First Listen! Rochelle Fleming – Nobody’s Fool (Main Vocal Mix) (Basement Boys Records)
Nobody’s fool. And certainly not you, regulars of these shores, neither! Rochelle Fleming has most likely a name speakin’ for itself. Highly remembered as a member of First Choice, along with Joyce Jones and Annette Guest. Well, the good news is that the one who stands among the most distinctive and enduring voices during the Disco era makes a brilliant return to the forefront. This, along with Teddy Douglas of The Basement Boys fame in charge of the production. But also lyricist G-Iz Correia and Hozay Clowney (renown for his collabs with Faith Evans, Missy and Lil Wayne) on keys.
And you know what? The magnetism is nothing but the same as back in the day, when R&B was given a dancefloor feel. Nobody’s fool. And certainly not you, Disco days fans, who pretty much might get into this as well despite its House feel. Hard to not detect some subtle connections with First Choice‘s ‘Double Cross’ at times.
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To a big majority of us, Baltimore, MD would probably not be the first place comin’ to mind when speakin’ about House Music. It’s nonetheless one of the cradles of the genre. As pretty much reminded by Karizma in a (video) interview we had with him back in the day. With big ups to former graphic designer Jay Steinhour and former record store manager Teddy Douglas. Two guys who, in the second half of the 80’s, gave birth to The Basement Boys. A collective of talents that came to gather people such as Neal Conway and Kris Klayton aka Karizma. But also Maurice Fulton. Not to mention Thommy Davis and Sean Spencer (DJ Spen) who are at the command of Quantize Recordings nowadays.
The first trace of a release by the likes of The Basement Boys bring us back to 1988 and ‘Love Don’t Live Here No More’. An adaptation of Rose Royce‘s classic ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ on Jonathan Mann‘s Jump Street Records. And even though their discography as The Basement Boys isn’t that big, they most likely helped shapin’ the profiles of many local talents. From Ultra Naté (‘It’s Over Now’, ‘Scandal’) to Mass Order (‘Lift Every Voice’). But also Those Guys (‘Love, Love, Love’) and Jasper Street Co. (‘Solid Ground’) to name a few. Not to mention, although she was hailing from WDC at the time, Crystal Waters with the memorable ‘Gypsy Woman’.
Teddy Douglas adding his name to the list. Be it as a producer with gems such as ‘Love Of My Life’ for Arnold Jarvis. But also ‘God Created Woman’ for Margaret Grace and ‘Nobody’s Fool’ for Rochelle Fleming. Or as a solo artist with the explosive ‘Journey To The Motherland’ and the tribal ‘Check It Out’. In addition to ‘Only A Fool’ featuring Marcell more recently.