Hard to believe its been about 16 years since I last put a compilation together and nearly 20 years since I was asked to raid my collection to put together a selection of rare hard to find music from days gone by..
The music on this compilation is for me a very personal journey tracing back to my earliest experiences as both a DJ and collector on the jazz dance scene.
Early memories of frequenting clubs like Jaffas above The Horseshoe on Tottenham Court Road hearing Paul Murphy play these amazing records and then going to his shop pick up tracks like Johnnie Walker’s ‘Dipping’ and Jayne Cortez – I See Chano Pozo.
DJ’ing on a Monday night at The Wag in Wardour Street was really special. Working with the likes of Gilles Peterson, Sylvester, Bob Jones and Chris Bangs was a musical education.
The on going friendly DJ competitiveness to break and play recently discovered ‘old tunes’ like Reverie ‘In Every Way’, Irakere’s ‘Chekere Son’ and Olli Ahvenlahti’s dancefloor fusion classic ‘Grandma’s Rocking Chair’ was all part of the appeal.
When Gilles Peterson, Bob Jones and myself originally started the Talkin Loud Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls sessions little did we know what a major part that would play in the history of jazz dance culture. Again it became a ‘one-stop’ to hear exciting and up until then undiscovered gems from both the jazz and soul scene. Tunes like Kamal Abdul Alim’s head nodding funk ‘Brotherhood’, The Pharoah’s ‘Freedom Road’ and Roy Porter’s ‘Jessica’ all became ‘Camden anthems’ mainly because of the open-mindedness of both the DJs and the Sunday afternoon regulars as well as the hunger to hear new music.
So here is my ‘Private Collection’. I hope the music on it moves you in some way, whether you know the tracks or not, as it still does me.