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Acid jazz (also known as club jazz) is a musical genre that combines elements of soul music, funk, disco, particularly looping beats and modal harmony. It first developed in America in a simplistic form from artists such as Sonny Stitt who infused funk, gospel, jazz, and other popular genres with a recurring backbeat. In the UK it developed over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as tacking the sound of jazz-funk onto electronic dance/pop music for the UK.
While acid jazz often contains various types of electronic composition (sometimes including sampling or live DJ cutting and scratching), it is just as likely to be played live by musicians, who often showcase jazz interpretation as part of their performance. The compositions of groups such as The Brand New Heavies and Incognito often feature chord structures usually associated with jazz music. The Heavies in particular were known in their early years for beginning their songs as catchy pop and rapidly steering them into jazz territory before “resolving” the composition and thus not losing any pop listeners but successfully “exposing” them to jazz elements in “baby steps”.
The acid jazz “movement” is also seen as a “revival” of jazz-funk or jazz fusion or soul jazz by leading DJs such as Norman Jay or Gilles Peterson or Patrick Forge, also known as “rare groove crate diggers”.