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Album Review

Patrice Rushen entered the 1980s on a high note with Posh, her third album for Elektra and sixth album overall. By that time, it seemed unlikely that Rushen would become a full-time jazz instrumentalist again — she was enjoying too much success as an R&B/pop singer. And sure enough, it wasn't until 1997's Signature on Discovery that she recorded another instrumental album under her own name. When Posh came out in 1980, jazz's loss appeared to be R&B's gain. If you were a jazz lover, it was frustrating to see Rushen — a talented improviser with a healthy appreciation of Herbie Hancock — neglecting jazz. But if you loved sleek, sophisticated R&B/pop, you couldn't help but savor Posh and get into such offerings as the exuberant, Emotions-influenced "Look Up!," the vulnerable, slightly Stevie Wonder-ish "I Need Your Love," and the infectious "The Funk Won't Let You Down." Meanwhile, "Time Will Tell" has a bit of a rock edge and may very well be the most rock-influenced tune Rushen has ever recorded. Posh is enthusiastically recommended to anyone with a taste for late 1970s and early 1980s R&B.

Biography

Born: 30 September 1954 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with contemporaries George Duke and George Benson, Patrice Rushen made a major transition from cutting respected acoustic jazz material to hitting the upper reaches of the club and R&B charts. A dynamite keyboardist with a limited but sweet voice, Rushen debuted at the age of 20 on the Prestige label, working with maverick saxophonist Joe Henderson. Within a matter of a few years, legendary club DJ Larry Levan was spinning her carefree but sophisticated post-disco singles released on...
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Posh, Patrice Rushen
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