Sunday August 22nd, 2004
New CD's this past week:
- Lyfe – Lyfe 268-192
Music news stories this week:
Anita Baker Collaborates With The Yellowjackets On New Album
When Anita Baker's long-awaited new album, My Everything, is released on
September 9th, fans will be able to hear ten brand-new tracks from the
velvet-voiced singer after a hiatus of ten years. Baker's album features
tunes co-written by her with previous collaborator Barry Eastmond as well
as Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and -- surprise -- members of fusion-jazz
quartet The Yellowjackets.
Pianist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Will Kennedy
all contribute songwriting and musicianship to one of the most sensual
songs on the set. Also co-written by Baker and singer Lori Perry, the
track "I Can't Sleep" finds Baker singing about missing her man so much
that she can't sleep at night. The slow-swinging tune is a perfect fit for
Baker's smoky alto.
Writing for themselves and for fellow artists is nothing new for Haslip
and Ferrante, who frequently record with other musicians as well. Haslip
has written tunes for Bobby Caldwell, Marilyn Scott, Eric Marienthal, and
has two tracks on flutist Nestor Torres' current album, Sin Palabras.
Ferrante has also written for Brenda Russell, Michael Franks, Al Jarreau,
and Bobby McFerrin, among others.
Aretha Franklin “Damn happy” To Return To Los Angeles
Los Angeles hasn't seen an Aretha Franklin concert since 1983, but that's
about to change. The soul legend has booked a pair of shows on September
17th and 18th, her first since her Who's Zoomin' Who? tour two decades
ago. Franklin -- who's based in Detroit -- tells The Hollywood Reporter
that she hasn't been on a plane in more than twenty years. She jokingly
noted, "I haven't been gone. I just haven't come out (here). L.A. is not
just around the corner if you're driving."
Franklin suffers from aerophobia, a fear of flying. More than 25 million
people in the United States alone share her anxiety.
Franklin says she "can't wait" to hit the West Coast again, and that she
plans to stop by all her favorite eating spots -- Tommy's Burgers, Pink's
and Fatburger. The 62-year-old star also plans to do some shopping on
Aretha says she's planned a special set, with some "special things" and
As soon as her tour is done, Franklin plans to hit the recording studio,
where she'll work on an album of duets. She's already asked Mariah Carey
and Gloria Estefan to join her at the mic.
Jay-Z And R.Kelly To Tour Together This Fall
Superstars Jay-Z and R. Kelly have decided to give their Best Of Both
Worlds tour another shot. MTV.com reports that the duo will be launching a
joint tour on September 30th in Chicago and that the tour will wrap on
November 28th in Phoenix.
In a videotaped statement, Jay-Z said, "We want people to be genuinely
shocked and awed, we're on a shock-and-awe campaign."
R. Kelly added, "We want to blow up the world. In any arena we got to, we
want to give them something they've never seen before. You never know what
can happen when me and Jay get on stage -- we're spontaneous."
Jay-Z and Kelly were slated to launch a similar tour in 2002 when the duo
released their joint album, Best Of Both Worlds, but tour plans were
abandoned after R. Kelly was hit with accusations of child-pornography.
The singer was later indicted and he is still facing 14 counts of child
pornography for allegedly videotaping a sexual encounter with an underage
girl in Cook County, Illinois.
Tour dates for the trek have not be released and whether or not they will
match the tour dates previously announced by R. Kelly for his two-month
solo tour remains to be seen.
In related news, R. Kelly will release his new double album, Happy People/
U Saved Me, next Tuesday, August 24th.
Usher Returns Favor By Appearing On Alicia's Revised Diary
Usher isn't the only R&B phenom gearing up to re-release a multiplatinum
LP, nor is his reissue going to be the only one featuring his singing. His
"My Boo" co-star, Alicia Keys, says she'll have a new version of The Diary
of Alicia Keys out before the year is over.
Keys has already served up the first sounds off the album, sending radio
stations a remix of "If I Ain't Got You" featuring Usher. The two are also
being heard together via Usher's "My Boo".
"We kind of did an exchange," she explained. "I reached out to him, he
reached out to me, and it just kind of worked so we could come together.
It's cool because both [songs] take us out of our element. 'If I Ain't Got
You' ain't really a traditional Usher song so to speak, but he can
absolutely flow on songs like that, and he did a crazy, damn good job. His
song takes me out of my element a little bit. It's good to do that to get
a different side of the individual.
" 'My Boo' is gonna be on the re-release of his album," she continued.
"And 'If I Ain't Got You' will be available on the re-release of my album.
Along with other things on my album, I'm creating some new songs. I also
have in the works a live album, which will be really fly. I haven't done a
live album in a long time, and live shows are my thing, so it will be a
Keys, who is trying to put together a DVD to be released around the same
time as the reworked Diary, seems to have all the bases covered musically
and is trying to get her feet wet in other aspects of entertainment. The
singer is preparing two books, and Halle Berry has linked her name to
Keys' first starring vehicle for Hollywood.