Revered dance instructor Frank Hatchett shares his searing lead single “Rainforest” from an upcoming reissue compilation entitled Sensational! set for release on November 19.
Hatchett is known as one of the co-founders of legendary Hines-Hatchett Studio (now known as The Broadway Dance Centre) during the late ‘70s. Hatchett’s “vop style” classes were sought after by celebrities of the era, including Madonna, Brooke Shields, Olivia Newton-John and Naomi Campbell.
While Hatchett’s name and face appear on the sleeve of the record, in reality, he hired a rotating cast of session musicians to craft the music for his classes (a common practice amongst other dance instructors of the era).
Led by musical director Don Tipton and arranger Zane Mark, the list of musicians that appeared include keyboardist Fred McFaralane (Madonna, Keith Sweat, Evelyn “Champagne” King), drummer Bernard Davis (Steve Winwood, Kool & The Gang) and actor Tamari Tumie (Law & Order: SVU).
Tipton crafted a slew of material for Hatchett from the 70s to the early ‘10s, centering on disco and proto-techno before Hatchett’s death in 2013.
On “Rainforest,” you’re immediately transported to the early ‘80s in all it’s analog glory. The video is bathed in nostalgia with scenes of New York City residents scurrying outside Hatchett’s studio, the vibrant summer bustle matching perfectly with the sultry sounds on the track. A layer of alluring synths, smooth as silk keys and kinetic drum grooves accentuate the video’s instructional trope as you watch dancers become one with the funk.