Lost but not least! Shazz – Back In Manhattan (12″ Old School Mix) (F-Communications)
Back in Manhattan… Ilustration of nostalgia which those who’ve happened to get there may feel at times? Or just a dream that needs to be fulfilled? Unless the expression of a fantasy??? As many things one can catch depending on the mood we’re in when listening to this vibrant composition.
Responsible for this, Didier Delesalle, aka Shazz, who, along with St Germain, signed on Fnac Music Dance Division back in 1992. Thus eventually standing among the ones who, so to say, opened the ball for what was to be known as the French Touch by the end of the 90’s. Meanwhile its deep and soulful side along with Playin’ 4 The City, Next Evidence and Franck Roger among others.
A pioneering cut in the genre, the vibrant and timeless ‘Back In Manhattan’. Itself led by transient singer Derek Bays with whom he’d worked with as well on ‘Muse Q The Music’…
A native of Dunkerque, next to the Belgian boarder, Didier Delesalle stands among the very first French artists who came to sign on the then newly formed Fnac Music Dance Division. There, he would appear as Shazz which is a so to say contraction of “Soulful House and Jazz”. But also as Aurora Borealis, thus exploring Trance vibes. When not sharing the bill as well with St Germain on a couple of tracks under the LN’S account. Then, when the label changed its name into F-Communications, he pretty much joined the new structure back in 1994.
Shazz had three release with Fnac Music Dance Division between 1992 and 1994. In other words, ‘Shazz EP’, ‘Moonflower’, ‘Lost Illusions’). And he managed to do the same with F-Com between 1994 and 1996. Thus givin’ birth to a Deep House manifesto by the likes of ‘Back In Manhattan’ along with singer Derek Bays.
Switching to Columbia, he delivered another goodie by the likes of ‘Innerside’ featuring Ken Norris. A cut which eventually received the remixing treatment courtesy of Blaze. This before releasing ‘El Camino’ with additional remixes courtesy by the likes Kevin Yost and DJ Gregory. Then comin’ up with his eponymous debut-album in 1998. With ‘Carry On’ following the year after. Itself featuring Charmaine King on vocals and Matthias Heilbronn in charge of the remix duties. This in addition to ‘Pray’ as remixed by Bob Sinclar.
‘In The Light’, his second album, saw him switching to Epic in 2001. Itself featuring another smoothie by the likes of ‘Hermosa Maria’. Then, the year after, ‘In The Night’ happened to be more of a remix album. This with contributions from luminaries such as Joe Claussell, Osunlade and Matthias Heilbronn. Meanwhile his third album – ‘Beautiful’ – which marked his arrival on ULM in 2004, was more of a song-based collection. Featuring extra gems such as ‘On & On’ featuring Nancy Danino. But also ‘You Come And Go’ (itself in a Poppier vein) with Deborah Parker. Meanwhile, 2005 saw him exploring new territories along with countertenor Gérard Lesne. Himself the founder and artistic director of the baroque music ensemble, Il Seminario Musicale. Not to mention Electro-Pop arranger Dominique Massa. The threesome joinin’ forces in an album titled ‘Human?’ on Naïve Music.
Shazz‘s last album to date, ‘Heritage’, saw the light back in 2008 on Wagram Music. This with Michael Robinson in charge of the remixing duties. And from then, Shazz‘s contributions became more sporadic, with a single here and then. His classic ‘Back In Manhattan’ eventually resurfacing digitally back in July 2018 with remixes courtesy of Bülent Gürler aka Butch (Electronic Griot).