DeeperSoul Blog - Deep & Soulful House Music

Non-commercial and independent music blog. Strictly 4 the love of House...

Friday, July 28

Respect - Blaze


Studio APt.

Josh Milan, Kevin Hedge and Chris Herbert started writing music together in 1984. Kevin and Chris were childhood friends and Josh was a member of the church Chris attended. Chris was a vocalist who wanted to record, Josh was a natural musician who played with the church choir, and Kevin was a DJ who spun locally at parties around their native Newark, New Jersey.

They decided to form a production team after Chris introduced Josh and Kevin and encouraged them to become a recording group. Ironically, Chris was the one who left the band in 1991, leaving Milan and Hedge to keep working together.
The trio started to develop demo recordings in the style of the day’s popular club music. With "DJ" Kevin at the controls, Josh "the piano man" on the synthesizer and the "lead vocal" stylings of Chris, they turned out song after song for other artists and producers to record. The three ultimately signed their first record deal with the newly formed Quark records in 1985, producing three major club hits of the time; "Whatcha Gonna Do", "If You Should Need A Friend" and "Can't Win For Losing". The Blaze sound caught the ear of then Motown Vice-president of A&R, Timmy Regisford, who immediately put them to work on numerous Motown projects. After many remixes and session work, Regisford decided it was time to take it to the next level. He invited Kevin, Chris and Josh to record a full-length album for the soul music icon, Motown. “25 Years Later", Blazes' first long player, was critically acclaimed upon its' initial release in 1991 and has since went on to become one of house music’s classic albums.

Studio APt.

Hedge and Milan went on to produce three more albums under the Blaze banner: "Basic Blaze" on Slip-n-Slide/UK, "Natural Blaze: The James Toney Jr. Project" on Life Line/Japan and "Spiritually Speaking" on Slip-n-Slide/UK. Also, you will find many compilation albums that comprise some of Blazes' greatest hits, a few are: "6 Hubert St." on Avex/Japan, "Pure Blaze" on Easy Street, "Blaze Productions" on Playhouse and "Spiritually Speaking…Then and Now" on West End, and countless remixes and co-productions with other well-known names such as Louie Vega (The brilliant “Elements of Life").


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