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  Patrice Rushen


Click below for a Patrice Rushen sample:


Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up






In the male-dominated worlds of jazz and funk, Patrice Rushen was a true pioneer, the First Lady of Funk.  Born September 30, 1954 in Los Angeles, she won a contest at the Monterey Jazz Festival prior to signing to Prestige at the age of 20. 

She recorded three albums for the label between 1974 and 1977.  These records showed Rushen to be an accomplished keyboardist in the Herbie Hancock mode and featured support from luminaries Joe Henderson, Hubert Laws and Al McKay.  Among her classic compositions of this era were "Let There Be Funk," "Haw Right Now" and "What's The Story," all of which receive play on the rare groove circuit.  

With the release of her self-titled Elektra debut in 1978, Rushen embraced a more commercial direction, landing the dancefloor hit "Haven't You Heard" in 1979.  She would go on to score a number of classic soul sides, including "Feels So Real," "Look Up" and the massive single "Forget Me Nots," later used as the basis for Will Smith's "Men In Black."  Steeped in r&b flavors, these records retained a jazzy edge that separated her from her peers. A special recognition must be given to bassist Freddie Washington Jr., a frequent collaborator who provided a foundation that was both melodic and extremely funky.

While continuing to record, Rushen continued her trailblazing path by serving as musical director the the Emmy Awards, NAACP Image Awards and People's Choice Awards. She also toured with Janet Jackson as her musical director. Additionally, Rushen provided the scores for the films Hollywood Shuffle, Cora Unashamed, Women of Brewster Place, and Waiting To Exhale.  These achievements easily rank her as one of the most important female musicians of the twentieth century.

She is currently working on a new album with fellow artists Ernie Watts and Ndugu Chandler, and also works with non-profit programs in the Los Angeles area.

A frequent source of samples, some of the artists who have used her material are Zhane, George Michael and Mary J. Blige. Daddy's Favourite essentially re-edited "Haven't You Heard" for the 1998 club smash "I Feel Good Things For You."

Visit her official site at

Patrice Rushen's Deepest Grooves

Prelusion (Prestige, 1974)
Confident introductory statement from an extremely influential artist.   Based in hard bop and jazz-funk, "Haw Right Now" and "Shortie's Portion" established Rushen as a force to be reckoned with.

Before the Dawn (Prestige 1975)
Stepping up the funk quotient, this is an essential release due to the powerful "What's the Story" and "Jubilation."  Making her singing debut, this previews her future as an r&b singer. 

Shout It Out (Prestige, 1977)
For her final Prestige release, Rushen delivers her strongest effort to this point, one that contains blistering funk and essential mellow grooves. With the monster jams "Let There Be Funk," "The Hump" and "Roll With the Punches."  

Patrice Rushen (Elektra, 1978)
Home to her first chart single, "Hang It Up," this LP shows Rushen attempting to reconcile her jazz roots with the disco phenomenon.

Pizzazz (Elektra, 1979)
The album that introduced her to the r&b crowd, this record includes "Haven't You Heard," "Giving It Up Is Givin' Up" (with D.J. Rogers), and "Call On Me."

Posh (Elektra, 1980)
Setting the stage for the banner year of 1982, "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Look Up" signal Rushen's maturation as an artist who has synthesized her dual interests of r&b and jazz into an accessible combination.

Straight From The Heart (Elektra, 1982)
Her biggest commercial release with the immortal "Forget Me Nots." 

Now (Elektra, 1984)

Watch Out (Elektra, 1987)

The Meeting (GRP, 1990)

Anything But Ordinary (Hollywood, 1994)

Update (GRP, 1995)

Haven't You Heard (Rhino, 1996)
Compilation of the Elektra years.  Great stuff, but presents only one side of Rushen's vast talents.

Signature (Warners, 1997) 

Copyright 2002  All rights reserved.

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