Freedom in jazz – Mixed by Leroy Burgess

The boogie and soul legend stitches together the finest jazz cuts.

As the lead vocalist for Black Ivory and later on his own, in the 1970s and 80s, Leroy Burgess became one of the most recognisable voices of the late disco era, also laying down vocals with Inner Life, Phreek and more. An accomplished keyboardist and songwriter, too, he penned cult hits like It’s the Weekend and Fly Girl and wrote for the likes of Bobbi Humphrey and Rick James. In the obscurity-ridden world of boogie, Leroy Burgess is as close to being the star of the scene as anyone, leaving an indelible mark on the makeup of dance music as it is today. One of his most celebrated works, Logg LP, was reissued this year and is available now from Be With Records.

Ahead of what is sure to be a special appearance at this year’s Dekmantel Festival, we asked Burgess to dip into a slightly different section of his collection and collate an hour of music from one of the formative styles of his musical life: jazz.

“After gospel, jazz was the second music I was exposed to,” Burgess explains. “It is the genre from which my primary musical training is derived. It feeds both the soul and the imagination simultaneously. In it, all colours combine. All ideas. There’s no such thing as a bad note or phrase. As such, it is the FREE-EST form of musical expression… where you can throw out the rule book, and just be yourself.”

We couldn’t put it better ourselves. Listen and check out the tracklist below.

Grover Washington Jr. – Earth Tones
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Borzeguim
Stanley Turrentine – Vera Cruz
Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You
The Crusaders – Elegant Evening
Jeff Lorber Fusion – Night Love
Harvey Mason – Building Love
Burt Bacharach & The Houston Symphony Orchestra – New York Lady
Grover Washington Jr. – Passion Flower
Johnny Mathis – Lush Life

Leroy Burgess plays Dekmantel Festival, Saturday 3 August, Amsterdam Bos