In the early 1980s, I had the opportunity to listen to a radio station called “Jazz FM Mexico, 104.1” a lot, which transmitted killer music, including all shades of Jazz, to a potential 25 million listeners in Mexico City. In 1982, I was stunned when the station’s presenter, the late Roberto Morales, announced a piece by a band called Shakatak. “Invitations”, their first hit, and everything else I heard, could be described as elegant Jazz-Funk of a kind I had never heard before.
This was the time when most American Jazz-Funk acts, including the most brilliant one, Earth, Wind & Fire, started screwing up their tunes with what we know as 1980s synth sounds and drum programming, which I always hated. Shakatak, on the other hand, stood for my hope that real music was going to survive.
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(Shakatak today. From the left: Roger Odell, Jill Saward, George Anderson Jr, Bill Sharpe. Photo: Shakatak)