For more than 20 years, Curtis Jones has blessed the dance scene with house music that is beloved and even cherished. Whether creating music under the moniker Green Velvet, Cajmere or another alter ego, Jones is a house music hero, staying at the forefront of the genre.
It was only fitting that a Godfather of Tech House played Stereo Live’s Private Label series on Father’s Day. Taking place outside on the covered terrace of the club, Private Label leaves all of the frills of dance life indoors. The focus is not on a bunch of laser beams, smoke machines and state of the art production. It is on the artist and people that love the music. The terrace was packed thick with several hundred people entrenched in the Houston dance scene.
Jones’ legendary catalog of tracks is one of the largest and deepest in the game. It is amazing how one person can make so many hits from similar sounding snares, hi-hats and rolling synths. It was interesting to hear “Flash” being played before the sun even descended. But Green Velvet did not simply curate a show full of classic dance tracks. The set was peppered with new tracks from friends at Dirtybird Records like “Walay (My Bae)” by Claude Von Stroke and “Take a Seat” by Will Clarke.
In Michaelango Matos book, The Underground is Massive, Jones is quoted, “The thing that I loved about the rave scene was it was extremely diverse — black, white, Latino, Asian, whatever.” He was referring to a time more than two decades ago. He must be pleased with our city’s current melting pot that makes up the diverse dance scene.
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The crowd filled with Kinda Super Disco shirts, gave back all they could, witnessed by the lack of wallflowers as most everyone was dancing the entire time. Velvet smiled through the evening hearing fans yelling the classic dance call and response, “oowop, oowop” and seeing their non-stop movement on the dance floor. Though the spotlight stayed off the DJ, the line of neon green could be seen constantly bobbin back and forth only stopping to take sips of champagne or hydrating with San Pellegrino.
Closing in on ten o’clock, the crowd may have thought the set was going to finish hard when the newly released track “Flyin’ Jake” meshed into “Chance” the collaboration with Shiba San. It was only the midway point as the concrete floor continued to be soaked in sweat.
After more than three and a half hours of non-stop beats, those remaining in the crowd yelled and clapped for him. Jones talked for about a minute telling a story about how he shook Prince’s hand at a concert in Chicago and wrote a song about it. He wants to play one more, “Bigger Than Prince”. By the end of the set, only a couple hundred people remained and most of those seemed wiped out, exhausted from the combination of the humidity and epic set laid down by one of the greatest house DJs to ever grace the stage.