Classic Album Of The Day:
Patrice Rushen "Straight From The Heart"
Patrice Rushen is a marvel. She's a musical Avenger. Her schooling in music started at the age of 3 when her mom enrolled her in a music program at USC. She began her career as a straight up jazz pianist playing with jazz heavy weight Joe Henderson, and on from there playing with many others - eventually working her way to her own record deal. Like many of her jazz compatriots of the 70's she began to release exquisite jazz inflected R&B pop albums. And like her compatriots she was criticized harshly for doing so, but here's the thing, people, she created a pitch perfect, funky pop groove that slid comfortably into the jams of the day, and then she did the smartest thing. She drilled deep, ya'll. She'd found her gold mine and she driiled deep. She inventoried her strengths, she gathered her people, and she built the damn House Of Patrice. And it was a good damn place. It was filled with amazing players, solid memorable grooves, a funky ass rhythm section, stellar horn charts, smart nods to both the legacy of jazz tradition and the musical evolution that was taking place around her. She never over-reached, but she kept her foot on the gas, and it was a perfect road map. I consider her one of the smartest of musicians because she never released a bullshit album. They may not have been transcendent masterpiece's but they were masterpiece's of consistency and drive. Fans were never disappointed by her and her biggest records live on to this day both in their original form and as samples that were the basis of new classic hits for Will Smith, Faith Evans, Biggie. Junior Mafia and others. This is her most successful release featuring her monster career defining smash "Forget Me Not" and more classic Rushen work. My favorite story about her though is the fact that when 17 year old Prince was recording his debut somehow the keyboards he needed for the sessions never arrived. Rushen, recording in the same studio, loaned Prince all her keyboards so the budding genius could make his record. That's called class. Anybody remember "Class" ? #BBSCAOTD