|There are a handful of men who
have the title of "Godfather" of house music,
and while many have legitimate claims to the title, because of seniority
and being there at the beginning, one stands out from the crowd
as being the one that actually defined not only House music, but dance
music itself as we know it today.
His name is Marshall Jefferson, and when in 1986
he played piano on a house record for the first time ever, the idea
was so innovative that record companies told him that it wasnt
even house music. That record was the platinum "House Music Anthem",
and today you rarely here a house record without piano.
Since then, Marshalls list of accomplishments in House music
read like no one else; in 1987 he produced the first ever "Acid
House" record "Acid Tracks" using
the TB 303, and simultaneously launching the successful career of
DJ Pierre. Also, he produced the first house records incorporating
old tome soulful spiritual vocals, launching the successful careers
of Ten City, Kim Mazelle, and CeCe Rogers. All those early songs are
blueprints for what we recognise today as deep house, garage music,
techno music, and the TB 303 is the most sought after instrument for
techno artists and producers.
seems like almost every song Marshall produced turned into another
form of music, which Marshall regrets; he just wanted his
songs to sound different from each other. Marshall was also the headline
act in the first House music tour of Europe in 1987, and house music
has remained since. The list of careers that Marshall Jefferson has
helped or launched reads like a whos who of dance music; Roy
Davis Jnr., Felix Da Housecat, Lil Louse, Frankie Knuckles, Steve
"Silk" Hurley, and many others, not including the thousands
of producers/DJs that have been influenced by him. The most impressive
thing about Marshall, however is what separates him from all the others;
his ability to consistently write the classic song. He is far and
away the most covered song writer in dance music today, with his back
catalog containing more the one hundred covers and sample licenses.
This is because Marshalls forte has always been lyrics and melodies,
and thats what sets him apart from everyone his field,
which has always been essentially groove oriented.
Three years ago in early spring of 1994 Marshall Jefferson came back
from a four year sabbatical, returning to the UK surprised to see
the lack of change in the dance music he returned back to the roots
of Djing in which he had left behind in the early eighties now three
years on and he is one of the biggest DJs to come out of Chicago having
played at every major club/event across Europe and playing resident
to Europes biggest dance festival Tribal Gathering/Big Love.
Finally we look at the house music spectrum in all its mutated
forms from deep house, garage, techno, acid, through to intelligent
drum and bass. What ever way dance music has progressed through
the years you can be sure he has been part of that, so we ask one
question in what direction will he take it now?