Acid Jazz was first coined in 1987 as a term by DJ Chris Bangs at an acid house night as an ironic reaction to the music policy of the night in question. Acid Jazz Records started as a simple bedroom operation established by Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson, within three months of the first 45 release (Frederic Lies Still by Galliano), the label had grown rapidly, acquired premises in London’s east end and laid out a unique manifesto of alternative club sounds – jazz, street-soul, funk, latin, reggae and jazz poetry all put in an early appearance. Galliano, Chris Bangs, The Night Trains, The Last Poets, A Man Called Adam and Snowboy & The Latin Section were amongst the first wave of label signings and they all appeared live at groundbreaking jazz themed nights at London clubs like the WAG in Soho and Camden’s legendary Dingwalls.
Into the 90’s and there were nights and scene’s all across the UK culminating in 1994 with the opening of the seminal Blue Note venue in achingly-trendy Hoxton Square, across the road from the bases for Touch Magazine and along from Straight No Chaser, DJ Bob Jones and Somethin’ Else who were all based in cheap rent warehouse spaces in the Square.
The Acid Jazz & Other Illicit Grooves exhibition will encapsulate the musical momentum of this time through the magazine features, photography, radio stations, single and album artwork and of course the music and musicians that WERE the scene. Touring the locations across the UK in Autumn 2022 where the acid jazz movement was arguably the strongest; Leeds, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and of course London it will celebrate 35 years of a label and music genre that has truly stood the test of time and will be accompanied by live performances from some of the artists and DJ’s who helped create the genre.