Please join the Albumism team in celebrating Jazzie B’s musical legacy and share your personal memories of him with us in the comments below!
Born: January 26, 1963
Biography: The larger-than-life svengali Jazzie B. began his musical apprenticeship on the London sound system circuit before fronting the enormous international success of Soul II Soul. As such, Jazzie B. is widely credited with having pioneered a renaissance in British soul and dance music in the late 80s - certainly his band were the first of their generation to make a serious impact on the US R&B charts.
By the advent of Soul II Soul’s fifth album, Jazzie B. had signed a new contract with Island Records’ subsidiary 4th & Broadway, following six successful years with Virgin Records. Island also provided a home for his record label, production and publishing company, Soul II Soul Records, and an artist roster including Yorker, Backroom, the Funki Dreds and EFUA.
Although his publishing agreement with EMI Publishing for the Jazzie B. Music, Soul II Soul and Mad Music catalogues also expired in 1996, his music remained omnipresent in the UK media, including advertisements for Renault and Levis.
Indeed, his only significant setback has been the clothes stores opened in the late 80s under the Soul II Soul banner, which have since closed. Jazzie B. continued to occupy himself by running his studio complex in Camden, north London. [Source: AllMusic]