Patrick Adams could not have been a family identify, however the work he did on a mountain of disco, soul, R&B and hip-hop information all through the Seventies and ‘80s left an indelible mark on global dance music in general, and on the New York sound in particular.
The 72-year-old writer, producer, engineer and arranger died in his sleep on Wednesday morning, his daughter Joi Sanchez confirmed on Facebook, leaving behind a legacy unmatched in the city’s membership tradition, and sparking social media tributes from generations of musicians, DJs and club-goers.
The record of producers whose music made the leap from the disco heyday of Studio 54 to the golden period of New York rap may be very brief. However Adams made information which might be thought-about classics in each milieus, and stay DJ set favorites.
Born in Harlem on March 17, 1950, Adams grew up and lived there all through his life, and first discovered about working with music by becoming a member of the glee membership whereas attending Cardinal Hayes Excessive College within the Bronx. He aspired to be a document producer from a younger age, he instructed journalist Jeff Mao in a 2013 interview for Pink Bull Music Academy, earlier than he even understood what the music studio-bound gig meant. Adams usually mentioned that his preliminary music schooling got here from hanging out at the backdoor of the Apollo Theater as a young person within the mid- and late-Sixties. He befriended the legendary venue’s stage supervisor, Pete Lengthy, and its home orchestra conductor, Reuben Phillips, who allowed him to observe gown rehearsals of incoming bands, and generally hand out sheet music to the musicians — “almost like an apprentice,” he instructed Mao.
Adams quickly turned adept not solely on quite a lot of devices, however at writing songs, in addition to preparations for horns and strings. And what he didn’t know, he faked properly. His first hit got here in 1972, when “Don’t Turn Around,” a tune he wrote and produced by the Harlem vocal trio Black Ivory, cracked the Billboard R&B High 40.
For the remainder of the last decade Adams alternated between standard productions for main labels — whether or not crossover disco albums for the likes of Ben E. King and jazz flutist Herbie Mann, or chart smashes like Musique’s “In the Bush” and Interior Life’s “Caught Up (In a One-Night Love Affair)” — and eccentric, soulful dance information that struck the flowery of town’s underground disco DJs, particularly Paradise Storage’s Larry Levan and The Loft’s David Mancuso.
These latter information — usually launched on unbiased labels that Adams was a accomplice in, like P&P and Pink Greg Data — appeared underneath names like Cloud One, Bumble Bee Limitless and Phreek, with the producer guiding studio musicians. They cemented his status with their heat, pulsating sound and sly humorousness. However Adams might additionally make grand new statements out of staples: his work on Interior Life’s 1981 model of Ashford & Simpson’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” turned the already large tune right into a New York membership anthem.
When disco’s industrial bubble burst within the early Eighties, Adams retreated. However by the center of the last decade he returned behind the board at Energy Play, a Lengthy Island Metropolis recording studio that was gaining a status for making revolutionary information in a brand new model of digital music known as hip-hop.
Right here Adams struck gold as soon as extra, serving to to craft breakout albums for rappers Salt-N-Pepa (the 1986 album “Hot Cool & Vicious”) and Eric B. & Rakim (1987’s basic “Paid in Full”), and later Heavy D & The Boyz. Working with the pioneering hip-hop producers Marley Marl and Herby Luv Bug, Adams utilized his studio experience to the then-sample-heavy sound of New York hip hop. The information he labored on sounded new and big, setting a brand new benchmark.
Adams’ affect carried on unabated into the Nineties, as dance music DJs and producers around the globe found and built-in his signature heat into their very own types, whereas pop artists turned his previous songs into new smash singles. In 1991, British singer Cathy Dennis reworked the Adams tune “Touch Me (All Night Long),” initially recorded by Westchester’s Fonda Rae, into an acid-house pop sensation that hit #2 on the Billboard Scorching 100.
A few of Adams’ eccentric disco information had a good longer cultural shelf-life, exhibiting up as samples on tracks by deeply influential DJs/producers like Chicago’s Paul Johnson, Jersey’s Kerri Chandler and Brooklyn’s personal DJ Spinna, and by hip-hop free spirits like Madlib. These originals and remakes are getting play even now, possibly greater than ever.
The sturdiness of Adams’ output attests to a timeless feeling he tried to instill in all his productions. “In your life, there are moments if you hear no matter kind of music you’re keen on, a second if you’ve heard a tune that has [made you go ‘Oooh!]. This is what you need to aspire to,” Adams said in that 2013 Red Bull Academy interview. “Try to do something that not only makes you feel good but can move somebody else, make somebody else say, ‘Ooh!’” — one thing Adams succeeded in doing, on dance flooring in NYC and around the globe, for 5 many years.