Dave Lee aka Joey Negro aka Jakatta ak... oh you get the idea returns with the second...
Jack Smith 2004
Under his Joey Negro guise, veteran dance producer Dave Lee has regrouped his über-talented team for the second instalment from the hybrid boogie collective with the magical Until The End Of Time.
With members culled from the funkiest ends of Incognito and Jamiroquai, the Sunburst Band is unashamedly musical, with this project more than just a labour of love, while comparison to the greats of the disco era are far more than just coincidental; it is totally intention.
"Fly Away", the lead single, and the missing track from Earth Wind & Fire's I Am, some 25 years ago, has been unearthed in North London of all places. Okay it hasn't, but it sounds like it quite easily could have with vocalist Pete Simpson doing a neat Philip Bailey impersonation. "We Will Turn You On" oozes of Kleeer's raw funk and the Sutton's sassy disco; "Just Do It" rocks to the boogie beats inspired by the productions of the legendary Greg Carmichael and Aleem.
While the title-track smacks of the jazz-funk stylings of George Duke and even, dare I say it, Mezzoforte. Contributions adding to the authenticity come from '70s soulstress Linda Clifford, and the first ladies of Chic, vocalists Norma Jean Wright and Lucy Martin.
Since their acclaimed debut, Here Comes The Sunburst Band five years ago, Lee has enjoyed chart success under his Jakatta alias, but it's within the confines of this project that I'm sure the disco purist will have most personal satisfaction. Aimed firmly at a more mature audience (mid 30s-40s), who no doubt lived through the golden era of 'black music', and are far from catered for by today's artists - Beyoncé a little too cool and contrived, Norah Jones far too middle-of-the-road.
So it's a shrewd move bridging the gap between yesteryear and the contemporary. After all, public consensus and our appetites are hungry for all things retro, and in Until The End Of Time the Sunburst Band have served up a sparkling boogie antidote that gleefully rides the disco rocket of yore.