[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

History of Acid Jazz

Related: acid - jazz - dance - 1980s - 1990s

In 1986 Peterson started a regular Sunday afternoon club at Dingwalls, a dank corridor of a venue squeezed onto the corner of Camden Lock in north London. This club became his most successful venture to date: It ran for seven years and inspired a succession of records, labels, DJs and bands. [Sept 2006]


Acid jazz (sometimes groove jazz) is a musical genre that combines jazz influences with elements of soul music, funk, disco and hip hop. It developed over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as taking the boundary crossing of jazz fusion onto new ground. Largely initiated in London and gaining the name from the Acid Jazz record label, pioneering groups were Jamiroquai, Incognito, Galliano, Brand New Heavies, James Taylor Quartet, Young Disciples and Corduroy.

In the United States notable acid-jazz groups are: Groove Collective and Solsonics. Other more recent artists and groups who have produced music in this genre include Mother Earth, Mr. Scruff, and Praful.

A typical acid jazz group would consist of a rhythm section built round bass guitar, electric guitar and drums, a horn section (trumpets, saxophones, trombones, etc) tied together by some kind of keyboard instrument (providing either rhythmic support or ambient sound effects) and vocals.

See also: nu-jazz

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_jazz [Nov 2004]

From Acid House to Acid Jazz

A friend of mine [Nicky Holloway?] had just come back from Spain and had brought some acid house records with him which he announced were the latest thing. But the dancefloor stayed empty. Then it was my turn and I put on a few jazz pieces. The dancefloor was full. To take the piss out of him I called my music Acid Jazz -- Gilles Peterson

Totally Wired

On the covers of the Acid Jazz ‘Totally Wired’ compilations you can see many pictures taken at the Dingwalls Sunday sessions that are testimony to the atmosphere and energy present then.

Dingwalls [...]

In 1987 Gilles Peterson, having done his apprenticeship at the Electric Ballroom and developed his own thing as part of Nicky Holloway's Special Branch, was setting up a new club at Dingwalls on a Sunday afternoon. He invited Patrick to join in and for the next 4 and a half years the club ran and pioneered that Acid Jazz thang.

The Acid Jazz Site


Gilles Peterson

Gilles Peterson coined the phrase acid jazz during the acid house craze in England. By the beginning of the 1990s, DJ legend and early Incognito fan Gilles Peterson had founded the Talkin' Loud label, and he made Incognito one of his first signings. The 1991 single "Always There" (with vocals by Jocelyn Brown) became a Top Ten hit as part of Britain's booming acid jazz scene.

Defined Musically

etrinida@scf.usc.edu writes: Other people would use definitions of acid jazz based on philosophy, fashion, politics, etc. As a musician, I prefer to define acid jazz using musical elements. Most acid jazz I hear has these elements:
Drums - playing funk/hip-hop rhythms, focusing on basic beat (not many tom fills, etc), lots of shuffle play on the snare, which is usually a metal or brass piccolo snare.
Percussion - if existent, plays afro-latin style rhythms on congas, or syncopated shaker/cabasa rhythms. Tempo is usually no lower than 88bpm nor higher than 116bpm.
Bass - usually melodic, played straight with fingers (i.e. no slapping, popping, pick playing). Occasionally standup acoustic bass is used.
Guitar - jazz/funk chords (9ths/11ths/13ths) played in high registers, usually played clean or through wah-wah pedal. No powerchords.
Keyboards - simple keyboard arrangements (i.e. one or two keyboard instruments are present at one time), usually focusing on basic keyboard sounds (i.e. piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Organ), occasional strings.
Horns - Horn section, usually sax/trumpet/trombone trio, sometimes with flute. Usually playing tight unison lines


  1. INCredible Sound of Gilles Peterson [Amazon US] Gilles' excursions in jazz, hip hop, house, broken beats.
    1. Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow - Funkadelic 9. Upa Neguninho - Luiz Arruda Paez 2. Baila Piena (Off World Remix) - Papo Vasquez 10Mas Que Nada - Elza Soares 3. The Salon Section - Buscemi 11. Picadillo (Carl Craig's Breakdown Mix) - Johnny Bias 4. I Can See The Future (Ski'sa Main Mix) - Incognito 12. Coro Miyare - Fania All-Stars 5. I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (4 Hero Mix) - Nu Yorican Soul 13. Skindo Le Le - Alive! 6. Nuther'n Like Thuther'n - Willis Jackson 14. See The Light - Eddie Russ 7. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf (Part 2) - Jimmy Smith 15. Let The Sun Shine In - Sons And Daughters Of Life 8. If The Papes Come - A Tribe Called Quest 16. Spread Love - Lenny Fontana Presents Black Sun
  2. Worldwide Compiled By Gilles Peterson [Amazon US] Gilles' excursions in jazz, hip hop, house, broken beats.
  3. The Poets of Rhythm - Discern / Define [1CD, Amazon US]

    Talkin' Loud 1990-1994 (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    1. Apparently Nothin (Original 12" A Side) - Young Disciples 2. Always There (Blues Mix) - Incognito Feat. Jocelyn Brown 3. There's Nothing Like This - Omar 4. Step Right On (Dub) - Young Disciples 5. K Spells Knowledge (Out EP Version) - The K-Creative 6. 57th Minute Of The 23rd Hour - Galliano 7. All I Have In Me (Young Ideas Mix) - Young Disciples 8. I Dont Mean A Thing (12" Mix) - Omar 9. Take Me Now (12") Mix) - Tammy Payne 10. Feed The Feeling (Out & About EP Version) - Perception 11. I Commit (12" Mix) - Bryan Powell 12. Prince Of Peace (12" Mix) - Galliano 13. Music (12 Mix) - Omar 14. Who Chooses The Seasons - Omar Feat Carleen Anderson 15. Still A Friend Of Mine - Incognito 16. Colibri (album Version) - Incognito 17. Back To The Real World (Album Version) 18. The New Tower Of Babel - The K- Creative 19. Hide And Seek (original Version) - Urban Species 20. Brother (Earthling Bonus Beats) - Urban Species 21. Long Time Gone (Album Version) - Galliano 22. All About Eve - Marxman 23. Listen (12" Mix) - Urban Species 24. Keep The Fires Burning (12" Promo Version) - Incognito

    A brilliant smattering of tracks from one of the most important labels of the past decade or two -- Gilles Peterson's groundbreaking Talkin Loud -- home to some of the most revolutionary soul of the 90s! The imprint first began as a showcase for some of the up-and-coming British acid jazz acts that were part of Gilles Peterson's scene -- but almost immediately, it grew to become a powerhouse for British soul -- and extend its grooves into the 21st century with an unbelievable influence! This set showcases the first 5 years of Talkin' Loud, and brings together a wealth of great music that hasn't been in print for years, including some great mixes that were only available on singles! 2CD set features 24 tracks that include "Apparently Nothing (12" mix)" by Young Disciples, "K Spells Knowledge (Out & About version)" by K-Collective, "There's Nothing Like This" by Omar, "Always There (Bluey's mix)" by Incognito with Jocelyn Brown, "Find The Feeling (Out & About version)" by Perception, "I Commit (12" mix)" by Bryan Powell, "Prince Of Peace (12" mix)" by Galliano, "Music (12" mix)" by Omar, "Colibri" by Incognito, "Listen (12" mix)" by Urban Species, "Step Right On (dub)" by Young Disciples, "Keep The Fires Burning (12" promo)" by Incognito, "Take Me Now (12" mix)" by Tammy Payne, "Don't Mean A Thing (12" mix)" by Omar, "All I Have In Me (Young Ideas mix)" by Young Disciples, and "Back To The Real World" by K-Collective. --via Amazon.com

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

    Managed Hosting by NG Communications