Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Jimmy ‘Jam’ Harris (b. James Harris III, 6 June 1959, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) and Terry Lewis (b. 21 November 1956, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) are prolific producers of contemporary R&B and pop. The two first worked together in the early 80s as members of Time (formerly Flyte Time). Subsequently, Harris (keyboards) and Lewis (bass) became black music’s most consistently successful production duo. They formed their own record label, Tabu, in 1980, which enjoyed enormous success with artists such as the S.O.S. Band throughout the 80s. Among the other early bands and artists to benefit from the duo’s writing and production skills were Change, Cherrelle, the Force M.D.’s, Johnny Gill and the former Time singer Alexander O’Neal. Their greatest success, however, came as the creative catalysts behind Janet Jackson’s career. The first album they recorded with her, 1986’s Control, included five US Top 10 singles. The follow-up, 1989’s Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, was even more successful, with Jackson becoming the first artist in history to have culled from one album seven Top 5 US singles. In 1990 Jam And Lewis recorded once again with Time, who had re-formed to make Pandemonium, which was released on Prince’s Paisley Park Records. Though the reunion was not widely regarded as a success, the duo’s productions remained in the higher reaches of the charts. Their continued association with Jackson (1993’s Janet and 1997’s The Velvet Rope) was never surpassed commercially but many others benefited from their expertise, including Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, Vanessa Williams and Michael Jackson. Their pioneering work in the genre of urban R&B that became known as swingbeat, was juxtaposed with productions for other artists ranging from the Human League to Yolanda Adams and Sounds Of Blackness. In the 90s they also established a new record label, Perspective Records, distributed by A&M Records.
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