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  Leroy Burgess
 

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Click below for a Leroy Burgess sample:

Sweet to Me

  

 
Burgess is one of the most underrated talents in the history of soulful dance music.  He is recognized as the foremost practitoner of "boogie," the early 80s club sound that mixed sublime vocals and post-disco rhythms for a sophisticated listening experience. Because he tended to work with group projects under pseudonyms, his name isn't well-known, but there is no doubt that the man is a legend.

Born in NY, Burgess sang in church as a child.  He formed the vocal group Black Ivory in the early 70s.  His time with Black Ivory would prove fruitful not only for the experience of recording, but also for the relationship he formed with Patrick Adams, the group's producer/arranger.  Long after Black Ivory had drifted into obscurity, Adams and Burgess would collaborate into the 80s, with Burgess contributing keyboard licks and songs to Adams' productions.  Among their most notable works together are Herbie Mann's Supermann, Phreek ("Weekend"), and Venus Dodson ("Where Are We Headed").

Burgess also formed a partnership with the Aleem brothers Tunde and Ra, who briefly worked with Jimi Hendrix during the latter part of his life.  Under the name the Fantastic Aleems, Burgess lit up clubs with "Hooked On Your Love" A more electro-influenced Aleem crafted the gems "Get Loose" and "Release Yourself." 

The peak of his career is generally believed to be the Logg album issued in 1981.  Working with old friends Sonny Davenport and Greg Carmichael, Logg is expertly crafted from beginning to end.  Each song became a favorite in the soul community, but "You've Got That Something" and "Dancing Into the Stars" were selected for single releases.  He also contributed to songs by Change ("You're My Number One"), TS Monk ("Fantasy") and Rick James ("Big Time").

It wasn't until 1983 that Burgess finally released a record under his own name.  Salsoul agreed to issue the double-sided single "Heartbreaker"/"Stranger."  The beneficiary of Shep Pettibone mixes, the record is one of the most collectable in the Burgess canon.

After a period of low-profile activity brought about by a struggle with alcohol addiction, Burgess has returned in a major way.  "Sweet Thing," recorded with the Swedish outfit Slippery People re-introduced him to the market with his skills intact.   He is rumored to be featured on an upcoming album by Glenn Underground. 

Some of his most celebrated work was collected by Soul Brother for the Leroy Burgess Anthology.   

Leroy Burgess' Deepest Grooves

Super Mann - Herbie Mann (Atlantic, 1978)
Production and writing credits on "Stomp Your Feet."

Patrick Adams Presents Phreek - Phreek (Atlantic, 1978)
Lead vocals on "Much Too Much."

Night Rider - Venus Dodson (RFC, 1979)
Special Leroy moment: "Where Are We Headed"

"Let's Do It" - Convertion (Sam, 1980)

"Summertime" - High Frequency (Nia, 1980)

"Hooked On Your Love" - Fantastic Aleems (Nia, 1980)

Logg - Logg (Salsoul, 1981)

"Get Down Friday Night" - Fantastic Aleems (Nia, 1982)

"Sweet Thing" - Convertion (Vanguard, 1982)

"Heartbreaker" b/w "Stranger" (Salsoul, 1983)

"Get Loose" - Aleem (Nia, 1984)

"Release Yourself" - Aleem (Nia, 1984)

"Confusion" - Aleem (Nia, 1985)

"Barely Breaking Even" - Universal Robot Band (Moonglow, 1985)

Casually Formal - Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess (Atlantic, 1986)

"Your Love" - Silk, Satin and Lace (Prelude, 1986)

Shock - Aleem featuring Leroy Burgess (Atlantic, 1987)

"Heaven" - M.O.D.E. featuring Leroy Burgess (Catch the Vibe, 1990)
Previously unreleased cut was recently issued by this British label.

"Running After You" (Konkrete, 1991)

"Pray" - B.M.E. and Leroy Burgess (Freeze, 1992)

"Sweet Thing" - Slippery People featuring Leroy Burgess (Rip A Dip, 2001)

Anthology Volume 1: The Voice (Soul Brother, 2001)
After years of building demand, Burgess is finally given the respect he's long due on compact disc.  Covering his many guises, tracks include "Get Loose," "I Know You Will," and "You've Got That Something." 

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