Omar - For Pleasure

Omar Lyefook first came to prominence more than a decade-and-a-half ago, when his debut single for indie label Kongo Dance Mr. Postman/You And Me made him a hot name on Londons underground.

It was soon afterwards that the success of his Ohio Players-influenced love ballad, the much celebrated Theres Nothing Like This, led to his signing to Gilles Petersons Talkin Loud label. Omar released a couple of albums for the Phonogram affiliate during 1992/3, the first a re-working of his Kongo set for the wider audience, the second, Music, a vastly more orchestral and organic affair that highlighted Omars maturing as a composer, arranger and vocalist.

Thereafter Omar signed to RCA, for whom he cut two further albums that notched up acres of critical acclaim as well as introduced him to several of his musical heroes and heroines.

His 1994 album, For Pleasure, is a distinctive delight and a rare element. He collaborates on several tracks, with David Frank, the System (ESP), Christina Aguilera, and 98 Degrees. Beginning with the oh-too-short 'My Baby Says,' the album flows into the samba-flavored 'I'm Still Standing.' 'Saturday' has sinewy synth riffs that recall Parliament-Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell. Underscoring the British respect and appreciation of American R&B and soul music, Omar works with two legends from this genre. 'Outside' is culled from an unfinished multi-track tape made in the '70s found in Lamont Dozier's basement. It's smooth soul featuring vintage performances by Ray Parker, Jr., Sonny Burke, Jay Graydon, and Sonny Burke. Another Motown alumni, Leon Ware co-writes, contributes backing vocals, and keyboards on the soft pumping 'Can't Get Nowhere.' The dusky, jazzy 'Little Boy' has soft brushes and double bass. Omar's eclectic leanings reminds how much range, personality, and distinctiveness you'll find on pop albums of the past.

"It was a wicked vibe," says Omar about the acid-jazz scene, "There was a whole load of us, and I was lucky to come out that time with a whole group of people who felt the same way as I did. In London in the early nineties there was a lot of house music, a lot of samplers and sequencers. There wasn’t enough of that old-school live vibe, so that’s where me, the Brand New Heavies, Galliano, Young Disciples, and Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay too, were coming from. We all approached it from that way of thinking."

01. My Baby Says
02. I'm Still Standing
03. Saturday
04. Keep Steppin'
05. Magical Mystery Interlude
06. Outside
07. Little Boy
08. Need You Bad
09. Can't Get Nowhere
10. Confection
11. Magical Mystical Way
12. Making Sense Of It
13. For Pleasure

Omars website

Omars MySpace Page

Get Omar - For Pleasure At Amazon

dl in comments...


acidjazzy said...

dl =
pw = mrmagic


Hey AJ, do you remember what Omar's other job was about 10 years ago ?

Regards, RR

acidjazzy said...

I give up, please enlighten me, I thought he was always about the music... :-)

suSOUL ** said...

I Love Omar...
Is one of my favourite male soul singer...


Anonymous said...

Yo, what's up? I love the blog, is it possible for a re-up on this Omar - For Your PLeasure album. thanks

Lari said...

PLeeease re-post it!!!
I can't find this album anywhere else!

pat said...

Ay mate. This one of my faves. Great little write up. My cd copy is beyond repair now. Thrashing outside too many times. Any chance you could post the link again? Thanks for the top blog....

UffePuff said...

No more turntable, cd's out of catalog and stuck with an LP ...
Please, please re-post this one.

What is Acid Jazz?

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 developed over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as tacking the sound of jazz-funk onto electronic dance/pop music.

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".