Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 14:22 UK

Soul star Hayes was 'cool as ice'

Isaac Hayes in 2004
Isaac Hayes and Jazzie B performed Papa Was a Rolling Stone on French TV

Soul II Soul star and British music pioneer Jazzie B became friends with US soul icon Isaac Hayes after they performed together in the 1990s.

Jazzie B says the iconic singer-songwriter, who has died at the age of 65, has left a big impression on him - and on modern music.


I first heard Isaac as a kid. He was Black Moses at that time. He'd done that album - that would have been the early '70s.

We had a lot of laughs, a lot of chuckles

One of the things I remember most was the album cover, him as Black Moses, with the chain waistcoat and the cloak, and the album sleeve opened out into a cross. A very outstanding piece of material.

My biggest memory of Isaac is singing with him in Paris, I think it was either '95 or '97, singing Papa Was a Rolling Stone. That duet was just so bizarre. That's one of my fondest memories. We became friends after that.

When Isaac came over [to the UK], I'd often hang out with him and we had a lot of mutual friends. He was just a really nice man, a really cool guy. He was quite funny, quite comedic. Always had interesting things to say.

I probably remember him more from a humorous point of view, we had a lot of laughs, a lot of chuckles. Isaac definitely had an impression on people.

Naturally those impressions have been left like giant footprints in my memory

Black Moses - that's what I used to call him. The guy was as cool as ice, man. People say 'Jazzie you're so cool', but having been around both Isaac and Barry White, those are the guys who epitomised coolness.

A lot of the various influences of that era, in the early '70s - the strings and whole orchestral side of things - played a big part in music as R&B evolved into soul music.

And naturally those impressions have been left like giant footprints in my memory and were hugely responsible for a lot of the influences that came along with the music that I have produced.

Jazzie B at OBE
Jazzie B was made an OBE earlier this year
So he was definitely an inspiration. He was a pretty incredible musician. Some of the tasks that he took on were very ambitious - Hot Buttered Soul and the Theme From Shaft stick out so much.

As music evolves, there are various legacies that are left. And when new music or new styles of music come along, they are naturally influenced by the past.

And there is absolutely no doubt that Isaac Hayes, Black Moses to me, is a huge influence to music that is being made currently.

He was an equal cornerstone to the evolution of hip-hop, what's come to be known as R&B, and urban music in general.

So Isaac Hayes will be truly missed and he was a very influential part of music as we hear it today.

Jazzie B was talking to BBC News music reporter Ian Youngs.


SEE ALSO
OBE for DJ and producer Jazzie B
16 May 08 |  England

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