One of the most important black music tastemakers there has ever been in the UK” – that’s how Mark “Snowboy” Cotgrove once described veteran DJ COLIN CURTIS (or Colin Dimond as he’s known to his mates!). He’s been an almost ever present on the UK DJ scene, entering the fray at the start of  the Northern soul boom. He then led the evolution of Northern into what’s been tagged “modern” before going on to champion jazz-funk, jazz, electro and early house and techno. En route, he’s established a series of major residencies and built a reputation second  to none.

After a career break (caused, we believe, by health issues and his focus on his computer gaming company), CC came back stronger than ever – peddling his unique take on black-oriented dance music to legions of followers. To further his crusade, Colin inked a deal with Dave Lee’s Z Records which has issued three Curtis-curated  ‘Jazz Dance Fusion’ compilations. The first came out in 2018,, the second 2020 and the  third 2022. Now with another two years gone Colin and Dave are delighted to deliver ‘Jazz Dance Fusion volume 4’.

The eclectic collection  comes as a double LP (13 tracks), a double CD pack (26 tracks) and in this new-fangled digital thingy! The tracks cover a wide range – some have never been released before; some have never been on vinyl; some are  sleepers just waiting to be discovered; they come from all over the place … Brazil, Cuba, Japan, Italy, USA, UK and beyond and they deliver a variety of sounds – vocal jazz, salsa, Latin spoken word, sambas, bossa and fusion. What holds it all together is Mr C’s uncanny knack for selecting tunes that will set heads nodding, feet tapping and hips swaying. Then, of course, there’s his personal passion to introduce us to new talent and explore sounds and genres that might slip under our radar.

With a selection like  this, it’s  futile to cherry pick but right now we’re liking a supersonic ‘Still In Love’ from UK based producer and percussionist Gee W. On my promo copy  there’s no credits for the lady at the mic, the fiery horn player  and the on-fire keyboardist, but between them they mix a heady,  dance cocktail. A little gentler is the sweet bossa ’46 To Somewhere’ from The Sultan’s Swing. Again, we don’t know too much about them , but their organ-led groove is a delight. One of the artists who we do know about is Chris Bangs. Like Colin, he’s a UK dance scene vet and his contribution comes from his soon with us ‘Nova Vida’ album. The track offered here is the lithe, Latino ‘My Only’ which was released as a stand-alone single a few months back.