Song of the Day: Patrice Rushen “Haven’t You Heard”
Patrice Rushen underlined exactly why she was one of the queens of disco with the irresistible glide of “Haven’t You Heard”. Rushen came to this 1979 single (which also appeared on her album, Pizzazz) with something to prove, having recently switched from working as a skilled jazz pianist over to pop/ R&B, rankling much of her old fan-base along the way. Rushen‘s talent as a composer and arranger, combined with her almost girlish voice, may not have been enough to silence her critics, but it did earn her a new fan base, charting in the US as well as becoming an international hit. At base, “Haven’t You Heard” is an extended dance rave-up filled absolutely to the brim with chicken-scratch guitar, soaring strings, a relentless disco beat and interesting piano stabs that betray Rushen‘s jazz pedigree.
Patrice Rushen was born in Los Angeles in 1954. She was interested in music from an early age and studied piano and voice as a child. She would go on to earn a degree in music from USC and initially embarked on a musical career working as a jazz pianist. Throughout her early career, Rushen both worked as a side woman, backing the likes of Joe Henderson and Hubert Laws was also composing her own songs and leading her own groups. She eventually decided to crossover to R&B and was known predominantly as an R&B and disco singer for years. She has has periodically returned to jazz over the years and remains active in both the R&B and jazz scenes over the years. She is also a member of the jazz fusion group, CAB.