Sonny Rollins says: “All American music comes from jazz.”

Is that hyperbole?

Don’t be so fast to assume that.

Remember the dance music of the late 70s and 80s?

Some love it. some are snobs about it, but the reality is billions of people danced, and continue to dance, to it. It’s now recognized as classic.

Where did it come from?

It’s hard to come to any other conclusion: To a surprisingly large degree it came from the mind and ears of jazz guitarist/songwriter/arranger/producer Nile Rodger.

NOTE: Jim Eigo told me Cecil Taylor used to come to his record store to buy disco albums. Now I know understand why. You can listen this and other amazing tales from the jazz record store business here

A VERY short list of Rodger’s hits (just the tip of the iceberg.)

1. Chic – ‘Good Times’ (1979)
2. Chic – ‘Le Freak’ (1978)
3. David Bowie – ‘Let’s Dance’ (1983)
4. Diana Ross – ‘I’m Coming Out’ (1980)
5. Sister Sledge – ‘Lost in Music’ (1979)
6. Daft Punk – ‘Get Lucky’ (2013)
7. Duran Duran – ‘The Reflex’ (1984)
8. Madonna – ‘Like a Virgin’ (1984)
9. Chic – ‘I Want Your Love’ (1979)
10. B-52’s – ‘Roam’ (1989)
11. Sister Sledge – ‘We Are Family’ (1979)
12. Daft Punk – ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ (2013)
13. Diana Ross – ‘Upside Down’ (1980)
14. Sister Sledge – ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’ (1979)
15. Duran Duran – ‘Notorious’ (1986)
16. INXS – ‘Original Sin’ (1983)
17. Madonna – ‘Material Girl’ (1985)
18. Duran Duran – ‘The Wild Boys’ (1984)
19. Chic – ‘Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)’ (1977)
20. Grace Jones – ‘I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You)’ (1986)
21. Carly Simon – ‘Why?’ (1982)
22. Chic – ‘Everybody Dance’ (1977)
23. Disclosure – ‘Together’ (2013)
24. Laurie Anderson – ‘Language is a Virus’ (1986)
25. Fonzi Thornton – ‘I’ll Change My Game’ (1980)

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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The Eddie Durham Festival Returns On October 15, 2022
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