Sunday September 30th 2001


Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and R&B Album Chart October 6


New CD's this week:

This past week there were new releases by Joy Enriquez, Cooly' Hot Box and
Maurice J. Apart from the fact that this last one includes production work from
Michael J. Powell (known for his work with Anita Baker) I know nothing about it.
Check below for more on the other two.

Cooly's Hot Box - Take it

Christian Urich, Angela Johnson, Ernesto Abreu and Chris Smyke are Cooly's Hot
Box. Discerning soul fans will be aware of this self-contained band through odd tracks
on compilatons and a truly wonderful 12" that's been doing the rounds. Though they
have been together since the early nineties, "Take It" is the band's first bona fide CD
and I'm pleased to report that the full album lives up to the expectations raised by the
aforementioned tasters. Indeed, without mincing words, the album is excellent and will
no doubt feature prominently in those end of year "best of" listings. Cooly's Hot Box
have a very solid, distinctive and contemparary sound but, like all the best soul, it has
roots. The Cooly sound has touches of Incognito at their best, but listen carefully and
you'll hear touches of EW&F and Rufus too, while the album's big atttention grabber
"Take me Home Tonight" pays sunconscious reference to Maxwell. That cut, take it from
me, will become a classic. It is a great track, but only one of many. Other good shufflers
and dancers include "It's Alright", "Over And Over", "Make Me Happy" and "Friend Of
Mine". But the band can cut it too on the ballads with "I'm In Love With You" being
particularly strong. Add to those a couple of latin-esque items and you have varied,
well-paced and beautiful album by a band where it's clear the wisdom of experience is


Joy Enriquez - Joy Enriquez

Sincerity and sheer talent are served in healthy proportions on the self-titled
Arista Records debut, "Joy Enriquez"that features songs crafted by some of pop
music's best producers: Babyface, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, Soulshock and
Karlin and Ian Prince.
The album's first commercial release, "Tell Me How You Feel," gave Joy an
opportunity to make people dance. She actually co-wrote the song along with
producers Soulshock and Karlin and it contains a sample of the Lowrell song
"Mellow Mellow".
Joy's down to earth demeanor comes across in every song. Her vulnerable romantic
side shows on ballads such as "With This Love" and "Losing The Love." "Someday,"
produced by Babyface, embodies her deep-rooted R&B influences. On the sassy
"Situation," she dumps the guy she has been dating when she finds out that he has
a girlfriend. The energy of her family's backyard barbecues thrives on the conga
driven "Shake Up The Party." And her love and appreciation for her family and God
is clearly felt on the emotional "Just When I Needed You".


Short  news stories this week:

Brandy Reportedly Eyeing Aaliyah's Role In 'Matrix' Sequels

Brandy is reportedly leading the pack of starlets who want the role Aaliyah had in
the sequel to The Matrix before she was killed a plane crash last month. According
to yesterday's (September 27) New York Post, Warner Bros. decided after Aaliyah's
death to keep scenes she had already filmed for the movie and to film others with an
actress dubbing her voice.
However, now the studio is reportedly deciding to reshoot her scenes with another
actress. An insider told the Post, "The role had to be expanded and they want the
character for another sequel." The source added that Brandy, actress-model James
King, and up-and-comer Eva Mendes are "lobbying very, very hard" to fill Aaliyah's
place in the films.

Rahsaan Touring

Rahsaan Patterson is to be a guest performer for Chaka Kahn, Rufus and Earth, Wind
& Fire. The tour runs from September through October. If you have the chance to go
see them and you know what's best for you, you won't miss this opportunity to hear
one of the best voices in R&B. Check below for remaining dates:

10/2 Los Angeles, Universal Amph.
10/4 Los Angeles, Universal Amph
10/6 Phoenix, AZ Desert Sky
10/7 Las Vegas, NV Aladdin Theatre

Related news on Rahsaan, UK indie label Expansion Records is readying the latest
Soul Togetherness compilation, featuring Rahsaan Patterson's sought after version of
'I'll Go'.

Former Temptation On Expansion

Expansion Records is also readying the much trumpeted solo album by former
Temptation Ali-Ollie Woodson for release in early October. The Woodson set
features production by Preston Glass. Tracks include the brilliant 'Drama In The Bedroom'.

Destiny's Child Put 'Stank' Into Christmas On Holiday Album

8 Days of Christmas emulates Motown Christmas, due October 23.
Just as they've cut loose group members in the past, Destiny's Child have now let a
few days of Christmas go.
The "Bootylicous" trio have finished recording 8 Days of Christmas, whose title
track pairs the "12 Days of Christmas" melody with new and abbreviated lyrics
written by singer Beyoncé Knowles. The LP hits stores October 23.
"There hasn't been a Christmas album like this - it's kind of like a 2000 version
of Motown Christmas," Beyoncé said recently, referring to the 1973 compilation
that included the Jackson Five and Stevie Wonder. "There's nothing traditional
about the album, even with the traditional songs. We totally remade them, and we
have some really different harmonies and arrangements."
While a track listing has not been finalized, 8 Days of Christmas is expected to
feature updated versions of "White Christmas," "This Christmas" and "O Holy
Night,"the latter sung by Michelle Williams. The Beyoncé-penned "Winter's
Paradise" is among four originals slated for the album."Usually when you hear
the Christmas songs, they're kind of corny," Beyoncé said. "But you could hear
this album all year round."
"And Beyoncé put the stank on it to make it a unique Christmas album," Kelly
Rowland added.
The effort, which marks Destiny's Child's first holiday album, will include solo
cuts from each bandmember plus a duet by Beyoncé and her younger sister, Solange
Knowles. The threesome recorded in Japan, Houston and New York.
A line of Destiny's Child dolls will also hit shelves in time for the holiday season.

Another R&B girl group, En Vogue, plans to spread its own holiday cheer with an
LP of original and traditional songs. The trio is eyeing a November release,
according to their management company.
And if you really want to get into the Christmas spirit don't miss the Toni Braxton
album entitled "Snowflakes" or the Kelly Price Christmas album. Even veteran
Melba Moore decided to put out a Christmas album. Looks like this year it is gonna
be soulful around the the christmas tree.

Michael Jackson Releases 'Cry' As Tribute To Terror Victims

Michael Jackson has decided to release the song "Cry" five weeks early in New
York City and Washington, D.C., as a tribute to the victims of the September 11
terrorist attacks. The song appears on Jackson's Invincible album, due for release
October 30, and wasn't going to be released until that time, but then tragedy struck
the nation. The R. Kelly-penned track should not be confused with the benefit single
"What More Can I Give," which Jackson is currently recording with Destiny's Child,
Nick Carter, and others. Unlike "You Rock My World," the upbeat first single from
Invincible, "Cry" is a slow-moving ballad extremely fitting for a tribute to those who
lost their lives in the recent catastrophe.


Craig David on new CD

Craig David has revealed details about his new album.
He's been working with Mark Hill from Artful Dodger, who produced his debut, 'Born
To Do It'. The new album will be out early next year and he has nearly finished recording
it. Craig says he is exploring lots of new sounds that people haven't really touched on
yet and the album will feature string quartets.
Craig was over in New York at the time of the World Trade Centre terrorist attacks but
is now back in the UK. He has recorded a message to his fans that he has posted on his
official website and says he's happy to be home:
"It kind of hit home actually being there and knowing how many people were involved.
I thought it was important I said to everyone to come together and together we will get
through this and let the music be a force to push forward as a positive means."


News 2001