Sunday November 2nd, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- Gerald Levert – A stroke of genius
- Luther Vandross – Live a Radio City Hall
Music news stories this week:
Will Downing To Tour With Crooner Gerald Levert
Will Downing was in Los Angeles on Wednesday night (October 28th) to promote his
sexy new album, Emotions. The set currently stands at Number Two on Billboard's Top
Contemporary Jazz Albums chart for a second week. Downing was in town to meet with
retail and radio personnel and talk about the making of the new disc.
Recently Downing talked about his upcoming activities, including an exciting tour
pairing him with R&B vocalist Gerald Levert that is sure to please female fans. Downing
said: "Always concerts, always out on the road. But this time we have a more consistent
event coming up with Gerald Levert. We're gonna go out on the road together starting the
latter part of November through the early part of the New Year. And we're gonna hit all
the major markets and we're gonna do our thing. We're gonna bring whatever we do ---
whatever you wanna call it -- we're bringing to the stage together, and it's gonna be one
hell of an event."
Donna Summer Says She'll Probably Record New Album Soon
Donna Summer is looking to record some new music soon. The "Queen of Disco" told
CNN that up until recently it was the last thing on her mind. However, she revealed, "I
will probably put out a new record soon. So I'm not worried about having a hit at this
point in my career. It would be nice if you have a hit. But I don't think it's necessary to
continue with my career at this point."
Summer said that when recording new material, she likes to collaborate with talented
musicians she doesn't know well to get a spontaneous sound: "I like to go into the studio
with somebody that I don't know who is a good musician or player and they just play off
the cuff, no prelude, nothing and I will just sing off the cuff. And you know, there's no
pretense because everybody's really feeling their way in the beginning. And then
somehow this kind of interesting companionship happens. And a lot of great songs have
been written for me that way."
Summer released an autobiography earlier this month titled Ordinary Girl. In it, Summer
describes her journey from singing in a Boston choir as a child through her rise to fame.
She also recounts struggles along the way. In the past, the singer has struggled with
depression, but eventually sought help from a doctors.
Earth, Wind & Fire Are Recording New Songs
Earth Wind & Fire are hard at work in the studio. MTV is reporting that Musiq, Raphael
Saadiq and D'Angelo have joined founding member Maurice White in the studio for an
LP due out next year.
Meanwhile, Earth, Wind & Fire are getting ready to hit the road with the Isley Brothers
on the Comedy Soul Tour, which kicks off November 13th in Atlanta. Earth, Wind &
Fire vocalist and percussionist Philip Bailey said that when performing it's always best to
expect the unexpected: ["We've all had stuff happen that's unexpected or a trick doesn't
work or you know, a mic goes out, you forget lyrics to a song or you say the wrong
holiday to the audience -- something like that. I mean, we've all done 'em. You just pretty
much just laugh at it with everybody else and just go with it. There's nothing else that you
This year has been a busy one for the members of Earth,Wind & Fire. They recently
wrapped up a headlining tour in support of their 2003 release titled Live in Rio and were
inducted into the Hollywood Rockwalk in July.
Whitney Houston's 'One Wish' For The Holidays
Whitney Houston will release Whitney Houston One Wish - The Holiday Album on
November 18th. The album contains 11 tracks, including a version of "Little Drummer
Boy" on which Whitney is joined by her daughter Bobbi Kristina. The album was co-
produced by Mervyn Warren and Houston.
Here is the track listing for Whitney Houston One Wish - The Holiday Album:
"Deck The Halls/Silent Night"
"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)"
"Little Drummer Boy"
"Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night)"
"One Wish (For Christmas)"
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
"I'll Be Home For Christmas"
"The First Noel"
"O Come O Come Emanuel"
"Joy To The World"
"Who Would Imagine A King
Carl Thomas And Ll Cool J Hook Up For New Single
Carl Thomas recently released the first single, "She Is" featuring LL Cool
J, from his forthcoming sophomore set, Rebound, which will be released in
December. The singer's new set was produced by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs,
Stevie J., Mario Winans, Mike City, and the team of Andre Harris & Vidal
Recently the singer shared that with his sophomore set he has become more
concerned with creating dance songs because of the serious nature of
what's going on in the world. Thomas said: "I've just became more
concerned about the dance, you know what I mean, more concerned about
dancing than I really was then. You know it's really important right now
for people to be dancing or to be listening to things that can promote
doing that because we're in a real serious state right now. We're in a
real serious time."
Thomas released his debut set, Emotional, in 2000. The set was certified
platinum and featured the smash hits "I Wish" and "Emotional."
Musiq To Appear On "As The World Turns"
Philadelphia-based neo-soul singer Musiq will release his third album,
Soulstar, on December 9th. The first single from the set is "Forthenight,"
and the set will include a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You."
December 9th is also a special day for Musiq because it is the day that
his episode of As The World Turns airs on CBS. The singer plays himself in
the episode. Musiq explained: "I'm playing myself. I'm playing Musiq
Soulchild, singing at a wedding. They even gave me some lines, like some
for real lines, so it's going to be funny. Don't laugh too hard."
The singer shared that although he enjoys acting he hopes to one day be
behind the scenes and part of the creative process. Musiq said: "I don't
mind acting. You know I can act a damn fool sometimes. But yeah acting,
you know, that's really cool especially, you know, doing soap operas. It's
hard. It not as easy as it looks. But yeah, I would much rather be, you
know, behind the scenes."
Check local listings for air times on your local CBS affiliate.
Diana Ross' s Lawyer Want New Judge To Rule On Breath Test
The legal wrangling continues in the long-delayed drunk driving trial for
singer Diana Ross. The diva's lawyer, Stephen Paul Barnard, has just asked
the courts to assign a new judge to rule on his request to toss out the
breath test done when Ross was arrested in Tucson, Arizona last December.
A city magistrate in Tucson dismissed Barnard's earlier contentions that
the 58 year old Ross was intimidated into letting the police use a breath
analyzer on her the night of the traffic stop. The judge, T. Jay Cranshaw,
had ruled that the results could be used in court, and had set a trial
date for September 9th, but later moved it to December, and then to
January 2004. Now, the lawyer wants a new judge to look over the
allegation that Ross was coerced into taking several breath tests.
Ross has pleaded innocent to the three charges lodged against her,
although police said her blood alcohol concentration was 0.20 percent,
more than twice Arizona's limit of 0.08 percent.
Destiny's Child Promise Two Albums In 2004
With Beyoncé's status as a pop icon growing by the millisecond, many
have questioned whether or not she would in fact rejoin her group,
Destiny's Child, to record another album like she's vowed she would.
Well according to her record label, the naysayers will turn true
believers come next year.
Destiny's Child will soon be coming back at full power, putting out two
new albums in 2004. The first LP is currently slated for a February
release, just in time for Valentine's Day. That opus will show that
Beyoncé isn't the only one in the trio who is "crazy in love." The
group's rep says the project will be themed around romance.
Later in 2004, a traditional DC3 album is supposed to come down the pike
and focus on more than amorous musical premises.
But before they jump the gun and leap into next year's undertakings, the
women of Destiny's Child are still deep into solo endeavors. Michelle
has just signed on to take over the lead from Toni Braxton in the
Broadway musical "Aida" on November 18. Michelle, who is already in
rehearsals for her role, is also readying her second solo LP, Do You
Know?, to come out in January. Meanwhile, Beyoncé is far from finished
milking her musical cash cow — the multiplatinum,
number-one-single-spawning Dangerously in Love.
B has chosen "Me, Myself and I" as the third single and wants to shoot
the video in about a week and a half, possibly in New York. She's still
deciding which director will helm the clip.