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Escort album cover
Caméleon Chameleon
Cocaine Blues
A Sailboat In The Moonlight
Why Oh Why
A Bright New Life
All Through The Night
Love in Indigo
All That She Is
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 52:49

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Wondering Sound

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Barry Walters


Award-winning critic Barry Walters is a longtime contributor to Rolling Stone, Spin, the Village Voice, and many other publications. His interview with Prince a...more »

Escort, Escort
Label: Tirk

Despite the dissing it took during its heyday, disco remains one of the most difficult genres to accurately reproduce or update. Playing it straight gets as corny as grizzled rockers recycling Chuck Berry riffs; adding contemporary recording techniques typically turns it into house or techno. Brooklyn’s Escort is one of the very few current practitioners that nails the genre’s soulfulness. Accurately relegating synths to a supporting position and avoiding sampling entirely, this three-member group (that… read more »

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They Say All Music Guide

New York’s Escort, a disco act (that’s right) driven by former house producers Dan Balis and Eugene Cho, debuted in June 2006. “Starlight” was a startling A-side of midtempo boogie, hot enough to sit beside the Salsoul and Prelude labels’ best releases of 1979 and 1980. Each one of the song’s elements, including its sturdy rhythmic foundation, ARP synthesizer zaps, dramatic violin tugs, and layered female vocals, was executed and placed with such precision that it suggested perfectionism. Fast-forward five and a half years to November 2011. Escort had issued a total of six high-quality singles that demonstrated the band’s love of — and ability to breathe new life into — numerous strains of late-‘70s and early-‘80s club music. Purist disco, August Darnell’s tropical gangsterism, and electronic Euro-disco, to name three, were nailed down and revitalized with remarkable depth for active, mischievous dancefloors, as well as the stage, where the band’s membership swelled to 17. The singles added a freshness to DJ sets overflowing with oft-heard classics, secret weapons that should have remained secret, and ropey re-edits. Escort’s self-titled album features all eight of the songs from the 12” releases, though some of them appear in adjusted and/or partially re-recorded form. Most noticeable is the absence of vocalist Zena Kitt, who appeared on the first few singles; she has been replaced with Adeline Michele, who joined in time for 2010’s “Cocaine Blues” and is more like a young Fonda Rae — compared to Kitt, not as tough sounding, more flirtatious and playful. The hyper-sexed “All Through the Night” (“You don’t have to take me out/Just pick me up and turn me out”) doesn’t have the same predatory bite of the original; otherwise, the versions are equally strong, only slightly different in makeup. Three wholly new songs feature the same attention to detail and, as usual, repeated club and home play in mind. The finest of the trio is a rather audacious update of Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb’s “A Sailboat in the Moonlight,” recorded by Guy Lombardo and Billie Holiday, that smacks of Darnell/Kid Creole in the most pleasurable way. – Andy Kellman

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