Sunday August 21st, 2005
New CD's this past week:
- Goapele - Change it all
Music news headlines this week:
Ralph Tresvant Is Preparing New Album
Ralph Tresvant, who grew up before our very eyes as the front man of New
Edition, is looking to put a new solo album in stores by October or
The singer has been in the studio working on his first solo project since
“It's Going Down” his sophomore album released in 1993. The artist is working
with Xzault Media Group in California and is said to have new material
that will satisfy the fans who had the New Edition buttons on their
Members Only jackets back in the 80s, as well as new music lovers.
Tresvant. is also setting up shop behind the microphone, having recently bought
shares of Xzault Media Group with plans to produce film and television
projects, as well as two new albums with the company.
As for New Edition, Tresvant is still involved with Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky,
Mike and Johnny, and a new N.E. album is said to be in the works for next
Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin Among Stars To Honor Luther Vandross
Celine Dion, Elton John and Alicia Keys are among the artists who will
appear on So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross, which
arrives September 20th. The compilation features contemporary artists
covering the late R&B star's hit songs - ranging from his debut album,
1981's Never Too Much, to his most recent CD, 2003's the Grammy-winning,
Dance With My Father. Also appearing on the collection are Beyonce, Aretha
Franklin, Donna Summer, Babyface, Patti Labelle, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia
and Jamie Foxx.
Vandross died on July 1st at the age of 54. He experienced complications
from a severe stroke he had in 2003.
Rachelle Ferrell Says She Gives Her Best To her Live Audiences
Vocalist Rachelle Ferrell is putting the finishing touches on her next
release, a double live CD she has titled “Free, Black And Live”. The set
will be released on her own label sometime this fall. The new set includes
live performances recorded around Los Angeles in 2003 and a live in-studio
performance recorded in Washington , D.C. in 2004.
Fans who have attended Ferrell's exciting and emotional performances know
that the singer and songwriter can be extremely exacting about her
stagecraft, and will interrupt the proceedings to make adjustments in the
sound, the arrangement, or the choice of song if she's not satisfied.
Ferrell explains that she's not being a diva, she simply wants the best
for her audiences: "I am a perfectionist when it comes to what I deliver,
and I think it's very, very important, it's my commitment to give my
highest and my best always to my audience because that's what they
deserve. The other portion of that is, I have a very keen awareness of how
much effort and energy it takes, you know, how much planning it takes for
an adult to say, I'm gonna go to this concert."
Ferrell plans to announce her label and album release date shortly.
KeKe Wyatt On An "Emotional Rollercoaster"
Soulful singer/songwriter Ketara "Keke" Wyatt's much anticipated return to
the R&B music scene has been wholeheartedly embraced by urban radio, with
KeKe's first new single in five years, "Put Your Hands On Me," snagging
the #1 most added spot at the format, her debut single from her highly
regarded upcoming album "Emotional Rollercoaster" scheduled for release in
the fall of 2005.
The aptly titled sophomore effort marks a much-heralded return for the
acclaimed KeKe, her debut effort as a newly signed Cash Money artist.
"Emotional Rollercoaster" includes a wide range of sizzling tracks from
the accomplished songstress, and features such superstar producers as
Brian Cox (Usher) and Bad Boy hitmaker Stevie J., as well as Steve
Morales, who has worked with female superstars such as Britney Spears and
Christina Aguilera. The album also showcases production efforts by Cash
Money impresario Mannie Fresh, and guest appearances by fellow label mates
Baby aka Birdman and Lil Wayne, among others.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but now living in Kentucky, KeKe has been
favorably compared to contemporary R&B female superstars such as Mary J.
Blige and Faith Evans, among others. Her trademark style of fluent,
sometimes gritty, hip hop-influenced R&B brought her much attention early
on in her career, with KeKe appearing in a very early version of Destiny's
Child before eventually being discovered by American Idol's Randy Jackson.
KeKe signed to MCA Records in 2001, offering up a rousing debut album,
Soul Sista, a critical and commercial success that sold more than 600,000
units and unveiled the smash debut single, "My First Love." The hit song
featured frequent KeKe collaborator Avant, who joins the singer/songwriter
once again on Emotional Rollercoaster. "My First Love," was a #1 Urban
Mainstream Record in 2001 and remained on BET's 106th and Park for six
Dwele Resurfaces On Music Scene With "Some Kinda ..." In October
R&B music will soon get a well-deserved boost, as Virgin recording artist
Dwele puts the finishing touches on his highly anticipated sophomore
album, “Some Kinda …” Rarely does a new artist inspire such early
critical praise and fan appreciation - both on the US and international
fronts - with a debut album as Dwele did with his groundbreaking
”Subject” in 2003.
Entertainment Weekly wrote that the album "spreads sultry, jazz-inflected
R&B over subtle but muscular hip-hop grooves."
Fueled by the hit single "Find A Way", “Subject” sold over 250,000 copies,
based mainly on the strong, word-of-mouth buzz generated from Dwele's
dynamic live shows and cool demeanor. The new album, "Some Kinda..", will
arrive in US record shops on October 4.
"I'm really excited to finish the new album and, more importantly, get
back in front of the people," says Dwele. "It will be great to finally
share new material that I've been working on for several months. I think
people will really see my growth as a songwriter and musician." In
addition to working on the new record, the artist has continued touring,
including recent sold-out shows in London and Paris.
The first single "I Think I Love You," produced by Mike City (Usher, Carl
Thomas, Nappy Roots) serves as a soulful preview of "Some Kinda..". The
midtempo burner explores a quickly developing relationship and picks up
where the artist left off with Subject. "Some Kinda.." takes his
creativity to the next level, while still giving fans his unique brand of
soul music - a heady mix of traditional and modern R&B, with strong
influences from hip-hop and jazz.
Born and based in Detroit, Andwele 'Dwele' Gardner started playing the
piano at age six. Although he tragically lost his father at 10, his
passion for music at an early age lead to Dwele (pronounced Dwell- ay;
means 'God has brought me' in Swahili) becoming a self-taught
multi-instrumentalist. Growing up as a fan of hip-hop lead to
collaborations with Slum Village (who appear on "Some Kinda..") and
Bahamadia, among others.
Dwele himself produced nine tracks on the new record; other album
producers include Mike City, Jay Dilla (Slum Village) and G-1 (R. Kelly,
All-4-One's Jamie Jones Rises With Debut Release
Best known as a member of the multi-platinum group All-4-One whose hits "I
Swear" and "I Can Love You Like That" are still getting heavy air-play on
jazz and easy listening stations.
"I like to call it R&B inspiration, with roots in gospel," Jamie Jones
states about his style.
Of his success with All-4-One, who are featured on the single "Rise,"
Jones says, "It's awesome. Every artist would like to have a single as a
songwriter or producer, or a whole catalog that affects people in a huge
way. Lot of people associate our music with certain times in their lives."
Jamie Jones' self-titled debut album on his own label Genesis/Image Music
Group gives you a chance to hear Jamie clearly.
The album is co-written and co-produced by Jones, who was the one that put
together the member of All-4-One when an A&R, who came to listen to him
sing in church, asked him to get a group together. So members Delis
Kennedy, Alfred Nevrez, Tony Borowiak and Jamie Jones together released
four albums, sold 15 million albums, and won a Grammy and American Music
"Gospel opened up my heart" Jamie says about his roots. "You learn a
majority of scripture through song. This was a way for me to get close to
Jamie says he wrote half of all the songs All-4-One recorded. He gives
this advice to aspiring artists and groups, "Pray, make sure it's what God
wants you to do and go all out. You are going to hear a lot of no(s). I've
been singing since I was three and never took no for an answer. When you
know without a shadow of a doubt that God put that on you and you get
close to your dream, someone (always) comes along to knock you off your
Wade O. Brown's "All Night, All Love" To be Released August 23
There are certain classic artists whose music comes to mind when you need
a soundtrack to an intimate evening - Anita Baker, Marvin Gaye, Luther
Vandross, Barry White. But it's singer Wade O. Brown who is setting his
sights on revitalizing the genre of lovemaking music with his US debut
album,”'All Night, All Love” (Groove United Productions). The second
single from Wade's forthcoming CD, "Maybe" is impacting Urban Contemporary
stations around the country at press time.
"I really wanted to develop a theme around "love-making" songs that would
appeal to my peers," said 30-year old Brown. " Bedroom songs that are sexy
and sensual, but tasteful."
His music mixes an old-school sound with a new-school edge. Brown's
smooth, confident vocals drive all the tracks on “All Night, All Love”,
making the album an ideal soundtrack for an intimate evening of
lovemaking. A fresh voice in R&B, Brown has already performed with the
likes of Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Roger Troutman, Glenn Lewis and
Joe, the artist.
He made “All Night, All Love” for mature adults who want music that turns
them on, lyrics they can relate to all with an emotionally powerful
delivery. To maintain the old school sound Brown worked with industry
heavyweights Barry Eastmond (Anita Baker, Whitney Houston), Daryl Simmons
(Destiny's Child, Babyface, Pink) and Gordon Chambers (Anita Baker,
Brownston, Angie Stone). For the new school edge he worked with current
hitmakers Estiverne, Kipper Jones (Brandy, Vanessa Williams) and others.
A Detroit native who makes his part-time home in Toronto, Canada, Brown
started cutting his chops as a self-taught keyboardist, playing and
singing in his church band and choir before striking out on his own. His
songwriting/recording career kicked off after partnering with
writer/producer Wil Van Zyl and landing publishing deal with
Warner/Chappell Music. Van Zyl now runs Brown's record label Groove
United. He also made an appearance on the Award-winning Showtime series,
"Soul Food." In 2002 relased his first album "Complete" in Canada.
Wade's US CD release, "All Night, All Love" will be released on the Groove
United Entertainment imprint, and independently distributed by
Bayside/33rd Street Records. In-store date is set for August 23.
The Rebirth Set For Delivery, Debut CD Out In September
Anyone asking the question what happened to Soul music has yet to hear The
Rebirth, a seven-piece band that not only bings back the sound of the
genre, but live musicianship. Their debut CD and Double LP, This Journey
In, is slated for worldwide delivery on September 13, 2005 on indie
hip-hop, funk & nü-soul label and distributor, Kajmere Sound
The Rebirth’s organic blend of contemporary and traditional soul music,
along with tinges of hip-hop, jazz, Brazilian house and funk, is unlike
any sound on radio—or stage—today. With influences that range from
standard-bearing soul bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire, to the music of
jazz masters like Roy Ayers, The Rebirth uses This Journey In to
seamlessly unite a variety of musical styles. “We acknowledge our
influences but we don’t want to be just a compilation of these
influences,” says Loslito, Keyboardist, Band leader and Creator of the
group. “We want to move the music forward, to what the future of soul
music will be.” Having already released a number of solid-selling CD and
12” singles; including "This Journey In," "Every Body Say Yeah," "Got Your
Madness," and a critically acclaimed cover of The Might Ryders’ “Evil
Vibrations,” The Rebirth has already formed a loyal fan base.
To introduce the 11-track collection of songs to music lovers and media in
the U.S., The Rebirth is planning record release parties in Hollywood and
New York City this fall; followed by a Record Release Tour in select
markets, such as: Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and San
Diego. The band will then head to Japan, Australia, then back to Europe
for another round of international concert dates. “We just like to get out
there and play,” says Loslito. “What better way for people all over the
world to hear what our music is about than to experience it live.” And,
the live Rebirth experience takes listeners back to when good music was
played on stage and the audience became one with the groove.
Helmed by Loslito, also co-Founder of Kajmere Sound Recordings/KSD Music
and the foremost weekly underground hip-hop, soul, funk club in Los
Angeles, The Root Down, Rebirth has been playing gigs from L.A. to Dublin
since the late `90s. Now with the band, which includes Noelle Scaggs (lead
vocals), Chris “C-Quest” Taylor (drums), Patrick Bailey (guitar), Gregory
“Lectric” Malone (bass), Raul “Lil Big Fat” Gonzalez (percussion) and Mark
Cross (keyboards), The Rebirth collective is looking to let even more in
on their homegrown musical secret. This Journey In, written and produced
by the band, will appeal to an array of music fans with an eclectic mix of
powerful, music-driven cuts—from the House-infused, disco-Brazilian
inspired track “Talking Me Down,” to the radio friendly message song
“Common Ends,” to “Shake It” for those who like to simply jam out.
The Rebirth has bred musical creation on their journey. Come along for the
Eric Benét Launches Tour
Last week Eric Benét kicked off a month-long tour to promote his new album
"Hurricane", it was kicked off at the Tom Joyner Morning Show in Detroit.
The tour winds its way up and down the east coast before heading out West
to wrap in San Diego on Sept. 1.
The Milwaukee native’s debut single, "I Wanna Be Loved", was the No. 1
most added song for the last two weeks at Urban AC Radio and has brought
in 43 stations in total across both Urban AC and Urban Mainstream formats.
It also got up to at No. 3 on the R&B Adult Billboard Airplay Monitor
"The silky voiced singer reminds listeners of why, before he married Halle
Berry, he was one of the most promising love-men", said People magazine.
"These songs are about real life. They are snapshots taken at different
stages of my journey over the past five years", Eric shares.
A video for "I Wanna Be Loved" is being filmed this month in Los Angeles.
Susaye Greene, The Last Supreme, Steps Out In Her "Brave New Shoes"
Susaye Greene, the last member of the Supremes, has, in her sophomore CD,
"Brave New Shoes", created "the album she"s always wanted to make". As
much a canvas for studio experimentation as it is a celebration of
Greene"s often underappreciated singing/songwriting abilities, Shoes is an
album with enough varied sounds to appeal to underground hip-hop heads,
lovers of the lost arts of traditional soul, R&B, and jazz, and even a
classic rock enthusiast or two.
"Ray Charles taught me that if you enjoy and are influenced by all kinds
of music, then that"s what you should do," the singer has said bluntly
about her work to date; "That"s why he was around for so long. That"s why,
if I like a rock song, a jazz song, an aria, or even a nursery rhyme, then
I"m gonna sing it, and put my whole heart into it."
While the same could be said about Susaye"s last album, “No Fear Here”, a
passionate set of songs ranging from alternative ballads, to jazz-tinged
soul, to even a Roger"s & Hammerstein tune, in this follow-up, Greene has
pushed her eclectic tastes to an even higher plane.
Here, Greene has abandoned the retro sound of her “No Fear Here”, in favor
of a mesh of musical genres that she has dubbed "Bio-Soul," mixing the
smoothness of R&B, the hard-hitting swagger of industrial rock, and the
wall of sound exemplified in electronica and dance music, all wrapped up
in a package of polished production and solid songwriting skills.
This lattice of influences is seen in standout tracks like the futuristic
"Livin" In A Vacuum," the fast-moving, fun-filled club pace of "Time," the
jazzy funk of "Get What You Give," which possibly best shows Greene"s
melodic strength and lyrical capabilities, and a cover of the Led Zeppelin
rocker, "The Ocean," in which Susaye"s wail may even match Robert Plant"s.
So as not to scare Supremes" loyalists or the musically conservative,
however, Ms. Greene has taken care to mix this newfangled stuff with
enough nostalgia to keep in touch with her fans.
Among the work people may recognize, is a reinterpretation of club hit
"High Energy," a standout from Greene"s former group, the Supremes.
"I always enjoyed performing it on stage, and I felt it was still relevant."
The centerpiece of the album, originally a collaboration with English
saxophonist Courtney Pine, titled "Children of the Ghetto Revisited, (an
Urban Drama)," touches on social issues in a masterfully unique way, due
to the added perspective of rapper ingénue, Schism, as well as Susaye"s
still poignant vocals.
The Last Supreme steps out in her "Brave New Shoes", even to the extent of
the cover art. Her intense portrait of Supremextreme, the comic book
character she has created, captures the essence of her artistic talent.
Painting, one of the many passions that she is following aside from music,
can be fully appreciated on her website, http://www.supremextreme.com ,
where her personal gallery can be viewed. Her artwork can also be seen on
Deviantart.com at http://www.supremextreme.deviantart.com/ , the world’s
largest online art community, which she thanks for rekindling her love of
"DeviantArt is a place where artists of all ages and backgrounds, from all
around the world come together to support and encourage each other"s
talent, and display their artwork. Being able to view over 14 million
works of art and personally contact any of the artists has made me realize
my artistic strengths once again. I"m thankful to all of them for that.
There"s a cultural phenomenon of community going on there right now that
has never been seen in the world before." Because of this support from
other artists, Susaye Greene has recently started to work on the animated
films for her created characters, Supremextreme and the Shadow Ranger,
projects that were on hiatus for a period of time.
"Supremextreme is maxin" the millenium!" says Susaye Greene, and so is she.
"Brave New Shoes" can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and
http://music.msn.com/album/?album=43553481 and is available worldwide
on the Dollface Music Label.