‘Jazz-N-Groove’ An exclusive look at the history and friendships of early house music

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Brian Tappert and Marc Pomeroy recently decided to relaunch Soulfuric Recordings, and have teamed up with Defected Records for a House Masters compilation. The Jazz-N-Groove duo have been around since the early years of house and have worked with some of the most iconic DJs and labels in the game.

The pair took a step back in time to give us exclusive photos and quotes that display perhaps some of the most iconic friendships in early dance music. Simon Dunmore of Defected, Victor Simonelli of West Side Records and Frankie Knuckles all had the pleasure of working with Jazz-N-Groove.

In their hiatus from releasing records, they went to the consumer end of the industry with the launch of their Traxsource store. Read on for a look into the careers of two US house veterans.

1. The Day We Met Frankie (1993)
(pictured: Top Joey Madonia, Brian Tappert, Frankie Knuckles, Carol and Christian)

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Frankie Knuckles is one of the coolest human beings we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Judging by the hair and the ESA record in his hand, this picture was taken around 1993 at our dear friend Joey Madonia’s house. Joey was Larry Levan’s light man at the Paradise Garage and he and Frankie were tight. We were honored to meet him that day, and Frankie became such a blessing to us over the years in every way. He broke ‘Deliver Me’ for us to the world playing it for a year in various stages off of a cassette tape, to say we miss him is an understatement.

2. Blue Tape (1995)
(pictured: Brian Tappert & Simon Dunmore)

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Seems like yesterday when we all met for the first time. This photo was taken on our very first trip to the UK in the summer of 1995. Simon came out to see us at a very dodgy club. That blue tape on my headphone screams “We’re new to the industry” lol.

3. Strictly, Can We Make It? (1994)
(pictured: Marc Pomeroy, Roy Grant, Brian Tappert)

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Some of our fondest early production memories were made right here at New River Studios in Fort Lauderdale. They had sick Westlake Monitors, an amazing Neve Console and an extremely phat Studer 24 Track 2 inch machine. Roy Grant, Myself and Marc were mixing ‘We Can Make it’ by Mone for Strictly Rhythm.

4. F$#*’n Loud @ MOS (1996)
(pictured: Marc Pomeroy, Brian Tappert)

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This was the first time Marc and I played at MOS together in 1996. It was always special when we did this with the keys and extra bits. What a system they had back then too. At this time the booth was opposite to where it is now, and it had a secret VIP tunnel behind the booth where people would hang out and party, inside also housed the original Richard Long amp rack which had a digital display on the front with settings. While I was looking at it, it read “Fuckin Loud” MOS. And it was F’in Loud.

5. The Floating Heads (1997)
(pictured: Marc Pomeroy, Brian Tappert)

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Always loved this shot taken somewhere in london at a recording studio around 1997, Marc and I were working on something for Universal Publishing. This was a rare press photo which we both loved, and this didn’t happen very often. As we came up in a time where the music was the most important thing.

6. Remember D’arbly Street? (1997)
(pictured: Marc Pomeroy, Grant Nelson, Paul Farris, Brian Tappert)

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Paul Farris and Uptown Records was literally our UK HQ. In those days, D’arbly Street had it all, Black Market, Uptown, Defected and you had Vinyl Junkies and Release The Groove just around the corner. It was always a fun day hitting the shops, you would see everyone, like this day running into our dear friend Grant Nelson.

7. Bumpy Vibes @ Garage City (1997)
(pictured l to r: JP, Bobby, Mikey, Brian, Peter, Marc, Steve, Ricky Morrison, Jungle)

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How could anyone not LOVE Garage City at Bar Rumba? WOW, what vibes we had in this place, the sweat literally used to drip off the ceiling. This was during the height of Bobby and Steve’s radio program on Kiss FM. Mikey would guard the booth, these were very special times. If you had Mikey boppin his head, you knew you was rocking it.

8. NY’s Finest (1998)
(pictured l to r: Brian Tappert, Victor Simonelli, John Julius Knight, Roy Grant)

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To all of us, Victor Simonelli and Tommy Musto were literal heros. Victor took us under his wing early on and was a real mentor to us and later Tommy would distribute Soulfuric via his Northcott company. Vic signed our records, showed us the ropes and most notably – how to capture a vibe and record it before it got ruined. Thanks Vic!

9. Miami Vibes (Early 2000’s)
(pictured l to r: Bouncer, Sheldon Prince, Brian Tappert, Jask)

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This was taken here in Miami during WMC at an MN2S Event in the early 2000’s, Our dear friend Jask hanging out in the back with Sheldon Prince. Sheldon is THE Man at Traxsource and back then he was also Co A&R with me at Soulfuric, can’t really say enough about this man, only thank you bro, Marc and I couldn’t do it without you!

10. Studio A (2001)
(pictured: Studio A @ Soulfuric Studios circa 2001)

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Marc literally rebuilt this vintage Neve console from the ground up, and it lived in our prized Studio A. We absolutely loved this room. It was a shrine to all things 70s and out of view is the outboard rack filled with vintage Urie, DBX, Fairchild (or Lair-child lol), Lexicon, Thornes etc etc). If you look close, you can see Marc’s favorite Fender Rhodes (he’s got many, but this was THE one) with the tremolo cabinet on the right, that’s the one you have heard on countless productions.