A little bit of Leroy Burgess.
It never hurts to celebrate someone while they’re still alive to know about it. For those who are unfamiliar with Leroy Burgess’ work, refer to the music and video below.
You may know Leroy Burgess for his vocal on ‘You and I’ by Black Ivory, recently sampled by Q Tip on his track Gettin’ Up. But from Black Ivory aged 17 to The Universal Robot Band, Aleem and Logg, Leroy Burgess is the man behind many records you know and love. His partnership with Patrick Adams in the late 70s and early 80s produced classics such as Barely Breakin’ Even, Heartbreaker, Weekend by Phreek and Hustling by the aformentioned Black Ivory. Leroy Burgess is undoubtedly the link between 70’s soul, disco, boogie and the modern Chicago house of today and his groundbreaking influence can be heard in much of today’s popular dance music. Listen to any Aleem track and you’ll hear his influence on house producers. It’s been noted that Leroy’s voice is the sound of happiness and positivity and hopefully that comes across in this mix. I’ve included mostly tracks with Leroy on vocals but he is also an ace writer, keyboard player and producer of female vocals for Phreek, Class Action and Fonda Rae among others. Leroy Burgess is an unsung genius and is still recording. Go out, find out about him and buy his records. Thanks to Laurence at Soul Brother Records for hooking me up with some of the hard to find cuts.
New York, USA
Leroy Burgess’ stellar career began on the court - when he started playing musical basketball with his buddies, shootin’ hoops and singing. Luckily, they soon decided to form a group, and in ‘68 soul vocal trio The Mellow Souls was born. A short time later they got discovered by Harlem superproducer Patrick Adams who made Burgess a member of his group Black Ivory, which he signed, managed and produced during his time as VP of A&R at Perception/Today Records in the early ’70s. This was only the beginning though: With his signature baritone voice and tension-building keyboard riffs, Burgess went on to contribute to the success of many different projects - with Aleem, Fonda Rae, Intrigue and Inner Life, and as Conversion and Logg amongst other pseudonyms. Whether disco boogie or Salsoul, the underlying ingredient is nothing but pure soul - and the minute it touches your ears, you’re transported to another place.