Sunday January 1st, 2006                                                  HOME


New CD's this past week:

- Goapele - Change it all

Music news headlines this week:

Ginuwine And Jagged Edge Team To Tour

Epic labelmates Ginuwine and Jagged Edge will link up early in 2006 on the
Ladies Night Out tour. It is unknown how long the tour will stretch. At
the moment, just a handful of stops are confirmed: Feb. 9 in Atlantic
City, N.J., Feb. 11 in Mashantucket, Conn., Feb. 12 in New York, Feb. 16
in Milwaukee and Feb. 17 in Merrillville, Ind.
Tickets for most are already on sale, while Atlantic City pre-sale seats
will be available Jan. 3, with the public sale slated for Jan. 7. Donell
Jones and Case are slated to open.
Ginuwine will be out in support of his latest release, "Back II Da
Basics." Released in mid-November, the set debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 12 on The Billboard 200; it has sold
176,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Jagged Edge will be touring behind its new self-titled disc. Originally
due this month, the set has been pushed to March 28, according to the
group's official Web site.


Maysa To Share Classic Soul Songs On Next Solo Album

Vocalist Maysa Leak has put the finishing touches on her next solo vocal
release. The album, Sweet Classic Soul, is due in February 2006 on the
Shanachie label. As the title suggests, the album is a collection of
classic Ramp;B songs originally recorded by such artists as the
Stylistics, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, and others.
Maysa's previous album was the 2004 release, Smooth Sailing. She was also
featured on the most recent Incognito album, 2005's Eleven. The
Baltimore-bred singer will tour with the British band, which features
guitarist and producer Bluey Maunick, in 2006. Tour dates will be
announced at a later date

Betty Wright’s Son Killed At Christmas Party

The son of legendary R&B singer Betty Wright was killed early Christmas
Day in a volley of gunfire outside a holiday party in Opa-locka.
What seemed to be a joyous celebration with more than 100 partygoers in
attendance, turned tragic for Patrick Parker, the 21-year-old son of soul
singer Betty Wright.
Miami-Dade police say at some point Parker got into a fight with two men,
Niaji Brown, 21, and Derrick Bryant, 18. When it was over, Parker lay
dead, across the street from the hall at 1101 Opa-locka Blvd. where the
party was being held.
Brown was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was in stable
condition at the Ryder Trauma Center. Bryant was treated and released.
Police aren't sure what caused the fight, and are hoping anyone with
information will come forward. They should call 305-471-8477.
Wright, a Grammy-winning singer, was on a cruise in the West Indies when
she received the news.
''We were extremely close,'' said Wright, who spawned a new era in funk
and disco in the '70s and '80s. Her 1974 hit Where is the Love catapulted
her into music royalty, earning her a Grammy and leading to future
collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Erykah Badu and
Jennifer Lopez.
Wright said she plans on spending the next couple of days with family.
''I'm just going to reflect on his life,'' said Wright, ``but through
prayer I'll get through this.''

Freddie Jackson Returns With Personal Reflections

One of the biggest stars of the latter half of the '80s, Freddie Jackson
seemingly had hits at will, dominating the R&B charts. His range, centred
in romantic soul ballads, also encompassed urban contemporary dance fare
and even the occasional jazz tune [Good Morning Heartache]. He scored 11
number one singles on Billboard's R&B chart, including Tasty Love, You Are
My Lady, Rock Me Tonight, Have You Ever Loved Somebody, and Nice and Slow,
among others and still enjoys some rotation on radio today.
Missing from the charts for more than five years, Jackson has returned
with a cover of Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack's Back Together Again, a
duet with fellow 1980s' rhythm and blues singer Me'lisa Morgan that
recently topped the Billboard's R&B Singles Sales chart. The song is taken
from Jackson's new album Personal Reflections for the independent label
The album's 10 tracks are all covers of songs made popular by other
artistes as far back as the 1970s.
"I always wanted to do an album of covers," he says. "It's something like
my pet project to record other people's music."
Norah Jones' Don't Know Why is his personal favourite of the covers on the
album. "When I listened to the song and practised it, I just felt there
was another way to feel the story from a male perspective," Jackson said.
Unlike his major label days, Jackson finds working with an independent
label allows him to do what he wants. "With an independent label I can say
what I want. There comes a time in your career where an artiste should be
able to stand on their own ground," he explained.
Asked about the current crop of R&B stars and record label practices,
Jackson said, "It's pretty unfortunate. Most of the artistes won't have
the longevity like I've had for 22 years.
Will Downing just came out with a new album, my friend Luther Vandross,
who died recently, and Jeffrey Osbourne, we have a die-hard fan base.
Longevity is the key." Jackson further stated, "When I was signed to
Capitol Records, we went through artiste development and that helped to
develop Freddie Jackson into what he is today. There isn't much artiste
development being done today."
Having recorded duets with several major artistes, Jackson cites Melba
Moore as his favourite collaborator. "I love each of them so differently,
but I have to give hats off to Miss Melba Moore. She discovered me and she
helped to do the artiste development that I told you about," Jackson
Like so many soul stars, the Harlem, New York native was initially trained
as a gospel singer in his local church. There he met Paul Laurence, who
would later become his producer and songwriting partner. After completing
school, Jackson joined Laurence's group, Laurence-Jones Ensemble and
played the New York club scene. After an early '80s stint on the West
Coast, he was signed to Capitol Records in 1984. A decade later, he moved
on to RCA Records before signing with indie label Street Life in 1995.
After more than 30 Billboard chart singles and more than 10 million albums
sold, Jackson says he feels no pressure to score a hit. "The charts don't
matter to me. I've had 11 number one singles. But it would be nice to have
another number one hit".
Asked what has stood out most for him during his career, Jackson said,
"Getting my first residual cheque and moving my mother out of the ghetto.
My mother and my family are my heart and soul. When I go to my mother's
house I still take out the garbage."


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