The Acid Jazz label was formed in 1989. I was only 14 at the time, so not really into music then – well I did have Whitney Houston’s first album at that point, lol 🙂 I’m concerned here with some favourites in the Acid Jazz genre, with a playlist at the end.
But this is a sub genre of Jazz formed at the time the Acid House scene of the late 80s and early 90s came about. I don’t think you can compartmentalise Acid Jazz, except to stamp it as up-tempo jazz based on traditional jazz, funk and hip-hop themes, with all sorts of other styles in the mix.
Galliano was the first label signed to the Acid Jazz talkin loud label. It’s sad this group only had an 8-9 year run in the 1990’s with a few big albums to their name; ‘In Pursuit of The 13th Note’, this websites namesake, and ‘The Plot Thickens’ in 1994. Blur and Oasis might have been going to war at the time, but the dynamic trendy sound of Acid Jazz seemed to cut through the monotone Britpop of the era.
This group did have everything with the jazzey funk rap sound of the first album to the more rock acoustic folk feel of The Plot Thickens. Musically the tracks are all tremendous and it’s just one of those albums, as Audiophiles, that we can be thank the CD for bringing.
Then what of Corduroy? Think upbeat jazz tinged with a sixties television / cinematic feel with lots of harmony, from fast jazz numbers to more introspective tracks. You feel it would fit into a period Peter Sellers film. Corduroy have an element of ‘retro cheesiness’ in their appeal. But aside any criticism, these are just great tunes, well written, and by great song writers with loads of instrumentation.
Mother Earth Were another group of the time that infused blues, jazz and funk like with tracks like Stardust Bubblegum and Time of the future. A bit more traditional in their approach if not as quirky as Corduroy.
You had groups like The James Taylor Quartet and The Brand New Heavies who formed the more commercial and early names associated with Acid Jazz, some of my favourites too.
Of recent you have artists like Matt Berry who has done some great work for the label with the likes of the Music for Insomniacs album, admittedly more experimental than traditional Acid Jazz. But his Television Themes album has the Acid Jazz vive but in a fun way – blankety blank!
Lots of artists feature again and again because these are my favourite groups in this genre, so they get plenty of ‘airtime’. If you missed out on Acid Jazz, this is a great place to start and by the way this playlist doesn’t let up in its attack of this genre!
For Tidal click here. I’ll get the Spotify and Qobuz links up soon.