• The Smooth Jazz Cruise
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Nate Phillips

At a time when funk had a firm foothold around the Great Lakes, where bands like Parliament, the Ohio Players, Slave, and Earth, Wind & Fire cranked out industrial-strength soul, Portland, Oregon’s Pleasure was happy to blaze its own jazzy dance trail in the Northwest. “We were sort of isolated up there,” says bassist Nate Phillips, “so we just did our own thing.” The group’s fusion-influenced dance music reached its peak with “Glide,” the Top Ten R&B single from the album Future Now. The tune sports some of the finest bass work of the era, as Nate drives the track with his formidable slap-and-pop technique. It’s the kind of dense, booty-shaking line every would-be funkateer wishes they had written.