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  Taana Gardner
 

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Click below for a Taana Gardner sample:

Work That Body

Heartbeat

  

 
Forever known as the voice of "Heartbeat," Taana Gardner had several of the biggest hits on the classic disco label West End.  She was born in Newark, New Jersey and a lucky twist of fate led to her meeting producer Kenton Nix at an airport.   After discovering their mutual interest in music, Nix suggested that Gardner come to the studio to complete some material he was working on.  The song that emerged from those sessions was "Work That Body," a major success at the Paradise Garage.  "Work That Body" was the signature track on her debut album, now legendary among disco aficionados.

A few years later, she recorded "Heartbeat," one of the most unusual club hits of its day.  A grinding groove punctuated by a slinking bassline and guitar licks, it was much slower than the dance music being made at the time.  The record shocked everyone by crossing over from clubs to the radio, and eventually was a top 10 single, easily West End's biggest commecial release.  It is still sampled often by contemporary producers.

In the late 90s, Gardner began a comeback, re-signing with West End.   "I'm Comin'" paired her again with Kenton Nix, and her classics were reissued on compact disc.  New remixes of "Work That Body" and "Heartbeat" were issued in 2001 and an anthology of her career is currently in production. In 2002, she made her official return with a string of new singles, which find her in top form. 

Taana Gardner's Deepest Grooves

Taana Gardner (West End, 1979)
A five song double LP, so you know the groove is nice and long.  Larry Levan mixed most of the songs and "Work That Body," "Paradise Express" and "When You Touch Me" are all established classics that bear the mark of his distinctive style. Check the credits for a surprise appearance by keyboardist Bernard Wright, who must have been all of 14 when this was recorded. 

"Heartbeat" (West End, 1981)

"I'm Comin'" (West End, 1998)

"Sweet Magic" - Mistura (Z, 2002)

"It's you I need" - HouseHedz featuring Taana Gardner (Underground Collective Records, 2002)

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