Shakatak are an English jazz-funk band, founded in 1980. Shakatak scored a number of chart entries, including two Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, "Night Birds" (1982) and "Down on the Street" (1984), plus a further 12 entries in the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles. The group is still active and popular throughout the world, particularly in Japan and the Far East, and generally produce a new album every two years on JVC Records. From their first release in August 1980, (the Bill Sharpe composition "Steppin'" on the Polydor record label), and their first album, Drivin' Hard, the band's singles and albums have entered the charts regularly.
British jazz-funk combo Shakatak formed in London in 1980. Originally comprising keyboardists Bill Sharpe and Nigel Wright, guitarist Keith Winter, bassist Steve Underwood, and drummer Roger Odell, the group quickly scored an underground hit with its debut single "Steppin'," cracking the British Top 50 the following year with the singles "Livin' in the UK" and "Brazilian Dawn." Their debut LP, Drivin' Hard, was also well-received, and with the 1982 follow-up Nightbirds, Shakatak (which replaced Underwood with bassist George Anderson) scored their first Top 20 hit in "Easier Said Than Done"; the disc's title track also rocketed into the Top Ten. Nightbirds also introduced singer Jill Saward, who emerged as Shakatak's lead vocalist with the band's fifth album, 1984's Down on the Street, which notched the hit "Watching You"; 1985's Live preceded the release of the group's next studio effort, Day by Day.
Shakatak's keyboardist Bill Sharpe's has always written memorable tunes, of which lyricist Roger Odell said: "The melodies are always very catchy, chord sequences are always nice." In fact Bill Sharpe's piano playing is one reason for jazz fans to enjoy Shatatak's music, as he produces well-constructed solos as well as writing sweet but jazz-infused melodies which are immediately unforgettable. Another reason for liking this band is its tight funkiness. One has only to hear on YouTube some of the amateur attempts at Shakatak tunes to realise how much the band contributes to their success. George Anderson Jr.'s slapped bass guitar drives the band along, with help from Roger Odell's propulsive drumming. There's a lot to like in this classic jazz-funk recording.
Times and Places by Shakatak release on Jul 20, 2016Times and Places include I Will Be There, Heads To The Sky, Movin' On, Open Skies, Sand And The Sea, Wonderful, Cape Town, Coralie, How Do You Sleep At Night, Time And Place, Check In, Carry On, Haunting, Mr. Fanatical, Goodbye To The City.
This CD celebrates the arrival of the new millennium and also marks the group's 20 years as one of the pioneering infuences on today's Jazz/Funk scene.