When composer/arranger/keyboardist Patrice Rushen signed with Prestige in 1974, she was all of 20 years old, a former child prodigy from Los Angeles who had already amassed an impressive jazz resumé. The three albums she made for the label showcased her strong jazz chops and sophisticated writing skills, as well as a penchant for funk. On Prelusion, her assured debut, Patrice was joined by Joe Henderson (on the driving "Shortie's Portion" and "Haw-Right Now") and a cast including Ndugu and Hadley Caliman. Among the standouts on her followup, Before the Dawn, are the moody title track (with soloist Hubert Laws) and the high-stepping "What's the Story," a precursor of the r&b vocal stylings Patrice was to pursue into the mid-Eighties. A 1997 Grammy nomination followed a long break from recording, during which Rushen concentrated on producing, composing, and arranging. But here is where her distinguished career began.
with Joe Henderson, George Bohanon, Oscar Brashear, Hubert Laws, Hadley Caliman, Lee Ritenour, Charles Meeks, Tony Dumas, Harvey Mason, Ndugu (Leon Chancler), Nate Alfred, Kenneth Nash