Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Nile Rodgers is Chic again

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On March 2, during an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” the French synth-rock duo Daft Punk ran a commercial for its upcoming album, “Random Access Memories” featuring 15 seconds of organic, funky and instantly exciting disco music. No song title was provided, but the guitar sound, a kinetic rhythm line, was instantly identifiable as the work of Nile Rodgers, the founding member of disco band Chic and one of the most important pop producers of the modern era.

Rodgers, who created such lasting hits as “Good Times,” “Le Freak,” and “I Want Your Love” and went on to produce David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran and the B-52s in the 1980s, will conduct a master class at 5 p.m. Friday at the ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E Sheridan and will lead Chic during a headlining performance at the ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown festival at 9 p.m. Saturday. Rodgers said that guitar sound on the Daft Punk track boils down the essence of what he does: injecting human grooves into dance music.

“That is a perfect example of what I do,” Rodgers said during a recent phone interview. “It’s letter perfect — it’s like, ‘There’s Nile just jamming away.’ Did they give me direction? No, we just talked. They said, ‘We’re thinking about this,’ and when I heard ‘We’re thinking about this,’ I start playing this other thing. I started playing it and they said, ‘That’s it!’”

Rodgers and his chief collaborators in Chic, the late drummer Tony Thompson and bassist Bernard Edwards, came out of the downtown New York City avant-garde scene in the 1970s — one of Rodgers’ first bands was a punk band called The Boyz. But Rodgers and his colleagues broke through when their fusion-jazz group, then called the Big Apple Band, renamed themselves Chic and became the chief architects of Studio 54-era disco.

“We were not categorizing it as disco as such,” Rodgers said. “But we were smart enough to know that disco was so open that it would allow guys like us in if we had music that would make the disco audience respond. A lot of my friends in the jazz world were getting hit records with disco records, and there were a lot of them: Herbie Hancock, Herbie Mann, Joe Beck, Norman Connors, Roy Ayers. Next thing you know, they’re on the charts — the same charts as the Bee Gees and Donna Summer.”

Rodgers saw a way into mass popularity, but he took his conceptual cues from musicians who he saw as creating “totally immersive artistic experiences,” bands as wide-ranging as KISS and Roxy Music. The goal was not to merely be a disco band, but to be the disco band. Beginning in 1977, the concept paid off with huge dance-floor hits such as “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowzah, Yowzah, Yowzah),” “Le Freak,” “Everybody Dance” and “I Want Your Love.”

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Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker, BBC documentary





Rodgers is best-known as half of disco-innovators Chic and as an über-producer who helped define the sound of the 70s and 80s. Recently, Rodgers has become a collaborator with (and unofficial spokesman for) Daft Punk, and even fronts an electronic music lobbying group.

Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker spans Rodgers’ life and career, and features appearances from fellow Chic members (singers Norma Jean, Alfa Anderson and Fonzi Thornton and keyboard player Rob Sabino), recording engineers Bob Clearmountain and Robert Drake, and a laundry list of artists he’s worked with: Sister Sledge’s Kathy Sledge; Bryan Ferry; Steve Winwood; Johnny Marr; La Roux’s Elly Jackson; Valerie Simpson; Debbie Harry and Chris Stein from Blondie and Duran Duran’s John Taylor.

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Rodgers and his influential band are set to join an already extensive lineup at Bristol’s Castle Park on May 26.

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Fact Magazine's tuned in! "There’s little you can say about Chic that hasn’t already been covered in detail, but the pioneering disco troupe have managed to slide into the headlines again thanks to frontman Niles Rodgers’ involvement with Daft Punk’s new LP Random Access Memories. Now they have been confirmed to join Bristol’s Love Saves Sunday, and they are joining an already bumper crowd of names; Om Unit, Brackles, Ben UFO, Jaques Greene, Julio Bashmore, Soul II Soul, Ghostpoet, Ms Dynamite and plenty more will be showing up for the Sunday session.

Sadly Love Saves Sunday’s sister event Love Saves The Day has now sold out, but it looks like there are more than enough reasons to still head out for the Sunday, and you can grab tickets here."

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GIGWISE: "DAFT PUNK COLLABORATORS: WHO'S ON THE NEW ALBUM?"

VIA  The word is out! Everyone is wondering WHO'S ON THE NEW ALBUM?


"Anticipation ahead of the release of Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories continues to build, with fans frantically speculating over what the new record might offer.

As with anything Daft Punk, it's important to take this with a massive pinch of salt, but a new list of collaborations on the new album seems generally believable - due to many of the producers and musicians named having been previously confirmed as having worked on the record.

Some names, like Nile Rodgers, are no surprise and others, like Julian Casablancas, have been rumoured for a while. But some of the names on the list are a little more obscure, like session guiatrist Paul Jackson Jr, or songwriter Paul Williams."

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Category: PRESS

La Roux Prepping Nile Rodgers Inspired Second Album

Former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers is everywhere at present. First came his illuminating autobiography, which shed light on the excesses of the disco era and his fight against cancer. Then came news of his collaboration with Daft Punk. Now comes word of a new La Roux album, apparently inspired by the great man.

A report in the new issue of Mojo (via FACT) highlights Rodgers' influence on the album, currently being recorded by the duo in a barn in the countryside in England, which singer Elly Jackson describes as having “its own climate. Surrounded by geese and otters.”

There’s no new yet of a title or release date for the new recordings, but if the duo can come up with something half as catchy as the eternally airplayed “Bulletproof,” then they’re likely to strike gold again. The description of the album as being influenced by "rare disco" tends to suggest they will.

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Manchester Evening News: Johnny Marr joins his guitar hero Nile Rodgers on stage at Warehouse Project


He might be a musical icon himself but it turns out Johnny Marr still enjoys meeting his heroes.

In fact, the former Smiths guitarist is such a big fan of Nile Rodgers, guitarist and founder of 1970s disco hit machine CHIC, that he named his son after him.

So when Nile came to Manchester at the weekend to talk with DJ Dave Haslam about his recent memoir, Le Freak, and career as musician and producer for the likes of Madonna and Duran Duran, Dave couldn’t resist getting the two legends together.

The pair met backstage at the Zion Arts Centre, Hulme. And it turned out they got on so well that they decided to make a weekend of it – by appearing together on stage the following night.

Johnny joined CHIC during the encore at super cool nightclub The Warehouse Project, in Piccadilly, for a very special rendition of the band’s biggest 1978 hit Le Freak.

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BBC Outlook Nov 14, 2011


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Extraordinary personal stories from around the world.

Today, the legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers.

He's the co-founder of 70s disco band Chic and has collaborated with stars like David Bowie, Madonna and Diana Ross.

He tells Matthew about his rise from being the child of heroin addicts to the top of the music industry and about his own battle with drug addiction.

Now he's written a book about his extraordinary life called Le Freak, after one of his best known songs.


Download from the BBC » HERE

 

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Music-News.com: CHIC feat Nile Rodgers - HMV Forum, Kentish Town


Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah, I wanna boogie with you. And I did! As did many other fans invited onto stage by Chic to dance, dance, dance!

Yes, the legend that is Nile Rodgers graced the HMV Forum, together with legendary R&B / funk outfit Chic (in new formation), for a night of non-stop fun – playing a repertoire that catapulted the audience back to the era of Studio 54. Well, in spirit anyway, seeing how the Forum is not exactly a venue that oozes atmosphere from the golden days of disco (or any particular atmosphere at all!). And anyway, what is someone like Nile Rodgers doing playing the HMV Forum, hell, the Koko Camden would have been more appropriate! Not that it put much of a damper on Chic or Mr. Rodgers who, despite having spent most of the year battling cancer, delivered a show many will remember in time to come.

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London Evening Standard: CHIC Featuring Nile Rodgers, HMV Forum - Review


Star survivor: Nile Rodgers played a gig that would have left a smile on the face of a gargoyle

"Ain't no party like a disco party," said Nile Rodgers here - an old line proved overwhelmingly true by a gig that would have left a smile on the face of a gargoyle. This rare coming of a legend was disappointingly short of a sellout, and a sour note was added by security insisting that many people sit down to experience the most danceable music ever created. If it's really not safe to stand upstairs, HMV Forum, make it safe.

Rodgers, the last surviving creative force behind the band, announced from the stage that he has recently beaten prostate cancer - one euphoric moment of many. A medley of hits written for other people (including Upside Down and We are Family) that he threw away as the fifth song would have been most bands' ultimate encore. By the time he got to Le Freak and Good Times the stage had been invaded by ecstatic fans.

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