Sunday May 2nd, 2004

 

New CD's this past week:

- Rahsaan Patterson After hours (UK release)
- Tim Dillenger Love is on my mind
 

Music news stories this week:

Philly Label's Unreleased Material About To Be Released

Kenny Gamble says more unreleased material from the Philadelphia
International vault is in the offing. On tap: a Patti LaBelle live set and
albums by the Dells and Jean Carn.
These releases would go through the company's distribution deal with EMI's
the Right Stuff. That's aside from a recent agreement with next-generation
producers Carvin Haggins and Ivan Barias to rework some Gamble and Huff
tunes.
The first album issued under the Right Stuff pact was the O'Jays'
"Together We Are One." Founding members Walter Williams and Eddie Levert
sought to block its distribution, saying the songs were dated rejects.
A judge has since ruled in Philadelphia International's favor.
"Contractually, we had the right to put this album out; it's done every
day," Gamble says. "These songs aren't rejects. The Gamble and Huff name
is at stake also. We had a great creative relationship together, and I
think we also have a good friendship.
"We put this out with the intention of helping the O'Jays and us too. We
wanted to build enthusiasm for some great songs and also generate dollars
toward past recoupable advances. In the end, the O'Jays will benefit from
it."
Meanwhile, Gamble is busy completing research for an earlier-announced R&B
hall of fame in Philadelphia. A report should be completed at year's end.
He envisions the hall as a cross between Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of
Fame and Museum and Memphis' Stax Museum of American Soul Music/Beale
Street.
"We're not just talking about somebody's suit or shoes," Gamble says. "We
want to tell R&B's real history, giving proper credit to many of the
artists who aren't -- and probably never will be -- inducted into the Rock
& Roll Hall of Fame."



Brandy Gets Love From Kanye, Timbaland On New Album

From her new boyfriend Quentin Richardson of the Los Angeles Clippers
to producers Kanye West and Timbaland, to a certain critically acclaimed
group from Great Britain, Brandy's new album is deeply inspired by the men
floating in her circle.
"It's called Afrodisiac," the singer said last week as she soaked up the
sun in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica. "It's about love, it's about
passion. It's romantic, and that's where I am in my life right now. I
really feel love and passion right now."
Brandy sings literally about love on her first single, "Talk About Our
Love," which was produced by Kanye West ("Whom I love, whom I think is a
genius," she says). The love Brandy sings about is so strong that it can't
be swayed by busybodies poking into her business. "I swear they got some
nerve, spreading what they heard," she laments on the cut. "I can't give
them no burn/ I can't be concerned with all that talk/ ... That's my
word."
"We collaborated and we just came up with a great melody," Brandy said of
working with West, who also raps on the single. "It's about two people in
a relationship where everybody is in and out of their business, which is
something that everybody in a relationship goes through."
Brandy and Kanye play love interests in the song's video. "Kanye is a
great person and he's so passionate about his music," she said. "He really
believed in this song. He told me this was one of the best songs he's done
all year and he really sold it to me: 'Look, you got to do this song.'
With that much passion and confidence, I had to do it."
The other beatmaker in Brandy's life is Timbaland, who replaced Rodney
Jerkins as her main producer for the new album. "I needed to change my
sound, I wanted to explore my versatility and my creativity and my art,"
she said about parting ways with Jerkins, who helmed most of her last two
LPs. "I wanted to do my own thing, and I've always wanted to work with
Timbaland."
Timbo provided the singer with a plethora of tracks, one of which she
holds especially dear.
"When we hooked up, it was like magic," she gushed. "He let me be me, and
I let him be him. One of my favorite songs is called 'Coldplay.' It's
definitely inspired by the band Coldplay, whom I love. That song is just
raw: It puts me into a position where I am very open and you can hear the
struggle and the pain in my voice. It's autobiographical."
Brandy implied that lyrically, she dove into plenty of firsthand
experiences for Afrodisiac's material. "Everything I do has something to
do with what I've gone through in my life," she said. "I definitely wanted
to incorporate that in my art. It makes it more real when you add what's
been going on in your life in your music. I've grown and I've gone through
some things in my life, and I celebrate that, I honor that."
Afrodisiac is due June 29.

 


R. Kelly To Release Double album

R&B singer R. Kelly has pushed back the release of his forthcoming album,
Happy People. MTV.com reports that the singer will now release a double
album, Happy People/U Saved Me, on July 13th. The Happy People disc will
include love songs and dance music while U Saved Me will contain
inspirational songs.
The first single from the set is the title track, "Happy People," which is
currently Number 13 on the national Urban AC radio chart.
In related news, R. Kelly is still facing 14 counts of child pornography
in Chicago, Illinois, for allegedly videotaping a sexual encounter with an
underage girl. The singer is due back in court on May 28th.

 



Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Stephanie Mills Headline Hampton Jazz Festival

Classic soul music dominates this year's Hampton Jazz Festival, as veteran
divas Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Stephanie Mills headline each of
the festival's three nights, from June 25th through June 27th at the
Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia.
Knight will close the festivities on Friday, June 25th, after performances
by Kem, the East Coast All Stars featuring Chuck Loeb, Alex Bugnon, Bill
Evans, Will Lee and Omar Hakim; and the Gap Band.
Saturday's show will feature a combined set by classic soul groups the
Dells, the Chi-Lites, and the Intruders, then Dave Koz & Friends featuring
Rick Braun, Wayman Tisdale, and Jonathan Butler, before wrapping with
LaBelle.
The concert set for Sunday, June 27th, features all R&B artists: Floetry,
Kool & the Gang, and Gerald Levert will perform before Mills takes the
stage.
More information is available at hamptoncoliseum.org/jazz.




Youngest Pointer Sister Faces L.A. Drug Charges

The youngest member of the original hit-making Pointer Sisters was charged
on Monday with cocaine possession, the Los Angeles County District
Attorney's Office said.
June Pointer Whitmore, 50, was arrested last Thursday with two other
people outside the Hollywood apartment of her older sister, Bonnie, but
was released on bail.
Bonnie Pointer, who left the group in 1978 to pursue a solo career with
Motown, was not charged in the case. Whitmore has not performed with the
Pointer Sisters in more than three years, their lawyer, Martin Singer,
told Reuters.
The two remaining members of the original lineup, Anita and Ruth Pointer,
previously obtained a court order barring their younger sibling from the
group and asserting their exclusive rights to the Pointer Sisters name,
Singer said.
He said Whitmore was kicked out of the group because of repeated substance
abuse problems that prevented her from making several appearances.
Anita and Ruth Pointer, who now perform as a trio with Ruth's daughter,
Issa, are currently en route to Belgium for a tour, Singer said. He said
they were in Montana last week recording a DVD when Whitmore was arrested.
Details of Whitmore's arrest were sketchy. But a spokeswoman for
prosecutors said she and her co-defendants were confronted by police
officers who responded to citizen complaints and found them in possession
of cocaine and cocaine pipes.
Whitmore is charged with one count of cocaine possession and a lesser
charge of possessing an illegal smoking device. Although conviction
carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, Whitmore would be
eligible for a California program that allows first-time offenders to have
their record expunged if they complete drug rehabilitation.
The original Pointer Sisters trio produced a string of hits in the late
1970s and early '80s, including a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire,"
"He's So Shy" and "Slow Hand."
Legal representatives for Whitmore were not readily available. No
arraignment date has been announced.


 


Teena Marie Says Getting Radio Play Has New Meaning Today

Veteran R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie is thrilled that her new
single, "Still In Love," is getting so much radio play at urban adult
radio stations. While the soul singer charted numerous hits during the
late '80s and early '90s -- including classics like "Lovergirl," "Behind
The Groove," and "Fire And Desire" with mentor Rick James -- she hasn't
had any new music on the urban charts in several years. Marie says that
hearing "Still In Love" on the radio these days is a brand new experience
for her because of her 11-year-old daughter.
Marie said that her daughter wasn't yet born when she had her first flush
of fame: "It's really great. To be in the car with my daughter and hear
that. We hear the old stuff all the time, but to hear something new with
my child is really a beautiful feeling for me and for her. She knows about
mommy, you know, but 20 years ago Rick and I were breaking Elvis Presley's
records and in stadiums, a hundred and twenty thousand people and it was
amazing, they were flying us in to concerts in helicopters, so she knows
the stories."
The singer added that it's great to hear "Still In Love" on playlists that
also feature Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and other contemporary artists with her
daughter: "To actually sit there and have the song come on and it's a new
song. you know, and it's played right there next to Alicia Keys or next to
Beyonce or something, you know. It makes me feel good. She already loves
me anyway so it doesn't matter to her either way, you know, but it's
exciting for me."
Marie's "Still In Love" featuring Baby is the first single from her
upcoming album, La Dona, which is due May 25th. The song, which was
produced by Marie with Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh, is currently
Number 35 on the Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart. It
also stands at Number Four on the national urban AC airplay chart.
 



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