loosin’. Meanwhile ‘So Special’ and the subtly Reggae influenced ‘We All Must Live Together’ highlighted their debut-album. An album titled ’25 Years Later’ which Timmy Regisford who was A&Ring for Motown back then signed on the label. Chris Herbert deciding to go his own way the year after.
It would take 7 years before the arrival of its follow up – ‘Basic Blaze’ – on Slip’N Slide. The latter featuring the classic ‘My Beat’ which Swag managed to brilliantly remix, and also ‘Wishin’ You Were Here’.
Blaze released their third opus – ‘Natural Blaze’ featuring James Tooney, Jr. – 4 years after on Japanese label Life Line. This time delivering gems such as ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and ‘Better Days’. Not to mention the Latinesque ‘Elevation’ and the abyssal ‘Lovely Ones’. They eventually shared once more the duties with James Tooney, Jr. the following year on ‘Wonderland’ (BAAS Records).
In the interval, they would also make quite a sensation with ‘Lovelee Dae’. One of their biggest classics, from their 1996 ‘Trans-Jazz’ EP on Simplex Records.
Blaze delivered ‘Spiritually Speakin” that same year (in 2002) on Slip’N Slide. An album which is mostly remembered for ‘Do You Remember House’ and ‘Breathe’ which Ashley Beedle eventually reedited on its single releease. I gotta say I never understood why the label didn’t release the outstanding ‘Sweeter Than Before’ though.
In the meantime, the twosome had started collaborating with NYC Nitegrooves label. Venturing in Afrobeat territories on ‘Seasons Of Love’. But also enlightening us with the soothing ‘Shine’ along with Palmer Brown. The early 2000’s seeing them jamming along with ‘Little’ Louie Vega on ‘Elements Of Life’. A track which would mark the start of regular collaborations between them. With ‘Brand New Day’ comin’ up in 2002. But also ‘Love Is On The Way’ and ‘Sunshine’ along with Raúl Midón. Then ‘Love Remains The Same’ with Luisito Quintero in 2007 on Vega Records. Kevin Hedge sharing the duties with Vega at their Roots NYC weekly party. And Josh Milan becoming a member of Louie‘s Elements Of Life band after Blaze decided to split in the second half of the 2000’s.
The list would be incomplete without a mention to Blaze‘s UDAUFL concept album. A project which they’d put together in order to raise finds against the AIDS. It saw them collaborating with a plethora of artists. From Ultra Naté to Byron Stingily. Not to mention Kenny Bobien or Arnold Jarvis to name but a very few. Therefore givin’ birth to gems such as ‘We Are One’, ‘Wonderful Place’ and ‘Hiya Love’ among others. This in addition to ‘Most Precious Love’, ‘Keep Hope Alive’ and ‘Be Yourself’ which Peppe Citarella brilliantly remixed in early 2018. Meanwhile, they would also venture into Bossa Jazz territories, eventually releasing ‘Found Love’ on West End.
Blaze also happened to be quite active on the remix front. Delivering outstanding reworks such as ‘People Hold On’ for Coldcut featuring Lisa Stansfield or ‘Take A Stand For Love’ for Gerideau. But also ‘Rose Rouge’ for St Germain, ‘Changin” for Linda Clifford or ‘Star Suite’ for Mondo Grosso. Not to mention ‘Love’s Been Right Here’ for Stephanie Cooke & Kenny Bobien, ‘Resurrect Me’ for Marty Thomas and ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ for Angie Stone. In addition to ‘Only You’ for DJ Jorj and Gary Pinto and ‘Can’t Get Away’ for Mood II Swing. And the list goes on with Dawn Tallman‘s ‘Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me’ to name a few.
Last but not least, let’s not forget their collab with Tee Alford, Allen Jeffrey and Cassio Ware under the Funky People guise. The latter givin’ birth to a bunch of gems including the memorable… ‘Funky People’ back in 1995.
Josh Milan runs his Honeycomb Music label nowadays along with Adam Cruz. He has recently released a solo album titled ‘6.9.69’.
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