Sensational – that’s Frank Hatchett! These words can be found on many of the 16 albums credited to the legendary jazz dancer, choreographer, and teacher to the stars. At the height of his fame in the 1980s, Hatchett’s classes in New York City at the wildly popular Hines-Hatchett studio (now renamed the Broadway Dance Centre) attracted celebrities including Madonna, Brooke Shields, Olivia Newton-John, and Naomi Campbell. Though he hated flying, preferring to cruise in a Corvette from Massachusetts to Manhattan, each week saw Hatchett jet setting for classes and performances around the world.
In the highlights compiled on this expansive double LP set, the sounds of Hatchett’s albums run the gamut from disco and funk in the 1970s to electro and proto-techno as they glide through the ’80s. Like many albums in the dance instruction genre, nearly one third of the songs are covers (Prince, Paul Hardcastle, Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Cobham) and most clock in at a brisk 2:30 – the ideal length for Hatchett’s classes or his students’ recital performances. Fans of library music will find a similar focus on immaculate performances, while the tightly coiled drum breaks, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and thumping 808s will send rare groove collectors into a state of head nodding bliss.