Single Of The Week: EmKayBe feat. Ann Nesby – Jam (Original) (Quantize Recordings)
Damn it! This boiling ‘Jam’ gave me some headache before finding why it sounded somehow familiar. C’mon though! My search box is just the one of a human. This makin’ it kinda hard at times to instantly find the key word. And even more when when the file (the possible influence) in lost somewhere in my memory. But hooray, I finally managed to get it back to mind after quite some time. Finding a subtle parental link with Herman Kelly & Life‘s ultra sought after ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ which saw the light back in 1978. And, in the meantime, where up & comin’ B’Klyn-based producer EmKayBe (MKB) is comin’ from.
The connection isn’t only musical as a matter of fact. But also in terms of vein. With both of these cuts bringin’ us to an undeniable uplifting mood. With thanks to former Sounds Of Blackness lead singer Ann Nesby‘s performance adding much to it.
The leading track to his ‘Heat’ EP released back in mid-December, ‘Jam’ should pretty much feed the appetite of Soulful House fans. As the one of those familiar with the early 80’s R&B Dance vibes as a matter of fact. Comin’ up now with extra mixes courtesy of Reelsoul on his own as along with label head DJ Spen…
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A Chicago, IL native, Ann Nesby has pretty much gotten herself into the First League. The one of divas such as Martha Wash, Jocelyn Brown or Patti LaBelle for instance.
She began makin’ some noise with girl group The Sensations. But her religious father would put an abrupt end to this 14 years old secular experience. Ann makin’ her first real industry break aged 32, therefore proving unstoppable from then.
It all (re)started from a Nashville songwriters’ contest which led her to the role that would propel her to fame. A lead singing role along with Gary Hines for Sounds Of Blackness. Itself finding its origins in the Russel Knighton formed group The Macalester College Black Chores back in 1969 at St. Paul, Minnesota’s Macalester College.
A vocal and instrumental ensemble whose work bridged gospel, R&B, dance, and jazz, SOB remained more of a local combo during their 15 first years of existence. They would come to higher recognition though when establishing a fruitful partnership with Minneapolis-based production pair Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis by the end of the 80’s. The latter engendering a string of classics. From ‘Optimistic’ to ‘Testify’ and ‘The Pressure’ which Frankie Knuckles brilliantly reworked. But also ‘Joy’ and ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’. This in addition to ‘I Believe’ and ‘I’m Going All The Way’.
Nesby made her solo debut back in 1996 with ‘I’m Here For You’. Adding extra goodies to her repertoire such as the boiling hot ‘Can I Get A Witness’. If not the soothing ‘This Weekend’ and its classy title cut, in a vein somehow reminding of Anita Baker. Then firing things up the year after with ‘Hold On’ delivered with remixes courtesy of Mousse T and Blaze.
She then jumped on Disco/House vibes with her cover version of Brainstorm‘s ‘Lovin’ Is Really My Game’, teamin’ up with producers Brian Alexander Morgan and Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley. Then on some more in yer face House tip with the hypnotic ‘Love Is What You Need’ which Mousse T also happened to remix. Eventually joinin’ Jasper Street Co. 2 years after on ‘Praisin’ His Name’…
Then how not to think of her electrifying performance with The Basement Boys in charge of the production on ‘Shelter’? Meanwhile she would join forces with Kenny Bobien on the Louie Vega produced ‘Spread Love’ back in 2004. Then, more recently with Zepherin Saint on her cover version of ‘Optimistic’. And DJ Spen on ‘I Feel’. Her latest delivery for Quantize Recordings seeing her partnering with upcoming producer EmKayBe on the uplifting ‘Jam’.
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