February 6, 2009
Teri Hatcher takes on three voices in the new 3D animation release, Coraline
By Eunice Moseley
Pulse of Entertainment - Feb. 6, 2009
On February 6, 2009 Focus Features presents Coraline, a Laika Entertainment
- in association with Pandemonium, feature animation film. Coraline is a 3D "stop-motion" animation of a children's
book "Coraline" written by Neil Gaimen.
1990 I started writing Coraline...then I moved to America and I had one third of a book at the time," Gaimen said about
when he started to write down the story he created for his children. "Each night I would write 50 to 100 words, essentially
a page a week."
The idea for the book, the story of
an eleven year-old girl who is being a bit neglected by her hard working parents, while dealing with a new home and neighborhood,
and is then enticed by an alternative family through a hidden door in the new home, a family that turns out to be monstrous,
came from his first daughter who at the time asked him to tell her a story like that.
Dakota Flanning (The Secret Life
of Bees) is the voice of Coraline, Robert Bailey, Jr. (The Happening) is the voice of her bother-some neighbor Wybie Lovat;
Keith David is the voice of the neighbors cat; John Hodgman is the voice of the father (and other father), and Teri Hatcher
(Desperate Housewives) is the voice of her busy "real mother," her doting "other mother," and the "dangerous/monster
"It's my first animation movie and I
always wanted to be in an animation movie. I got to play three different levels of people," actress Teri Hatcher said
about getting the role of the mother. "I wasn't familiar with the book, but I was familiar with Neil as a writer."
The Coraline movie was directed by Henry Selick (who is also co-producer and
screen writer) and it has the influence of his dark film, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Coraline could be considered by some, like myself, to be too dark for some young kids, so I suggest
to parents see the film first (because it is an animation for adults) and then make the decision to let them see it. The new
3D may even be a bit frightening to young kids as well.
That aside though, the film was very entertaining from beginning
to end and for those who read the book, it even has new characters, and twist and turns that you will not want to miss.
The best part of Caroline, to me, is its message to kids, that "the grass
is not always greener on the other side" and of course its 3D experience! Not only can you wear the glasses later as
shades, but the 3D is amazing, to see things and people on the screen that seem to come out at you, as close as inches away.
I had to take the glasses off just to make sure it wasn't real.
"I believe Henry added the 3D so the ‘other' world was different from the real world," Neil said
when asked about the use of the 3D.
Coraline is MPAA-Rated
PG (for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor). www.coraline.com
The Pulse of Entertainment - Feb. 13, 2009
Norman Connors is back with ‘Star Power'
By Eunice Moseley
The man that brought "Quiet Storm"
and "You are my Starship" to the airwaves, Norman Connors, is back with a powerful album release on his "indie"
label Star Ship Records in partnership with Shanachie Entertainment. The CD titled "Star Power" features the vocals
of Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewitt and Christopher Williams, and musician help from Bobby Lyle and Ray Parker, Jr.
"I was working on this project for three years,"
Norman points out. "I figured if you are a real star you have power. Just about all my friends
are stars and feel blessed."
goes on to say, "My friends are writers, musicians, and singers. Peabo is one of the great
Grammy Award winning
Peabo sings one of Norman's classic songs, "You are my Starship," like only Peabo can
sing it. Guitarist Ray Parker Jr. makes his instrument sing Michael's Jackson's 1979 hit, "Rock
with You." One of Norman Connors recording artists Danny Boy can be heard on "You take
my Breath Away." Howard Hewitt and another Connor's artist Antoinette Manganas sing a duet
on "Where do we go from here." Antoinette can also be heard on a funky version of "Sweetest Taboo"
and the piano driven "Walk on by." Keyboardist Bobby Lyle and vocalist Christopher Williams
is on the finger popping "Used to be.
"I want to expose Norman Connors,"
he said about this album.
Connors was 16 when he performed with legendary jazz saxophonist John
Coltrane in New York as a drummer. In 1972 in his late teens he became a producer and discovered
(and worked with) Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofill, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jean Carne. Norman went on to become a
multi-platinum producer and instrumentalist. In 1976 he teamed up with Michael Henderson - who teams with
him on this project - and created his signature song, "You are my Starship."
"I did about 30-40 concerts this year,"
Norman said when asked what he has been doing. "I feel like I am not just a producer and songwriter,
but the ambassador of music. I am really for putting music back into schools."
For those who are not familiar with Norman Connors listen
to the piano driven "Stormin' Norman" on the "Star Power" CD. For those who
are fans and know Connors work then this CD is a perfect gift for you and your loved one, especially
since it is released February 14, 2009 on Valentine's day.
Michael Jai White stars in the cable hospital drama ‘Wonderland'
Deemed too intense for network television the new hospital drama Wonderland starring Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight),
Michelle Forbes (HBO's In Treatment), Billy Burke (My Boys), Dax Griffin (Bold and the Beautiful),
Martin Donovan (Ghost Whisperers), Ted Levine (Monk) and Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Christina Barcelona)
can now be seem on cable's Direct TV - The 101 Network on Wednesdays at 10 p.n. ET/PT.
Wonderland is about the lives
of doctors and Michael plays the part of the head doctor of Rivervue, a fictional New York psychiatric hospital. Wonderland
first aired on ABC in the spring of 2000 and was met with critical praise and controversy.
"I have a great role,
head of ER," Michael told me about his character. "I am known for bronze (muscle) roles,
but in this I play an intelligent role instead. I was offered the role by Peter Berg (series creator/writer/producer)
who created this role for me. This role is closer to my personality. I was a single dad (too)."
Peter Berg is known for his work on the movie Hancock
and he feels that Wonderland gives viewers another chance to see these characters lives, aside
from the lives of the patients.
Michael Jai White was a teacher who taught and dabbed in acting before putting all his time
and effort into making it a career. He said before he left his students he made a lesson plan out
of the book "To Kill a Mockingbird." The plan examines how to look at the world from
someone else's eyes and to stand in their shoes. The funny thing White points out is his first
acting role, as a full time actor, was in the play "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Wonderland is surely an intense drama, but the story lines
and acting is so good it will keep you coming back for each episode. I do hope to see it on network
television for it is just as intense and informative about its environment (psychiatric hospitals)
and any of its kind (like CSI or ER) that you begin to feel for the doctors who has to deal with
The series is
also produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Tony Krantz. It is a Touchstone Television ABC Studios/Imagine
Pulse of Entertainment - Feb 20, 2009
| | Jermaine Dupri and producer/songwriters Tricky Steward, Johnsta’ Austin and Manuel Seal give advice at
recent ASCAP ‘Hitmakers’ panel
By Eunice Moseley
Recently at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood ASCAP held a free “Hitmakers” panel
with award-winning multi-platinum artist/producer/songwriter Jermaine Dupri and producers/songwriters
Johnsta’ Austin (Mariah Carey’s “Shake it Off”), Manual Seal (Usher
“My Boo”, Mariah Carey “We Belong Together”), and Tricky Steward
(Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”).
Hosted by Billboard magazine’s Senior Editor Gail Mitchell the “hitmakers” gave advice to the standing
room only crowd of press, singers, songwriters and producers.
“I do most of my work with JD (Jermaine Dupri),” Johnsta’
tells the crowd. “We’re in Vegas working with Usher ….he made me writer
a verse 2 -3 times.”
goes on to say that eventually he wrote a verse that JD liked and admitted that it “was”
a better verse than the other versions.
In answer to a question about writer’s block Jermaine Dupri admitted, “I
get it all the time, like I said I don’t writer nothing down. If I get a song, 80%
and I can’ finish it in a week, I throw it away.”
Johnsta’ added that he wrote Chris
Browns’ “With You” in twenty minutes.
“Inspiration is the key,” JD said in honesty. “When
I was young I begged Manual (Seal) to let me work with him. He opened me up to a different
world. I then pushed Manual to write (with me) his first ‘feel-good’ song,
When asked if they know when a song is a hit Tricky Steward admitted that there was a spark while writing the “Umbrella”
song, but he just didn’t know that “Single Ladies” would be a hit.
The panel talked about how they work with artists (writing
song for them): is it the artist that inspires the songwriter/producer or is it the producer/songwriter
who inspires the singer?
going to do a record with you, you gonna’ do what I know you can do,” Jermaine
Dupri points out. “All my songs are taylor-made for the artist. I take pieces of
their personal story…I party every day and writer every 30 minutes. I am most inspired from the clubs…the artist
comes with me and I feed off them.”
Dupri said his first song was Kriss Kross’s
“Jump.” Johnsta’ said he started in the industry as an artist at RCA
Records. He was dropped and he began to write songs as a way of staying in the “game.” His first song was
Tyrese’s “Sweet Lady.”
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing
Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world’s largest repertory totally over
8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 340,000 songwriter, composer and
music publisher members. ASCAP protects the rights of the members and distributing royalties based
upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer
and publisher members.
40th NAACP Image Awards celebrates 100 years
of service to people of color
week the NAACP held its 40th Image Awards in Los Angeles, aired live on Fox
TV, and had Tyler Perry and Halle’ Berry as hosts (Randy Jackson and Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson
hosted the Image Award luncheon). Aside from celebrating 100 years of service by the NAACP, the
event showcased several groundbreaking moments, such as the stirring performance by Jennifer
Hudson and her emotional acceptance speech for winning the Outstanding New Artist Award,
and the beautiful performance by Beyonce’ of her newest single “Halo.”
The NAACP also took the time to honor Elizabeth Catlett-Mora, Jonathan Green
and Sam Gilliam with the Key of Life Award for their work in human rights and social justice;
former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Maathai both received the Chairman’s
Award, and Russell Simmons received the Vanguard Award.
“At this point of time in American history the NAACP has to push even harder
than it did before,” artist/producer/songwriter Will.i.am said backstage. “Blacks
being able to vote and Obama in the White-House…!! Quincy Jones, Berry White and Berry Gordy forced America
to acknowledge black artists.”
That is exactly what the NAACP Image Awards has been doing for
40 years, acknowledging black artists and artists of other colors.
In case you missed the show other winners included Hill Harper
for Outstanding Actor in a Drama (CSI: NY); Tracee Ellis Ross for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Girlfriends);
Beyonce’ Outstanding Female Artist; House of Pain Outstanding Comedy Series; Sean
Combs for Outstanding Lead Actor in TV Drama (A Raisin in the Sun); Taraj Henson for Outstanding
Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Jamie Foxx
for Outstanding Male Artist, and Will Smith for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Seven Pounds).
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People) was founded on February 12, 1909 and is the nation’s oldest and larges civil rights
organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and
the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitors
equal opportunities in the public and private sectors.
The Pulse of Entertainment - Feb 27, 2009
| Charlie Wilson gets with Hip-Hop and Urban’s legends on newest album release on Jive Records
|By Eunice Moseley
“So many people like my music …and
Hip-Hop has embraced me,” said legendary front man for the Gap Band, Charlie Wilson,
when asked about the major Urban/Hip-Hop influence on his new CD project, “Uncle
Charlie,” on Jive Records.
Wilson is also known as “Uncle Charlie” in the Hip-Hop world thanks to his
God-son Snoop Dogg.
Came from Snoop Dogg,” Wilson said. “So the reason why Hip-Hop calls me Uncle
Charlie is because they respect me.”
who is recovering from successful prostate cancer treatment, deserves a lot of respect
for this CD recording because it is proof that age is just a number. It proves that no matter what your age is
you can still be on top of what’s happening right now. Charlie Wilson does that on the album.
The single off the “Uncle Charlie”
CD is “There goes my Baby” co-written by Babyface and Calvin Richardson. There
is also one of my favorites, “Shawty come back,” which has an “Urban”
R&B flavor, what R&B is today.
“Let it Out,” featuring Snoop Dogg is a handclapping dance number where Snoop
free-styles. According to Wilson when he was letting Snoop listen to the song his God-son
starting rapping and Charlie decided to keep it in.
“We recorded songs for every genre,”
Charlie points out.
is the song “Musta Heard” which has a European feel to it with its India influence track
blended with Urban R&B/Hip-Hop vocals resulting in a very hot project, another one
of my favorites. Then there is the sweet “Love, Love, Love” with its Urban
R&B rhythm that makes you want to fall in “love.”
On “Thinkin’ of You” you get a throw-back from the “You Dropped
a Bomb on Me” days with a twist of Contemporary R&B; “What You Do to Me,”
another sweet love song, is another favorite of mine, along with, “Super Sexxy,”
featuring T-Pain and Jamie Foxx., a hot collaboration piece that “has to be”
included as a future single. Some other producers on the “Uncle Charlie” release
are the Underdogs (“No Air,” Chris Brown) and Gregg Pagani (LeAnn Rimes).
For more on Wilson or to heard what’s on the album visit his MySpace
The Pulse of Entertainment
- March 13, 2009
Broadway’s Heather Headley releases first Gospel CD, ‘Audience of One’
| By Eunice Moseley
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” Tony Award winning
actress/vocalist Heather Headley said about her first Inspirational album. “So it
worked out with EMI (Gospel)...I had a deal with God, ‘when you think I am ready,
I will do it’.”
Headley did it in a mighty way with “Audience of One.” The album takes Inspirational
and Gospel lyrics and blends them with contemporary sounds that can only be labeled “Heather
Headley.” Her powerful vocal ability is something that those who hear her say is
one of the best voices in the “world.”
“It’s me, it’s me…Pop/Gospel,” Heather said about
her style on this CD. “You can listen to it on the road.”
The Obama’s thought highly of her recently when Heather was asked to
perform at their pre-inauguration event, “We Are One.” She sang “My Country Tis of Thee”
with Josh Groban.
“I was proud to be an American that day,” Headley said of her experience
singing before the first African-American president of the United States and a world-wide
audience. “It was more God’s decision. I felt honored by it, to be a part of that moment in time…as
an immigrant coming to America. I will be 99 years-old telling my children that story!”
“Audience of One,” includes a duet with
Smokie Norful (her label mate) on a cover of Lionel Richie’s “Jesus is Love.”
The song is so difference from the original I didn’t realize until mid-song that
it was Lionel Richie’s “Jesus is Love.”
“EMI said ‘what about ‘Jesus is Love?’ …I said what can
I bring to it,” Heather recalls of her decision process of whether to do a cover song. “I said, ’ok’
but I have to do it as a duet’.”
When you do a successful and enduring cover song,
she told me, you "have to make it your own." Born in Trinidad and raised in
Indiana (now a U.S. citizen) Heather lived below a small church, a church that she eventually sang in. She, as with Whitney
Houston, Toni Braxton, Fantasia and Aretha Franklin, grew up in Gospel music.
In 1997 after college she obtained a role on Broadway
in Elton John and Tim Rice’s “The Lion King” as Nala. That role leads
to the lead role in John and Rice’s “Aida.” Her role in “Aida”
garnered the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
In 2002 Heather left Broadway to record her debut album, “This is who I am,”
on RCA Records produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Shep Crawford and others. The album gave us the two hits
“He Is” and “I Wish I Wasn’t,” the later song garnered a
Grammy Award nomination. Her sophomore album on RCA Records in 2006 “In My Mind”
was produced by hit-makers such as Jimmy and Terry, Crawford, Lil’ Jon and Warryn Campbell.
The title track “In My Mind” reached number one on the charts.
Also included on “Audience of One”
is “Zion,” one of my favorite songs on the CD, which she co-wrote with producer
Keith Thomas (CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams). My other favorites include “Simply Redeemed,”
“I Know the Lord will Make a Way,” “Here I am to Worship” and Fred Hammonds’
“Running back to you.”
To learn more about Heather or take a listen log onto http://www.myspace.com/heatherhedley.
The Pulse of Entertainment - March 20, 2009
Jazz singer Mary Talbot Fee releases ‘Midwinter Night’s Dream’ in four fluent languages
| By Eunice Moseley
“This album is a reflection of who I am,” vocalist/songwriter
Mary Talbot Fee says about her debut Jazz album “Midwinter Night’s Dream”
(Sketchin Records). “I have a long history figure skating and as a modern dancer.
My mother was an opera singer.”
Mary Talbot gives the listen so much in this album, difference styles of Jazz
and different languages. She recorded some of the seventeen songs CD in French, Italian, Portuguese, and of course English.
Rob and Amber Whitlock produced most of the album.
Fee’s voice puts you in
a trance as you visit the different eras of time because of her versatile styles on the
CD. The title of the CD, “Midwinter Night’s Dream,” is a great metaphor of what the listener
My favorites are “Nuages,” which has a through-back sound from Vaudeville
times, sung in French, with music driven by a lovely violin (Charlie Bisharat); “Anema
E Core,” sung in Italian, is a sweet song which features echoing baritone vocals
and a great piano solo (Rob Whitlock); “Inverno Di Gielo,” sung in Portuguese, has a lovely blend of vocals;
the title song “Midwinter Night’s Dream” is a nice song to sing a child
to sleep and it also creates great mental images while listening, and “I will wait
To learn more about this new voice in Jazz log onto her website www.MaryTalbotFee.com.
book has kids thinking about their future and the possibilities
“I Will Be A Teacher When I Grow Up,” the first book in
a series of “I Will Be” books, is written by marketing/advertising expert
Willa Robinson through Knowledge Power Communications, a publishing company.
I started I have been getting referrals to publish other books,” author/publisher Willa Robinson said about her
company, Knowledge Power Communications. “Everything is done in-house. It is challenging
working a full time job.”
is still Director of Advertising at the historical African-American owned weekly newspaper,
the L.A. Watts Times. On January 5, 2005 she wrote in her journal “today is the
first day of the rest of my life. I will now do what God has purposed me to do.” That day she survived a train
crash that killed eleven people and seriously injured 180 people, and Robinson was one of the
was to write kids books for not only African-Americans like herself, but to all races
of children. Her first series book, “I Will Be A Teacher When I Grow Up,” will
be available and in bookstores April 1, 2009. It is a book targeted to children 4 – 8 years-old, but really should
be read to them by an adult or older person.
The illustrations and characters in the book vary in race and are
very detailed and real in imagery.
“Kids don’t see race,” Willa adds.
In the book the kids will be introduced
to Ms. Hamilton, the teacher telling a story of how she became the first college graduate in her family;
Mr. Dale Johnson, who was inspired by his teacher, is a college student looking to be a teacher; Mrs. Tunley
a retired teacher, and Mrs. Perdomo, a high school teacher who was inspired by her uncle
who is also a teacher, all while looking at the very creative and inspiring pictures.
Other books already on the way are “I
Will Be A Lawyer When I Grow Up,” “I Will Be A Doctor When I Grow Up,”
and “I Will Be A Nurse When I Grow Up.” You can purchase the “I Will Be A Teacher When
I Grow Up” book in advance on the website www.knowledgepowerinc.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - March 27, 2009
Soul/Jazz guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. will have you laid back with
his latest CD on Branch Records
By Eunice Moseley
Paul Jackson, Jr. is as well known - and
in demand - in the entertainment industry as a guitarist as Stevie Wonder is known as
a song writer. Jackson, who has played for just about every major player in the music
industry (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Barbara Streisand, Yolanda Adams, Queen Latifah, Dave Koz, and
Ella Fitzgerald and for events such as NAACP Image Awards, Grammy Awards and American Idol),
has just released his seventh album, “Lay it Back.” The CD, release on Branch
Records, is literal melting-pot of class A selections of Contemporary (R&B, Soul,
Pop and Urban) Jazz.
“The jobs have been high-profile,” Paul Jackson, Jr. said
about his busy schedule and high-demand. “I do American Idol three or four times
a week and do sessions or other projects the rest of the time). I just did the Image Awards”
It’s been six years since Paul scored his number one Contemporary Jazz single, the cover
of Motown’s “It’s a Shame.” He is one of the most recorded guitarists who have played
on more than a thousand albums.
“This album is number seven, it’s been a while,”
Jackson laughs about the last time he released a CD of his own. “I am launching
a label at the same time.”
The “Lay It Back” CD has 14 selections and he has the
help of his son, Paul III, 17 and daughter Lindsey, 21. Paul Jackson, Jr. did covers of Stevie Wonders’ “Don’t
You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” and Lionel Richie’s “Easy (Like Sunday
Morning) and he had the assistance of Bobby Lyle on “2 for 10,000,” a finger
popping number and he wrote a song for Luther Vandross, “A Ballad for Uncle Ronnie,”
which is a lovely slow-dance selection.
Aside from those already mention my other favorite selections on
the “Lay in Back” CD are “Hit It,” a number he did with his son, which has a futuristic
track accompanying; “To Be Like Him,” a sweet love song; “Bay Shore
Drive,” which is a must for those long drives on the highway and “The Workout,”
great for, guess what, working out.
Others contributing to the project include Patrice Rushen
on piano, Jeff Lober, Rex Rideout, Jeff Carruthers, Cornelious Mims, Alex Al (bassist), James Reese vocalist on “Can
This be Real,” Ray Brown (of Earth, Wind and Fire) and The Rickey Minor Band.
For more information on Paul
Jackson, Jr. log onto his website www.PaulJacksonJr.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - April 3, 2009
Leela James does it again with Shanachie on new Soul project
By Eunice Moseley
Singer/songwriter Leela James' gusty Soulful voice has garnered
her a reputation as a 21st century leading female Soul singer. Born in Los Angeles, where Gospel
music was the norm in her life, Leela recently released a new Soul/R&B project, "Let's
Do It Again," on Shanachie Entertainment.
The album of cover songs was
recorded live with her band.
"I was about 15 in junior high
school when I knew I had an old soul," Leela James said about when she learned she had an
unusually gutsy Soulful voice, which is very different from what you would expect from her when
you see her. "Prior to 13-14 I was singing at church. I went to a performing arts high school...sung in
choirs...had a solo in school plays...after a while I was bit by the bug."
James was a featured vocalist on such projects as Pete Rock's "Soul
Survivor II" and even toured as opening act for the Black Eyed Peas and Macy Gray. Eventually
Leela was signed by Ruff Nations who had a distribution deal with Warner Brothers.
"The label folded," James points out. "...
and Warner Bros. signed me."
As the business
of music often is - short lived - even that was soon to change because in two years Warner Bros. change personnel.
Most artists who experience staff changes know that the odds of you staying are very slim, but
that wasn't the case for James.
She did eventually have her debut
album, "A Change is Gonna Come," released. Her debut was executively produced by Commissioner
Gordon and featured production by Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, Wyclef Jean, James Poyser and Chucky
The success of that debut album
kept Leela and her band on tour for three consecutive years.
one of my touring performances a rep. (of Shanachie) attended and provided an opportunity for me
to do a cover album with my band, songs of my choice," the Soul singer said.
Leela covered all genres of music and turned them, masterfully,
into her own style of Soul. My favorite covers on the "Let's Do It Again," CD is the
title track - a Staple Singers classic - where, to me, her voice is reminiscent of a vocal blend of
Tina Turner and Marva Staple. Can't image that? Then you have to get the CD, for that is just one version and style of
Soul that James provides on this sophomore project.
I also love her version of the British group Foreigners' "I Want to Know What
Love is," which has a Soul/Jazz feel to it; her version of James Browns' "This is a Man's
World;" Curtis Mayfields' "Let's Do It Again" (Staple Singers version), another
Soul/Jazz rendition, and Al Green's "Simple Beautiful," sung so simply sweet. I love her versions so much
that when I sing these songs now I find myself singing Leela James' version.
"You will hear a variety of range as a vocalist," Leela
James said about what the listeners will find on the CD. "I love all kinds of music, if the
song is good, its good!"
on the album include "The Clean Up Woman," Mick Jagger's "Miss You," Angela
Bofills' "I Try" and George Clinton's "I'd Rather Be With You." For more on this American treasure log
onto her website at www.LeelaJames.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - April 10, 2009
Stellar Award winning Baltimore native Jessica Green to perform Monday,
April 13th at The Church of the Redeemed of the Lord
By Eunice Moseley
Baltimore native Jessica Green to perform Monday, April
13, 2009 at The Church of the Redeemed of the Lord, 4321 York Road in Baltimore, headed by Bishop
Jerome Stokes . Heaven 600's Cheryl Jackson will emcee the event.
The concert is to
celebrate Green's first Stellar Award for her Habakkuk Music Gospel CD release "4 The World"
(Universal/Fontana). The award was for "New Artist of the Year."
"When we attended the Stellar Awards we didn't know anything," Jessica said about winning.
"You can't prepare for it. I couldn't redo the feeling that I got...I was overwhelmed and
at the same time humbled. Just to be there with so many different people. I can't help but give God the glory."
The Gospel singing sensation gave God the glory on her debut album, "4 The World," with such
selections as "My All," "I Pray," "Trust in You" and "Grateful."
Her Baltimore based label shares the honor for signing Green, their first artist. Within a year
Jessica had two Stella Award nominations, the other was for "Female Vocalist of the Year."
Jessica said she just wants to increase her ministry of spreading God's message.
"We are in the season of hope," Jessica points out. "Hope is
needed. He has me in a situation...and people can relate with the experiences I've had. God's been strategic
in my ministry...the Gospel of Jesus."
Jazz/Gospel singer, actress and pastor Della Reese supports the Michael Stone Event Series
"Michael is a member of the church I founded and pastor," Jazz/Gospel
singer and actress Della Reese said about why she is presenting the Michael Stone Event Series,
which highlights artists of past and future who are unbelievable talents. "I just wanted to
Started last year the series in 2009 will
present the performances of Jon B, new-comer Noel and SWV (Sisters with Voices) on Saturday, June
20, 2009 at the Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, California. Musical arrangements
will be done by TC Carson.
"We talked about a lot of people
that's not been presented for far too long," Della said about the selection process. "I
wanted people we haven't seen for a while. Entertaining is not about building stars it's about
Della Reese built a career. In 1959 Della was signed as a recording
artist to RCA Records where she released a single, "Don't You Know," which reached number two on the
Pop charts and topped the R&B charts. In 1960 she received a Grammy Award nomination for her R&B album
"Della." Between 1966 and 1978 she recorded three jazz albums. For nine years she performed
in Las Vegas and from 1991 to 2006 she recorded six Gospel CDs, and two collectables "The
Della Reese Collection" and "Legendary Della Reese."
Her acting talents
are more remembered in the television series Touched by an Angel, but she also appeared on Roots:
The Next Generation, the A-Team, Red Foxx and Sanford and Son.
"I was already a minister when I was
asked to do Touched by an Angel," Reese said about when she became an ordained minister and head
of her own church Understanding Principles for Better Living Church in the Los Angeles area. "That
was a blessing. At first they needed Bible assistance, the topic of the show was about God."
77, said she is currently working on a script for another television series based on God and hopes
for it to be picked up by one of the networks soon. For more information on the Michael Stone Event
Series log onto www.MichaelStoneEvents.com. The Pulse of Entertainment - April 17, 2009
By Eunice Moseley
A true urban drama comes to life in American
Violet, opening in theatres April 17th
"I did it for my kids," Regina Kelly said of the Samuel Goldwyn Film, American Violet, that was made based on her
life experiences as a single mom who was falsely accused of drug dealing. "It's 98% accurate.
You never know what you would do in this situation...it was my faith."
American Violet is directed
by Tim Disney and stars new-comer Nicole Beharie as Dee Roberts (Regina Kelly), Alfre Woodward (Alma Roberts,
her mother), Charles Dutton (Rev. Sanders, her pastor), Xzibit (Darrell Hughes, her ex-boyfriend and father
of two of her four children), Michael O'Keefe (as the ruthless District Attorney), Tim Blake Nelson
(David Cohen, the ACLU representative) and Will Patton (Sam Conroy, a former narcotics officer).
has been impacted because of the war on drugs," said Bill Haney, producer and writer of the power-packed Urban
drama, about the subject matter that was the reason why an innocent single mother of four was targeted.
"It's become a war on people."
American Violet is about Dee Roberts who was placed
on a raid list by an informant who happen to be the cousin of Roberts' ex-boyfriends' current girlfriend.
This arrest without cause was possible because of a law that said it only took one accusation for
you to be arrested. The arrest sweep was one of many normal arrest raids by the small Texas city's
District Attorney who was out for high arrest numbers more than he was out for justice.
Dee was not going to do what
most arrested in those situations did and that was taking a plea. For her that would only lead
to a loss of federal help she needed for her kids. For the ACLU it was even deeper than that, those
raids, arrest and plea deal's were taking the right to vote from the people. So with Dee as their
defendant, the ACLU (Tim Blake Nelson) sued the District Attorney for false arrest, that began
a six year journey.
"I was raised by a single mom and my sister is a single mom, so that is
a strong point to draw from," Nicole Beharie said about how she was able to get into character for the role of
Regina Kelly. "
"Nicole is tiny but she has a lot of steel and grace," veteran
actress Alfre Woodward said about working with such a newcomer. "She breathed and paced herself...she
is going to be amazing."
Amazing can be said about everyone's performance from Xzibit
to Michael O'Keefe as the heartless District Attorney, who so happened is still reaping his havoc
in that small Texas town.
"Everything in the movie is better because of Alfre," Producer
Bill Haney points out. "She added humor and a level of professionalism she infused in the character."
America Violet made me cry throughout but it also gave me hope that what I see in my hometown
may one day give birth to a Regina Kelly that will slow down the wheels of injustice before it
gets away from us, as a nation. Rated PG, American Violet will be at theaters April 17, 2009.
Ann Nesby does it again
with a powerful new CD, ‘The Lula Lee Project'
The newest project from Ann Nesby, "The Lula Lee Project," is hot hot hot! I think she wants to wake us all up so
we can feel the rush that God gives us when we let Him take control. The album, on Time Child/Tyscot
Records, features production assistance from Tonex, Herb Middleton (Mary J), J. Isaac (Julez Santana)
and Debra Killings (TLC).
"I had the opportunity to reach
out to... young producers," Nesby points out about why there is such an Urban flavor to the
Her message is about love,
as she says, about sowing more love. Of course love is the theme of this CD - God's love, that is - and that
so happens to be the theme on all of my favorite songs on "The Lula Lee Project," album, songs such
as "Sow Love," a ballad with a powerful message of the Gospel; "Sky is the Limit,"
a great story-telling testimony; "Too Late," a funky/soulful "wake you up in the
morning" song; "I Trust You Lord," which as an awesome choir; "Pressure Makes
Diamonds," a great message of hope; "Went through Hell," a very deep ballad of a
testimony, and "So Much Joy," a head-bobbing song of rejoicing.
"I know God was giving us ideas," she said.
You can hear more on the new CD release at wwwmyspace.com/annnesby
and www.annnesby.com. The Pulse of Entertainment - April 24, 2009
Legendary Dorinda Clark-Cole stirs up your soul with new
syndicated radio show
"I already have a television show on TCT (Total Christian Television)," multi-awarding winning Gospel singer
Dorinda Clark-Cole said when asked if she was going to conquer television after launching her syndicated
radio show "Servin' Up Soul," a production of DMI Music & Media Solutions. "I
also have a clothing line...I am wearing one now....I have a lot of things going on. This has started
to be a passion, ‘Servin' Up Soul,' it gives me a chance to talk to my peers (and fans)."
"Servin' Up Soul," which airs in Cleveland, Minneapolis, Augusta, Oklahoma
City and Lansing, gives Dorinda a chance to share those conversations with us.
"It's a blessing,"
she points out. "'Serving' Up Soul' is a show that has a lot of Gospel music used especially
to uplift and to get you going."
DMI Music is currently added to the list
of cities airing the Gospel radio show. This full service branding agency is home to Natalie Cole's
2009 Grammy Award winning "Still Unforgettable;" the Grammy Award nominated "Church
Songs of Soul and Inspiration," which features Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Ann
Nesby and Maya Angelo and Aretha Franklin's "This Christmas Aretha,"
Dorinda couldn't speak
any more highly on her "Servin' Up Soul." After my interview she went right back to work
speaking to Gospel sensation Vicki Yohe.
"One thing I love about5 Sunday
mornings is you get to hear Gospel music," Clark-Cole said. "We need a positive message
that is what ‘Servin' Up Soul' is. We serve up Gospel music for the soul. We give food for
thought. We have the Sunshine Moment, which is a positive message that if you have a positive spirit it will
You can learn more about Dorinda Clark-Cole's new syndicated Gospel radio
show at www.ServinUpSoulRadio.com or visit www.Dorindaclarkcole.com.
vocalist Rita Shelby releases debut CD project, ‘A Date with a Song'
"I found music while in my mothers' womb, literally." Jazz singer and radio personality (RadioScope)
Rita Shelby said about her love for music. "My mother ...was a girl from Memphis... played
piano for churches as a musician."
Shelby said you would often see her side-by-side on the piano chair
has her mother played Gospel music.
"I started singing (one day)," Rita said while telling me
her life story as I mentally visualize what she is saying. "And my mother said ‘you
can sing!' My mom moved to Detroit and I went to move to DC to stay with my aunt. My aunt was determined
not to let anyone stomp out my dream."
That dream of Rita was music. Shelby
went on to participate in music while in school and a teacher even introduced her to song writing. In school
she also met someone who would become her partner in music, Willie Daniels. Today they both are producers of
her debut Jazz album, "A Date with a Song."
Rita has developed into
what I call an "entertainer" with the voice, style, stage presence and personality, band
and background singers in tow. In her past Rita has performed on stage with George Duke, Patrice
Rushen, and Norman Brown and for such how profile people as Travis Smiley.
even expanded her brand by getting into acting with stage performances (Walk By Faith), television (A Different World,
Martin, JAG, ER) and films to DVD (Outrighteous, American Crude).
recently celebrated her birthday by performing for an intimate crowd at the Sea Bird Lounge in
Long Beach, California with her musical director and co-producer of her album Will Daniels and
The 2 Jazzy Crew band. She was accompanied by her background vocalists Eddie Tate, Lance Webster
and Maurice Ingram.
The debut CD is jam-packed with great Jazz songs where some even have a slight Soul
and R&B flavor.
"Music is my ‘mister' as music to men is their
‘mistress," Rita laughs about her analogy of her commitment to music, songs and the
entertainment industry. "I am serious about inspiring people to get out their poems."
Rita explained that in her life-time there were situations that took her music away
from her. As a songwriter she would hear the words and the music to her songs but then one day it was silent.
"Now I am hearing the music again," Shelby says excitedly with a hint of finality that gave me the
impression that nothing could ever take her music away again.
You can hear sound clips from
the CD, which I might note is worth the listen especially my favorite cut on the CD - the title
track - "A Date with a Song" by logging onto www.myspace.com/RitaShelby. To purchase
the album visit Rhapsody, iTunes or Amazon.com.
of Entertainment - May 1, 2009
Columbia Records releases 'Love Travels' by singer/songwriter Angel Taylor
Columbia Records' newest Pop sensation, Angel Taylor, is promoting her debut album "Love Travels" and
will arrive in Baltimore Sunday, May 17, 2009 at the Sonar (407 E. Saratoga Street). The album
is something new, though clearly Pop. Angel brings Pop music back down to earth with her laid-back
"My mom named me," Angel said of her name when asked of
its meaning. "I grew up listening to Christian music."
Taylor said when she did
listen to secular music which would normally be the Temptations or Aretha Franklin.
singing in church. In the fifth grade I was in a Christian concert. I got serious at 14, 15 or 16.
People started noticing my voice and said ‘get that voice on a CD!' I met a producer and
said ‘I just want to get my music on a CD"...and he signed me. We flew to New York...it
took me four months (to get signed to Aware/Columbia Records)."
Angel is talking about you will find on her debut CD "Love Travels," a melting pot of Pop style songs
that are well written, as if from a storyteller. Taylor wants the listeners to come away knowing she is just
a normal person and not some performer that is untouchable.
possible," she said for those wanting that one in a million record deal. "Look at my
situation...when you are not looking for something it happens."
My favorite songs on the "Love
Travels" debut CD of Angel Taylor are "Maple Tree," the feel takes me back to my
days as a child on my grandfathers farm; "Make Me Believe," a true Pop classic; "Too
Good for Words," "Don't Forget Me in Time," and "Chai Tea Latte," named after her favorite Starbucks
drink. The album was produced Mikal Blue.
Learn more about Angel Taylor at www.AngelTaylorOnline.com.
ASCAP Pop Music Awards honors Ann and Nancy of Heart and Wyclef Jean
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) paid honor to the achievements of Ann and Nancy
of Heart with the ASCAP Founders Award and Wyclef Jean with the ASCAP Creative Voice Award at their
recent 26th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood. Performers included Jesse McCartney, OneRepublic,
Natasha Bedingfield, Mikal Blue, Jason Reeves and Kara DioGuardi.
While on the
red carpet I asked Ann and Nancy of Heart how their classic songs ("Crazy on You," "Magic
Man," "Heartless," and "Tell It Like It Is") came to them and they pointed
out, "We do not have a set formula for songwriting. The song tells us what it wants to do. It's hard to pin-point.
Sometimes it comes in all different ways. You may dream of a melody that just flies from the air
or you may sit down and try to write a song or you may have a nip of an idea or you may have a
little bit of lyrics that roll into a song."
Along with Ann and Nancy others
on the red carpet included the other honoree Wyclef, who has also blessed the music industry with
his song creations that include "No Woman, No Cry," "Fu-Gee-La," "Killing Me Softly," and
"Ready or Not," Quincy Jones and Fergie.
Many songwriters and composers were there
on the carpet showing off their blue and red ribbon ASCAP medallions which included James Fauntleroy,
Jr. ("No Air" by Jordan Sparks featuring Chris Brown); producer/songwriter Just Blaze
("Live Your Life" by TI featuring Rhianna); Brian Kennedy ("Disturbia" by Rhianna
and "If This is Love" with Jennifer Hudson), and songwriter Harvey Mason ("No Air" by Jordan
Sparks featuring Chris Brown").
Stargate received the Songwriter of the Year Award,
Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder received the Song of the Year Award for "Bleeding Love;"
and EMI Publishing and Sony/ATV Music Publishing tied for the Publisher of the Year Awards.
For more on the ASCAP Pop Music Awards log onto www.ASCAP.com. If you want to see
video clips of my red carpet interviews just log onto www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com/network or www.youtube.com/FreelanceAssocaites.
Film director Tim Greene's campaign to educate young filmmakers
on affordable filmmaking brings him back to Los AngelesThe Pulse of Entertainment - May 8, 2009
Independent film maker Tim Greene (TimGreeneFilms.com) has spent the last five years traveling the country speaking
on panels and at events before audiences of the small to the large speaking on what a director
looks for in an actor and how you can become an independent filmmaker. He will be doing a 50 city
tour speaking on film making this summer.
"I am promoting ...Lil' Homies
(film DVD) which I ‘m turning into a franchise like Disney. When you think of Lil' Homies
and Tim Greene you are going to think family, but it takes branding, you know, and I don't have 30 million dollars
so I have to go around the country myself and meet my audience," Tim points out.
The workshops Tim participates in are normally free. He has directed and filmed at least three
films to DVD. One of his three stops in Los Angeles that day was hosted by Living Advantage (www.LivingAdvantageInc.org).
"Living Advantage they have an organization, non-profit, for foster kids,
they have like 400 kids," Greene said.
Before coming to L.A. he was in New
York at the Hilton Hotel before an audience of 2,000 people, and the Film Archives at Tribecca. After
those three workshops in Los Angeles he traveled to the Carolinas, back to L.A. and then to Philly (his hometown).
Tim started in radio in Philadelphia and he went on to write 17 singles, a couple of Bill Board
top ten hits, and he was the former managed/agent of the famous "Rapping Granny."
"I got her from off the street in Compton into network television. I got her
25 commercials, 17 feature films, she was in Everybody Hates Chris, she was on the Steve Harvey
show - the landlord, a three year deal with Fox Television. I use to be her manager/agent, but right now I wake up and just
enjoying life every day," Tim said.
Tim wants up-and-coming film makers
to know that they should always turn a negative into a positive if they want to make it.
By Eunice Moseley
PJ Morton is on tour promoting, ‘PJ
Morton Live from LA,' on 2PM Music
You have probably heard his name and sang his songs because not only is PJ Morton a talented musician and vocalist,
but he is also a talented songwriter. Morton and his band (Jesse Bond on lead/acoustic; Brian Cockerham
and Calvin Parmer on bass; Ed Clark on drums; James Jay and Dwayne on horns; Stephanie Matthews
and Shelby Latin on violin, and Colle Latin on Cello) are currently on tour promoting their CD
release "PJ Morton Live in LA" on 2PM Music.
"It was a natural
progression," PJ Morton said about recording an album live. "People always asked if they
can take a live performance home with them."
Morton - and me included - feels that this CD captures
the energy that was at the show in Los Angeles. He said because he doesn't get to Los Angeles that
often the crowd was hungry for it and that is evident on the CD as you hear the crowd encouraging
the performances and singing along to the songs.
Morton's sound is a Neosoul/Pop combination that is comfortable
fitting into the R&B, and Inspirational genres of the music industry. Morton has worked as
a musician for such artists as Monica ("Making of Me" bonus track); he has worded as
musical director for such notables as Fred Hammond; he was vocal arranger for Musiq ("On My Radio"),
and has toured with Erykah Badu and Jermaine Dupri.
"I have written for a number of
people," Morton points out. "That's what I was doing first...it allows you to be different
PJ's big break came with he wrote a song for India.Arie and it garnered a Grammy
"We met first in college...we were 20 years-old at the time the album
won a Grammy Award," Morton said.
A native of New Orleans, PJ first released his own
album in 2004 titled "Emotions," which gave us the song most associated with him "No Ordinary Love."
In 2007 he released "Perfect Song" and this year he plans to release yet another CD, "Son
of a Preacher Man."
"I have a song on the new Musiq album," he said about new projects. "I
also did a song with Rubin Studdard (for his up-coming CD)."
Live in LA" offers his fans and fans of Neosoul 20 selections, that's' right 20 songs performed
live in Los Angeles. "No Ordinary Love" is on the album along with some other PJ Morton
hits like "Blah Blah Blah." The concert lasts about an hour and half.
Morton plans to get into acting and said that it is not much stopping him now, he is just enjoying the journey and the
You can learn more on PJ Morton at http://myspace.com/pjmorton or http://www.pjmortononline.com
Pop sensation Sariah to release debut album on Rock Ridge Music
"Performing is what caught me...I love performing on stage," said twenty-two year-old Pop singer/songwriter
Sariah who is on the Rock Ridge Music label. "Feeding off the audience... I also love to dance...its'
so much fun!"
The Brookline, Massachusetts native was raised in Boston and started performing at an early a
"I was in music theatre when I was little, five years-old," Sariah
points out about her musical
background. "Voice lesson started (early) and I just progressed
from cover songs to my own."
Sariah describes her music as Urban/Pop, but
the truth is the selections on the self titled CD
ranges from Pop/R&B, Pop/Jazz, Pop/Urban
to Pop/Hip-Hop. My favorite cuts from the Sariah
CD includes "Climb," a love song that has a touch of
Jazz influence; "Lethal," an Urban/Pop cut;
"Hypnotic," is the single
and it has an India music track influence, and "Watchin' Me," a nice
that's good for dancing.
You can get a short version of the CD at iTunes now
and the complete CD will be released at
the end of this summer.
want to be on tour," Sariah said excitedly. "I love event appearances! Performing is what I
want to do."
Sariah is also working on her own clothing line. She says her style is edgy with a touch of class
will have the ability to fit all different sizes. She wants to create two lines, one that is
affordable and one of a higher quality. She hopes to also have her own label so that she can
day find and help other talented artists.
You can hear Sariah and learn more about her at www.myspace.com/sariahmusicnow.
The Pulse of Entertainment - May 1, 2009
Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter James Ingram shares his Spiritual light on newest CD release
say this is my first Inspirational but 'Yah-Mo Be There,' which was on my first album in 1983,
is a Spiritual," said legendary award winning singer/songwriter James Ingram about an old
song now on his new Inspirational album "Stand (In the Light)" on the Intering Records/Music
One/WEA imprint. "That was to my parents, my father was a deacon...People say, ‘Hallelujah',
they say, ‘Praise Be to God' Yahweh (is Hebrew) it's another way of saying ‘God.'...
Listen to the lyrics, ‘Heavenly Father watchin' us fall. We take from each other and give nothing at all. Well, it's
a doggone shame but never too late for change. So if your luck runs low, just reach out and call
His name, His name. Yah mo be there...whenever you call.'"
The "Stand (In the Light)" CD is full of Gospel, Inspirational, Traditional
and Pop selections that does one thing, guides the listener to the goodness of God's light (His
love). From the title track "Stand," an anthem of victory in God's light; the old Traditional
"Blessed Assurance;" "Don't Let Go," a sweet lullaby; "Everything Must Change,"
a heart-felt ballad that will certainly tag at your heart-strings and then he changes the tempo and uplifts
your heart to fly once again; "For All We know," an old Pop song sung by Dinah Washington
in 1962 and then by Nat King Cole, which he sang at his mother's funeral to, of course, the Grammy
Award winning Inspirational "Yah-Mo Be There," the CD is full of my favorites.
Ingram started in the entertainment business as a background singer that was blessed to meet the
maestro Quincy Jones who took a listen to his demo, which had his hit single "Just One" on it. Quincy
not only included James on his "The Dude" album released in 1980, but included Ingram's' "Just
One" and his "One Hundred Ways" songs.
"The Dude" CD
received three Grammy Award nominations all for Ingram (Best New Artist, Best Pop Male Vocal and
Best R&B Vocal for "One Hundred Ways"). He performed "Just One" at the
Grammy Awards that year and also won an award without the release of his own CD.
James' solo release, "It's Your Night," was in 1983 and debuted the "Yah-Mo Be There" single, a collaboration
with Michael McDonald, which garnered him another Grammy Award and became the most played song
of that year.
As a songwriter Ingram wrote "Pretty Young Thing" for Michael Jackson
and recently Kanye' West's "Good Life" featuring T-Pain, which received a Grammy Award
nomination. James as a collaborator has performed with Patti Austin on "Baby Come to Me"
and "The Secret Garden," the hit single from Quincy Jones' "Back on the Block" album, which
also featured Al B. Sure, Barry White and El Debarge.
"When I am talking...God is
talking. He has his experiences through us," Ingram points out to me. There's is a war over
our souls...Call on God, I have no answers but I know with God we are gonna ‘Stand!'"
For more on James Ingram and his newest CD release log onto www.JamesIngramsMusic.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - May 22, 2009
NBC Universal in search of the best in talent in short films
By Eunice Moseley
"The focus is to
create programs to bring about on camera diversity," said Kendra Carter, Director of Talent Diversity
Initiatives for NBC Universal.
For the fourth year NBC Universal will host their Short Cuts Film Festival
and display their submissions in both New York and Los Angeles. In September the semi-finalists
short films will be presented at the New York Television Festival and the finalists' short films
will be presented at the NBC Universal Short Cuts Film Festival in Los Angeles. NBC Universal will
be accepting 30 minute short films at their website; the deadline to submit is August 21, 2009.
"(We want to) educate the industry at large and keep track of diverse talent on air,"
Carter points out. "This year we welcome all genres of films. It is not a contest it's a talent development program.
There is no winner. All finalists we try to (help) with interviews, feed-back and details on (up-coming)
The finalists will be granted an NBC Universal Talent Holding deal for the Best Actor, an NBC
Universal pilot script deal and executive meetings for the Best Filmmaker - along with a special
international directing assignment from the SCI-FI Channel.
The NBC Universal Short Cut Film Festival was the
brain child of comedian Will Sylvince as a tool to display and celebrate diversity in the entertainment
"We're looking for comics, writers, skit performers (etc...),"
Kendra said. "I keep a track of where they go. The motivation across the board is to identify the diverse voices and
programming that reflect what's going on today. Find that fresh voice and talent to be developed
and given a chance."
The Pulse of Entertainment - May 29, 2009
To submit your short film for the NBC Universal Short Cut Film Festival log onto website
www/nbcshortcuts.com before August 21, 2009.
The Philadelphia International Records' Gamble and Huff receive the BMI Icon Award
By Eunice Moseley
The fathers of what I call the Philadelphia sound, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, received the BMI Icon Award for
their "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers" at the recent 57th Annual
BMI Pop Awards in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by BMI president and CEO Del Bryant and BMI
vice president and general manager-writer/publisher relations Los Angeles, Barbara Cane.
"We are honored," Leon Huff said about receiving the honor.
"I thought it was great. It's wonderful to be respected and admired by your peers. We are
Gamble and Huff met in an elevator
at a young age and started a conversation that would build into a partnership that took them to a monumental moment
when they joined forces to create Philadelphia International Records, distributed by CBS Records. A deal
that, at that time, was unheard of.
"We started dreaming together about the
business of making music a life-long career. The bottom line is you got to make a living. We had
a band and was writing songs trying to make a hit," Gamble said.
started Gamble Records and signed the Intruders," Huff adds.
Intruders were one of my favorite groups at the time...we were doing singles," Gamble stated.
Aside from the Intruders, through Philadelphia International Records, Gamble and Huff
signed and wrote hit songs such as "Use to be my girl" and "For the love of money" for
The O'Jays'; "You'll never find..." for Lou Rawls; "If you don't know me by now"
for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes; "When will I see you again" for The Three Degrees,
and "Me and Mrs. Jones" for Billy Paul." In total Gamble and Huff accumulated 22
gold and eight platinum records.
Also members of
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Gamble and Huff now join other BMI Icons such as the Jacksons, the Bee Gees, Crosby,
Stills and Nash, Paul Simon, James Brown, Dolly Parton and Hall and Oats as BMI Icons.
"Yes it was a miracle," Gamble said about their life story. "Stuff like this
doesn't happen every day. Look at it as inspiration...the ability to create on what's going on
around you...that's how you get your ideas."
The Pulse of Entertainment - June 5, 2009
'Classique' Will Downing to drop another winner on Peak Records
By Eunice Moseley
"It's not all my doing. I think that God is arranging
(things)," said R&B's baritone singing sensation Will Downing about his long career in the music business.
That start in the business for Will started when he would work on the albums for Jennifer
Holiday, Kool & the Gang, Gerald Albright, Regina Belle and Billy Ocean in the mid-80s. He later
signed with 4th & Broadway, then Island Records and ended up at Mercury Records. It was at
Mercury that he recorded four albums "Love's the place to be," in 1993; "Moods"
in 1995, "Invitation Only" in 1997, and in 2000 he received a Grammy Award nomination
for Best Traditional R&B Album for ""All the Man You Need."
at Peak Records Will Downing will release "Classique" a collection of original and cover
classic songs. Downing beautifully covers Barry White's 1973 hit "I'm gonna love you just a little
more baby;" David Ruffin's 1976 hit "Stature of a fool," and Marvin Gaye's "Baby I'm for real,"
which features the tenor vocals of Phil Perry.
that I have anything against artists and what they are doing, but it doesn't last," Will said
about the meaning of the CD, "Classique" which is classic in French. "The music
I grew up with are classic songs (now)...their stuff is lasting."
(Peak Records/Concord Music Group) will be in stores June 16, 2009 and marks his 20th anniversary
as a recording artist. Aside from those covers songs mentioned some of my other favorites on the
album include the foot tapping "More time (Tic Toc)," "Just think about it" and "I won't stop,"
which is sure to be a classic love song. Will received production help from his long time friend
For more on the CD log onto his website at www.willdowning.com.
Former Def Jam executive announces
new label and CD release, 'Bishop Eddie Long and friends'
With just his love for music former Def Jam executive, James Jones, formed Ultimate Entertainment and released his first CD
project "Bishop Eddie Long and Friends: The Kingdom Vol. 1 Featuring GW." The album includes
selections by Mary Mary, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Tye Tribbett, as well as the Bishop and the choir
"I think people get frustrate with big labels," James said about why he started
the indie label and choose to sign Bishop Eddie Long. "I worked with the best and for this
I wanted the best."
The best is certainly what you will find
with multi-award winning Gospel duo Mary Mary on "Give God Something;" Gospel sensation and a
member of The Clark Sisters, Dorinda Clark-Cole, on "Wrapped up in you," and contemporary hit-man Tye Tribbett
on "Down with the King."
"(Bishop Eddie Long) He has
a three CD deal," Jones pointed out. "The first volume is with his (Gospel) friends, the second
will be recorded live with Kirk Franklin, and the third his secular friends Sheila E, Fantasta
James said one of the things he likes
about Bishop Long is that he relates to the youth, his style and his preaching.
went to a service and there was T.I. and Bow Wow," James stressed.
is distributed by E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records). The first single off the "Bishop Eddie
Long and Friends..." CD is "Righteous Forsaken."
For more information
on Bishop Long log onto www.bishoplongthekingdom.com or for more about the label and the new CD
log onto www.ultimateentertainment.net.
The Pulse of Entertainment - June 12, 2009
Eddie Murphy and young Yara Shahidi star in the Paramount/Nickelodeon comedy release,
By Eunice Moseley
On June 12, 2009 Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies releases "Imagine That," a comedy film for
the family. The movie stars Eddie Murphy and eight year-old actress Yara Shahidi (as father and
daughter), and centers around their developing relationship. Evan Danielson (Murphy) whose life
is centered around deadlines, obtaining new clients, pleasing the clients you have and his computer
gadgets is forced to deal with his daughter Olivia Danielson's fixation with her blanket. Estranged
wife (Trish) played by Nicole Ari Parker, refuses to come to his rescue when Olivia's blanket fixation has the school
calling him every five minutes.
"Imagine That" is so cute because of the
outstanding acting from Yara Shahidi and it is so funny thanks to the comedic timing, funny faces
and voices that only Eddie Murphy can bring. "Imagine That" will also have the audience
rethinking the times that they didn't indulge in a child's "imaginary" world, thinking
that maybe, as in "Imagine That," it will bring them that hidden motivation to do the extraordinary.
"I been wanting to write a movie my kids and I can go to, together," film screenwriter/co-producer
Ed Solomon said. "This idea came from a personal moment."
"I want people to
go out and have a nice afternoon where they can bring the whole family, have a good laugh and get
that fussy feeling," Eddie Murphy said to me about what he wants us to get from the film.
Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and also produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, "Imagine
That" also stars Thomas Naden Church as Johnny Whitefeather, Evan Danielson's rival co-worker;
Ronnie Cox as Evan's boss; Vannesa Williams as Lori Strother, wife of Evan's best friend Johns Strother played by DeRay
Davis, and Charlie Koznick as Rick, current boyfriend to Trish Danielson.
were talking," Thomas Church laughs about when he was shooting the breeze with Eddie Murphy
on set. "and he said, 'I auditioned once for about 5 minutes.' I realized then what a big
'god' he was in the industry!"
Eddie Murphy was the glue that got everyone
together for this film. Even the director, Karey Kirkpatrick, said Eddie picked "him" to direct the film.
"Eddie don't need a whole lot of directing," Karey laughs. "I got a call from
Eddie two weeks before we wrapped up, he wanted to see the film clips. I said, 'Uh oh.'"
Not to fear, Eddie liked what he saw from Kirkpatrick and you will too. You too
will travel into the "imaginary" world of Olivia Danielson.
mom is an actress," Yara tells me about how she got into acting. "We are all doing something either behind
the camera or in front"
On challenges to this movie Shahidi said, "I had to learn
how to skate and sing (The Beatles)."
Speaking of the Beatles, the
soundtrack to "Imagine That" is full of Beatles tunes. Colbie Caillat ("Bubbly")
and Mikal Blue do a duet of The Beatles' "Here comes the sun." You can learn more on the Paramount/Nickelodeon
film and the soundtrack at www.ImagineThatMovie.com
The Los Angeles Dream Center and Universal
Music releases 'Press Play'
"People put labels on music. But good music is good music," Press Play group member Paige Adkins said
about their music which has been labeled Rock/Pop/R&B. "I use to wish I was a Rock star.
I have my own stuff before the group, it's R&B. Being in Press Play taps into the Rock artist
Other member of Press Play include Dave
Hanley (the songwriter), Tyler Ray Logan, Anthony Rick and Paige (who is the daughter of comedian/actor
Sinbad). Press Play members met at the Los Angeles Dream Center, a non-profit outreach center founded
by Matthew Barnett, dedicated to helping inner-city youth across the country, where they volunteer.
guys would say sing this, sing that and then 'hey want to be on the album,'" Adkins laughs about
how she went from solo artist to group member.
Press Play was formed by Matthew Barnett for his Dream
Center, all the proceeds to the CD go back into the centers. He started with one Dream Center in
Los Angeles and today he has 150 all over the world. The centers are open 24/7 and house homeless/mis-placed
youth. The 15 year old center in Los Angeles currently houses 700 youth and Barnett is currently
building a structure that will house 2,000.
The self-titled CD, "Press Play,"
has 13 tracks and guest appearances by Darlene Zschech (Hillsong), IROCC and Tyler Williams (Everybody
"One of the biggest reasons for doing this album is to help The Dream Centers,"
Well, it will be worth the buy for not only will you be supporting this unbelievable
organization but you will receive a variety of great music. My favorites on the "Press Play"
CD include "I love who you are," with Paige as lead singer, it has a Latin guitar feel
in the beginning and ends as a hot Pop number; "Say say," which combines Rock/Hip-Hop
and R&B, and "Break It Out" something to so some buck wild dancing to.
For more on Press Play or The Dream Center log onto www.ThisIsPressPlay.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment
- June 19, 2009
Slim of 112 brings
you crazy love with debut solo CD release
By Eunice Moseley
The slightly high pitched Urban/R&B lead vocalist of the multi-platinum group 112 is still riding high from
the release of his solo debut CD on his independent label M3 (distributed by Asylum Records). The
CD, "Love's Crazy," is so hot, that I believe its' success even surprised Slim (Marvin
Scandrick) who couldn't help giving God credit throughout the interview.
just say) Sales are in the six figures and thats not the ringtones sales," Slim pointed out
when I asked how his sales numbers were for this "Love's Crazy" release. "I give all praises
to Him. Whatever His will is."
Slim is already working on promoting the third single off the album,
"Heels On." The single's video features M3 artist Ron Browz and Deezo. The first two
singles "Good Lovin'" featuring Fabolous and Ryan Leslie and "So Fly" featuring
Yung Joc are still hot on Urban/R&B/Hip-Hop charts and radio spins, which has made it one of
the top five albums in the U.S.
"I learned from the best when we were assigned
to Bad Boy," Slim reflected. "I really paid attention. Puffy (Diddy) had his won plan...his own vision.
He wasn't afraid to go against the grain."
Slim said he wanted to go against the
grain and form his own label. Even when major labels were coming at him, he was determined to do
"Why not look out for the artist. When you get out here (as
an indie label) you don't grind no different. It's the same grind," Slim points out about
owning a label so he can uplift other artists. " If I knew then what I know now! Right now I know
what they know. How to get spins....if they (major labels) were wise they'd talk to M3. Everything is in steps. Like
building the structure of a house."
Slim built a house of stone with M3 and this release,
it is evident because he is working on the third single and the CD is still going strong. The "Love's
Crazy" CD also features former label mate Faith Evans and Big Boi.
from "So Fly" and "Good Lovin'" my favorite cuts on the "Love Crazy"
album include "She Got That," "Bedtime Stories," the Pop flavored "Leave U Alone,"
the heart-felt "Apologize," the title track "Love's Crazy," which has a nice drum beat,
and the interlude "More" with Slim singing to a classical guitar.
learn more on Slim's music log on to www.myspace.com/slimof112.
Urbanworld Film Festival and BET Network are looking for the next big independent film
"It goes back to our partnership with MTV," said Stacy Spikes, founder of the Urbanworld Film Festival,
about the point where his festival jumped to the ultimate status of being world-wide. "MTV
had a partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival but those demographics weren't really fitting
and we had a younger demographics."
Spikes goes on to say that during that
MTV partnership with Urbanworld Film Festival they showcased and help launched such films as "Soul
Food," "How Stella got her groove back," "The original kings of comedy" and "In
too deep." As life would have it, changes came to MTV and that ended the partnership. But lady luck was
on his side for BET Networks came to the rescue.
This is the second year that
BET has partnered with the Urbanworld Film Festival. Last year they showcased the independent film
"The Secret Life of Bees." This year it may be your film. The 13 year-old festival is
to be held this year from September 23-27 in New York City.
Stacy offered with asked about the fee amount to submit a film. "And that is only because we pay the screeners
who go through the films. Not everything gets to me and there's a certain number of slots in the
The guidelines are that someone of color either has to be behind the
scene (director, producer, etc) or have the subject matter be about someone of color. The categories
are narrative feature or short, documentary feature or short, screenplay, new director and audience
Stacy started his career in the music business at Motown Records in 1989 as director of
marketing and moved on to film working with Miramax Films as vice president of marketing, The marketing
campaigns that he worked on during this time has grossed over $3 billion dollars worldwide.
Instructions on how to submit your independent film can be obtained at www.urbanworld.org.
Deadline is June 26, 2009.
Pulse of Entertainment - June 26, 2009
Al B. Sure comes back
home to singing with his new Hidden Beach Recordings CD release
I recently witnessed a master performer do his thing at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach, that
master was Al B. Sure. I totally enjoyed seeing him work the room, interact and dance with the
audience, and let's not forget hitting those high notes that only Al B. Sure can do. After 15 years
out of the recording lime-light "New Jack Swings' most popular romantic singer" releases
a new album, "Honey I'm Home," on Hidden Beach Recordings.
a child I tried to emulate Smokie Robinson, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye," singer/songwriter/producer Al B.
Sure said to me recently when I asked him where his tenor voice came from (because his speaking voice is
a bit deep). "(But) I had a deep voice as a child."
Al said with this new CD release
, "Honey I'm home," he hopes to take us back to the times of Stevie Wonder and Quincy
"I think it was the pressure from people at airports...the basketball
courts and at business meetings saying, 'when' (are you coming out with a CD), it's been too long,"
Sure said when asked what made him decide to record an album after 15 years. "I wasn't sure where to find home."
Al didn't wanted his CD to be "in the trendy zone" but he wanted to maintain his sound. He did just that with
the help of long time production partner Kyle West and Michael Mani.
in the music business in 1988 with the debut of the multi-platinum selling album "In Effect
Mode." That album produced his signature songs "Nite and Day" and "Off on your
own (Girl)," both released as singles. He has a total of 15 singles that reached the top of
the Billboard charts. Al received Grammy and American Music Award nominations. He won an American Music
Award for Best New Artist, a Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist and more than 35 ASCAP Awards for his songwriting
and production skills.
"As an artist I try to be responsible," Sure
pointed out. "I'm about being a true artist, songwriter and composer...I take my lessons from
Well Quincy would be proud of this project. "Honey I'm
home" is trendy but yet takes you "home" to the times of yesterday when hearing
that Al B. Sure tenor voice put a smile on your face as you are serenade. It's a 12 song CD and Al B. Sure takes
you through a journey of songs and sounds. On "I Love it (Papi Aye Aye Aye)," the first single,
it features the world renowned cellist Tina Guo. The single was produced by Al B. an Kyle West.
Aside from that one my favorites also include "All I wanna be" and the
cover song "Lady in my life," where he truly proves that he is a master tenor.
NAACP celebrates 100 years with a reception in
honor of Bond and Jealous at Judge Greg Mathis home
"One of the
things...is cause of the black community," Judge Greg Mathis told me about why he welcomed the reception in his
beautiful white and gold decorated home in the heart of Beverly Hills. "...And the 100th anniversary
of the largest civil rights organization. To awaken a sleeping giant that opened the doors of opportunity
that I enjoy."
The NAACP (National Association of the Advancement of Colored People) began in 1909 as a result of the 1908 race
riots in Springfield, Illinois at the home of Abraham Lincoln. A mob of the towns so-called "best
citizens" raged for two days killing and wounding any black person they could find. In an
article by William English Walling titled "Race War in the North" he said the spirit
of Lincoln and Love-joy needed to be revived because he felt that "the Negro" should
be treated with equality.
Mary White Ovington who was studying "the Negro" and living
with them read the article and was moved, because she felt the same. She contacted Walling and they met
in New York along with Dr. Henry Moskowitz and at that meeting on February 12, 1909 the NAACP was
born. Other founding members that "National Negro Committee" meeting included W.E.B.
Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett and Oswald Garrison Villiard.
That next year they immediately started
fighting legal battles of civil injustice. They would go on to do such things as place ads in the
media about the facts of lynching; protest laws that discriminated against people of color; pressure President Harry Truman
to sign an Executive Order banning discrimination in interstate train and bus facilities, support
member Thurgood Marshall in winning the legal battle Brown vs. the Board of Education, and supported
member Rosa Parks when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat.
the NAACP has Julian Bond as chairman of the board and Benjamin Jealous as president/CEO. With
their leadership the organization has begun investigating and lobbying the discrimination and injustice in our credit
loan system and staying on-top of what is happening with the stimulus money.
NAACP reception at Judge Greg and Linda Mathis' home was in their honor and celebrities came to
mingle with the hard-hitting members of the organization,celebrities such as Lisa Raye, Cedric
the Entertainer, legends Don Cornelius and Thelma Houston, Bill Duke, ER's Eric La Salle, Duane
Martin and Rachel True (Half and Half).
To learn more about the NAACP log onto www.NAACP.org. For pictures
from the reception log onto www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com/photos.html.
Pulse of Entertainment - July 3, 2009
Academy Award winning Jamie Foxx embarks on a 50 city tour July 3, 2009
By Eunice Moseley
"I have to go on the road to solidify my music
career," Jamie told me during an interview about his "Intuition Tour" which kicks off Friday July 3, 2009
in Anaheim, CA at The Grove.
Academy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and
NAACP Image Award winning comedian/actor, now platinum selling artist - thanks to the success of
his first single off his "Intuition" CD, "Blame It" featuring T-Pain - is riding
high on his sophomore projects' success and believes he has to ride the wave as long as he can.
The "Intuition Tour" will be riding all the way to October when it ends in Las Vegas.
he will never have another opportunity like this, he hopes he will, but he says the odds say maybe
not, but I think his talent is so touch by God that all things are possible. His single "Blame
it" has already broken a record as spending the longist weeks at number one on Urban Mainstream
Charts (12 consecutive weeks), topping TLC's "No Scrubs," which rode the number one slot
for 11 weeks. "Blame it" also received the 2009 BET Award (which he hosted while honoring
the life of Michael Jackson) for the Best Collaboration.
"We didn't want people to know it was me,"
Jamie said when I told him that I didn't know it was him when I first heard the single "Blame
it." "We wanted to stay away from R&B. It's what I came out here to do...what I want
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at his career,
Jamie entered into the entertainment business as a comedian/actor. I believe it was his Academy
Award winning role as Ray Charles that introduced us to his unbelievable musical talents.
learned how to sing by teaching people," Jamie replied when asked when did he know he had such an
amazing voice. "Music was my passion. I didn't know I had a voice. I was minister of music
(at his grandmother's church) for the choir. I would teach people parts (alto, tenor, soprano,
During the interview it is self evident that Jamie is a very spiritual
person who knows where his blessings are coming. His personal goal is to stay humble and funny, "most
of all funny."
This is Jamie's second tour produced by Bay Area Productions and Another Planet
Entertainment. His first tour, the "Unpredictable Tour," in 2007 introduced him as a
recording artist, I believe this one will solidify, as he said, his position as a singer.
"Ray Charles," the film, solidified him as an actor (not to forget his current starring
role with Robert Downey, Jr. in the film, "The Soloist" and his starring roles in "Collateral,"
"Redemption," ""Dreamgirls," "Miami Vice," "Jarhead"
and "The Kingdom,") even though before that he starred in his own sitcom "The Jamie Foxx Show" for
Aside from his singing and acting, Jamie is also a radio personality thanks
to his widely popular "The Foxxhole" radio show on Sirius XM and is a television producer
for co-producing the MTV reality show "From G's to Gents"
Della Reese presents....introduces
new talent and reintroduces legends of our past
Truly the highlight of the "Della Reese presents....Jon B., SWV and Noel" red
carpet event was Della Reese. When Della arrived at the red carpet media people, as well as, "celebs"
who came out to support her (such as Oscar winning Lou Gossett, Jr., Loretta Devine, Florence LaRue/5th
Dimensions, Ernest Thomas/Everybody Hates Chris, producer William Goldstein/Fame, Mikki Howard,
radio personality Lee Bailey, actor Ernie Hudson/Ghost Busters, comedian/actress Annie McKnight),
all bombarded her disrupting the flow of the red carpet in order to say hello and get pictures
with the legendary singer/actress.
"The highlight for
me is to take it back to music that really really touched people and meant something," former American Idol
Trenyce said about the "Della Reese presents...." concert produced by Michael Stone Events.
"I am really really excited to be able to listen to everybody's raw talent. I'm from the Motown
era, so I very excited."
The event was held recently
at The Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills and was hosted by the very talented and very funny comedian/actor
Tommy Davis, who has two projects coming out, "Chicago's Pulaski Jones" in September
with Cedric the Entertainer and on December 4, 2009 the release of the "Black Dynamite" film, a 70's kung-fu
"It was Della Reese, it was Della Reese,
she asked and I said, 'yes!,'" Tommy laughed about why he took the task of hosting the event.
Della once told me that this is her second year in support
of the Michael Stone event, because she wanted to reintroduce some legends of past that still have
unbelievable talents which are going unrecognized. This year the talents she wants to reintroduce
is Jon B. and SWV (Sisters With Voices). She said she also wanted to take the opportunity to introduce
new talent and at this event it was R&B singer Noel.
Della, who is also
an ordained minister (at Understanding Principles for Better Living in Los Angeles), started in the entertainment
business as a Gospel artist at the age of 13 in her home town of Detroit and was later hired by Mahalia
Jackson to join her group. While in college Della formed her own group The Meditation Singers.
In 1953 she moved to New York as a vocalist of the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra and shortly after
signed to Jubilee Records. The next year she was voted "The Most Promising Singer" by
Billboard, Cashbox and Variety. In 1959 she signed with RCA Records. In 1969 she became host to her own talk
show "Della" which was syndicated by RKO. She went into acting in the 70's where she appeared on "Sanford
and Son," "Chico and the Man," "Night Court," "Designing Women,"
"Room 227," and her own series with Redd Foxx "The Royal Family." She is most
noted for her starring role in the CBS television series "Touched by an Angel," which
she received three Emmy nominations.
Pulse of Entertainment - July 10, 2009
Urban Gospel is on the rise with Canton Jones' newest CD, 'Kingdom's Business'
"A lot of dudes doing Hip-Hop are my friends,"
Urban Gospel artist Canton Jones said about his genre and style of music. "Mainstream...are Christians. Most times
(people) are quick to judge...I'm not a person to judge."
judging is something I also try not to do for I believe only God can judge a person. But judging
by the sound and message of Canton Jones' newest CD release, "Kingdom Business," is a
hot hot hot project. The album is released on his "indie" label CAJO International and
distributed by Arrow Records/Universal/Fontana.
Jones said that mainstream radio and television
has been very acceptable to his music. Canton's voice is reminiscent to me of a cross between the
soulful vocals Sisqo and the Urban vocal style of Chris Brown. Can't imagine that, well then you
need to get the CD, "Kingdom Business" and hear for yourself.
the album combines Canton's Urban vocal style with his guest rappers, such as Big Ran on "Living Clean
(My Life)" and "Pimp Hard;" Joey on "The Professional;" Mouthpiece on the title track
"Kingdom Business;" Messenja and M Eazy on "24's," and Ramona Jones on "Vacation,"
it makes for a rocking CD.
Executively produced by Dr. Creflo and Taffi
Dollar (Arrow Records), with Canton as co-executive producer, the "Kingdom Business"
CD offers 15 tracks.
"The Bible is a book I live by,"
Jones said about his obvious love for Gospel.
A loving husband of eight years to Ramona
Jones, Canton is certainly about doing the "business" of getting God's message of salvation
out to his listeners. "Kingdom Business" is his fourth album with "20 Years, Three
Months, 12 Days," "Love Jones" and "The Password: Access Granted" released
previously resulting in Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award nominations and three Gospel Choice Awards.
new to the music industry Canton has shared the stage with such mainstream heavy weights as T.I.,
David Banner and Ludacris, and has collaborated with such Gospel icons as Kirk Franklin, Smokie Norful, KiKi
Clark-Sheard and Dr. Bobby Jones.
My favorite cuts on the "Kingdom
Business" CD include the title track "Kingdom Business," "Living Clean (My Life),"
"I Won't Stop," "Nobody Cared" which is an awesome testimony and "My Walk,"
a hot number that will make you want to get up and dance with the Holy Ghost.
more on Canton or to hear more of his "Kingdom Business" CD log onto www.CantonJones.net
Actress Ellia English publishes first book 'I am That I am: A Journey Through Add-Ol-Less-Sense'
Best known for her role of Aunt Helen on The Jamie Foxx Show, Ellia English has just published a book of her thoughts on
difference subjects such as the Afro, weight problems, first loves, being a daughter, being a wife
and much more. The book "I am That I am: A Journey Through Add-Ol-Less-Sense" published
by Xulon Press is a collection of thoughts and experiences that we all have thought or gone through.
"Love (motivated me). The love produced a burning heart desire to
edify and uplift," Ellia English said when asked what made her want to publish her journal
of thoughts that was written by her throughout her life. "I thought it was about the journey. I had to do
it. I had something different in mind, but God had other plans."
I read the book I saw my childhood, my journal, my thoughts in every page. According to Ellia the
book, its title, its cover color and picture, etc... was all God's doing. She would plan one thing,
but God put other things and thoughts in the way and she conceded.
said through the whole process she tried to be obedient to what God wanted her to do. Even the
picture on the cover of the book she said was God's choice, she wanted something totally different.
The picture on the book is of her as a one or two year old child, a picture I pointed out to her
that could have been the picture of myself at that age which has the same outfit and the same hairstyle. Like myself,
readers will surely identify with the book, her thoughts and observations of life's trails and tribulations.
As an actress Ellia English started in theater (Dreamgirls and Ain't Misbehavin') and
worked her way into television and films. She is currently Aunt Rae in the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
and she will be in the new film "My Sister's Keeper," starring Alec Baldwin and Cameron
For more on the "I am That I am" book log onto
The Pulse of Entertainment
- July 17, 2009
Three Keys Music's Jazz pianist Marcus Johnson releases new CD, 'Poetically Justified'
By Eunice Moseley
"Everybody, all my life, said, 'No, you couldn't
do music, you couldn't go to law school (and become a lawyer), you couldn't have a label, you couldn't be at the top of
Billboard.' This is my 14th record and guess what (I did all those things), I got something for
you," Marcus Johnson stressed this to me during my interview on his latest CD, "Poetically
Justified," which is released on his own "indie" label Three Keys Music. His label
is distributed exclusively in all FYEs, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Walmarts and Best Buys.
current album has an extensive variety of impressive collaborations with Baltimore native Maysa,
legendary saxophonist Najee and vocalist Miles Jaye. "Poetically Justified" offers a contemporary
Jazz selection "Master of my Heart," which features the masterful vocals of Maysa. On this song Maysa
sings in a whisper, very effectively. This unusual style is currently getting heavy rotation on
Adult-Contemporary radio stations.
On his 14 track release Marcus also covers a Michael Jackson song, "This Place
Hotel," very lovingly and it is also the first single off the album.
had planned to place this song on my previous albums," Johnson pointed out when asked about
the coincidence of this MJ cover and the death of the Pop superstar. "It just happen to work
out this time...I listen to my higher power, I am 'Poetically Justified'."
"Poetically Justified" CD also offers another cover, the Floety song "Say yes."
Aside from "Master of my Heart," "The Place Hotel" and "Say Yes" other favors of
mine on the CD include "Chillaxin," "I See you" featuring Najee on sax; "Danni's
Song," which sounds like a piano battle is going on; "Stand by me" a sweet love
song, and "Cherish the Journey" a great track for a long road trip.
more on Marcus, his label, his awesome recording studio in Silverspring, Maryland and his newest
album release log onto www.threekeys.com, www.marcusjohnsonmusic.com or www.myspace.com/marcusjohnsonproject.
Jazz/Pop singer Anne Walsh offers
us a 'Pretty World' with her newest CD release
Imagine the vocals of Vanessa Williams and Diana Ross combined. Got it in your head? Well to me that's the sound of the vocals
of Jazz/Pop artist Anne Walsh on her newest CD "Pretty World" released on her husband,
Thomas Zink, 'indie' A To Zink Music record label.
voice," Anne said when asked about the concentration of her bachelor and master degrees. "I
studied all the classical greats. (When I received my bachelors) My brother Michael said he didn't
like my (new) voice. I am just getting my ...sound. I had to make a decision who am I. I worked
in opera, but wasn't enjoying myself ... my husband is a jazz pianist."
As a result Walsh says she seems to have found her voice. That voice is a very nice and smooth Jazz/Pop
genre sound. It is evident on the "Pretty World" CD release. Anne takes her style and
masterfully handles Jazz standards from Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Sergio Mendez.
Walsh even goes as far has singing in Portuguese, so good I initially thought she was Brazilian.
"We have a friend who did the translation. I initially
went to him for pronunciation. He is Brazilian," Walsh points out.
who is a voice teacher at Cal State's American Musical and Dramatic Academy, said that her first Jazz gig was
in Brazilian venue. Raised in Worcester, Massachusetts - where she says there is a large Brazilian population
- Walsh started by performing in Broadway productions such as The Sound of Music.
"Every song has a story of beauty," Anne points out about the
new album. "Life is complex. We have hardships...I choose music."
choose music as well, it makes all that complexity in life goes away, at least until the song is
over. On "Pretty World" you can get wrapped up in life's beauty by listening to my favorite
cuts on the CD which includes the title track "Pretty World," a Sergio Mendez song which
has a sweet flute influence and a rhythm that makes you want to do the Cha-Cha; the Antonio Carlos-Jobim selection "Waters
of March;" another Sergio song "Chove Chuva," which is another dance number; Cole
Porter's "In the Still of the Night; Rogers and Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things,"
and a Keith Jarrett original written especially for Anne, "My Song."
more on Anne Walsh or the A To Zink Music label log onto www.annewalsh.com
The Pulse of Entertainment - July 24,
Maryland native Phillip Carter and his Sounds of Victory ensemble releases debut album, 'Songs from the Storm'
By Eunice Moseley
Minister Phillip Carter (Breath of Life Ministries) and his
Sounds of Victory (SOV) voice ensemble releases debut national CD, "Songs from the Storm," on Gussie Clyde Entertainment.
GCE is his own record label and is distributed by Comin Atcha Distribution (CAD).
"The last four (albums) were released regionally," Phillip Carter said when asked why
this album is his debut, when he has previous CD releases. "I learned so much after four projects...and
did a DVD."
On the "Songs of the Storm" CD Carter said he was thinking
about how to make us feel when we praise the Lord and that is exactly what I got from the album,
that it was all about praising God. The voices of his ensemble are a powerful with clear harmony.
When asked about how he recruit for his voice ensemble (established in 1997) Phillip said, "their
ages are from 15 -18. They are from my church, some from large and small churches, some from other
environments...I saw them and saw superstars."
The Maryland native
has a degree in music education and has worked as Gospel choir director for his alma mater (Bowie State University)
and as assistant director for the Gospel choir at Howard University. His first album was released at
the age of 22 and his first job was at the age of 12, playing piano in church.
whole process was one big storm, trying to get from point A to point B," Carter said about
the meaning of the CD title "Songs of the Storm."
of my favorite songs off the CD is "Praising," this selection gives you the feeling of
"sailing the storm" particularly because it is recorded over the track of "Sailing"
by Christopher Cross.
"I been hearing that song since the
80s," Carter laughs when asked why he used that track. "As a musician I love (taking
you to another place)."
"Songs of the Storm" will take you through any of life's challenges with its music
and lyrics. Some of my other favorites include "A Great Day," "He Cares" and
the foot-stomping "Rejoice."
To hear more from the album log onto www.SpiritCo1.com
Internet radio station owner, Ty Moore,
offers 30 days air-time to ULMII talent showcase winners
"I wanted to give new artists the opportunity to be heard. I know how hard it is for artists who don't have the means
or resources to get them a step closer to their dream," said Tyron Moore, owner of Hit Center
Radio - an Internet R&B/Hip-Hop/Alternative formated radio station, about why he started his
Internet station. "And considering how the average person with a single can't walk into a
radio station to get their record played, I felt like an outlet was needed for those who want to be heard."
Ty has offered the winners (in vocal and songwriting) of the Uplifting Minds II (ULMII)
national talent competitions this year 30 days radio air-time. Moore's first involvement in the national
conference was by entering his artists in the talent showcase portion of the event (held in Baltimore
and Los Angeles). Eventually Ty became a judge on the panel and now he serves as a sponsor.
In 2001 Moore create Sharp Eye Entertainment to manage and develop artist.
His passion was in giving undiscovered artists the knowledge and the tools they needed to compete
with mainstream artists. He also works as a scout for producers that have worked with Jermaine
Dupri, Mya, Dru Hill, Jennifer Lopez and Keyshia Cole. In 2005 Ty launched Hit Center Radio, an online radio station
dedicated to catering to a world-wide of listeners of Urban/R&B/Hip-Hop/Alternative music lovers.
By 2008 Moore's Sharp Eye Entertainment added yet another arm to his company, a professional photography
division, and as a result has added models to his managing clientèle.
far as their music...make sure its professional as possible because the quality of their music
represents them," Moore stressed when asked advice on getting music on the air. "You'll
have a better chance with independent broadcasters via satellite or Internet radio. But if you
network with local Djs and/or get your material on mix-tapes, you can make a fan base that way...and your music
possibly may get picked up by your local radio station."
of the 2009 showcases (last date in 2009 is Sunday, October 18th at the Los Angeles Convention
Center, West Hall Theater, admission is free) receive 30 days airtime from Hit Center Radio at
www.live365.com/stations/hitcenter, as well as 30 days radio airtime from Spirit Radio (Gospel/Inspirational)
at www.SpiritCo1.com; free legal consultation from Richard Jefferson, Esq. (www.fjlawcorp.com); free music track from multi-award winning producer VIP (www.DustDemAFF.com); free photo session from award winning photographer Gar Roberts; two weeks booking services from booking agent and artist
manager Norman Gibson (www.GrayMountEnt.com); free vocal coaching from singer/voice coach Nadiyah Kareem (Superstar Entertainment), and 50% off Internet marketing and
promotions services by Boosweet Records (www.Boosweet.com).
For more on Ty's Sharp Eye Entertainment ventures log onto
www.myspace.com/sharpeyeent and www.myspace.com/hitcenterradio. For more information on the Uplifting Minds II entertainment conferences or to register for the next talent showcase
log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment
- July 31, 2009
The unbelievable vocals of 'The Young Elder' high on the wave of the new Urban Gospel movement
Producer/songwriter Claude Deuce joins other songwriters
in sharing his vocal abilities with us. A Gospel vocalist, Deuce joins a wave of artists that are being classified as "Urban"
Gospel because of their sound and delivery, which is not Traditional or Contemporary Gospel. With
the release of his debut CD, "Claude Deuce The Young Elder," on Livin' It/Taises label
(with exclusive Wal-Mart distribution) you can hear this new genre of music for yourself.
Deuce, a musician fluent on the drums, sax, bass guitar and piano, joins
Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribett, Mary Mary, Tonex and Canton Jones (to name a few) in combining Urban
R&B and Hip-Hop with Gospel lyrics. Claude goes a step further because his sound also has a touch of
"I started out as a songwriter and then (became) a singer,"
said Claude about his music career. "I wrote songs and my manager got them to the record labels
and three or four artists used my songs."
had song placements for such artists as Deitrick Haddon, Canton Jones, Big Al, and Tonex. As a
singer his voice is unbelievable. Imagine hearing Ne-Yo or Usher singing Gospel, Claude has that
same feel. The minister of music at New Life Worship Center in Augusta and an Elder at the Church
of God in Christ, Claude said he wants the listeners to hear the influence that other artists has had on him. He says the
source of that influence changes from song to song.
'It Ain't Over' I tried to show my Michael McDonald influence... but some told me say I sound like
the Wynans," Deuce laughs.
Speaking of "It Ain't Over" that
is one of my favorites on "The Young Elder" CD. So heartfelt and uplifting with emotional
vocals to carry you up and over your troubles. That song, along with "Show Me," came
to Claude at a time of, what he says was a "crossroad."
"I came up with the songs when I had
just got back from California and it seemed like I was at a crossroad," he said when asked
if any of the songs on the CD, he believes, came directly from God.
went on to say that while on the west coast all the producers he wanted to work with (ie, The Underdogs)
were willing if he came to L. A. and he talked of all the opportunities out there. So his prayer
was questioning God whether he should moved or not. He says the answer came back no, he was needed where he was, which was
Augusta (two hours from Atlanta). Claude say "Show Me" came out of that and "It
To learn more about the Claude Deuce log onto www.myspace.com/ClaudeDeuce.
Rosephanye Powell brings back African-American
Spirituals with 'Motherless Child'
It was while in college when Rosephanye (pronounced: ro-seh-fuh-nee) studied Black Spirituals did she realize how proud she
was of her people. Now a professor of voice herself at Auburn University in Alabama, her goal is
to introduce the old Spirituals to mainstream with her debut CD release "Motherless Child"
on the Inkhorn Music imprint.
"(The album is
about) My journey coming from the deep south," Rosephanye said about why she tackled the project
of recording and releasing a CD. "My grandfather was a foot-soldier for Martin Luther King...went
to Alabama...singing Spiritual...that peaked my interest in blacks' contribution."
Powell said God lead her to do the record project of delivering the black Spirituals with
her R&B and Jazz influences to mainstream. A Soprano, Rosephayne has an awesome operatic voice
that I can hear a Broadway stage. The instrumentals on the album are all masterful, love the piano
and horn solos.
"God said to tell the story," Powell points out. "To
educate...He challenged me to 'think outside the box'"
went on to explain that she started to search for producers but they all said she wasn't Classical
enough because she had too many bends in her vocals. She tried to find instrumentalist but that
didn't work out, but she said God told her 'you are going to do it yourself.' She did just that
with the help of her husband, Dr. William C. Powell - the pianist and director of music at Auburn University, who formed
a record label, Inkhorn Music, to distribute her projects.
favorite songs off of the "Motherless Child" CD release is the title track that brings
back all those pictures of slavery; "Deep River" sung so emotionally I felt every word
she sang and it also has a piano solo that is just magical, and "Soon - A Will Be Done,"
which has some unbelievable harmonic vocals in the background.
To learn more about
Rosephanye or heard her music log onto www.InkhornMusic.com and www.rosephanyepowell.com.
The Pulse of Entertaiment
- August 7, 2009
Calvin Richardson is back with 'The Soul of Bobby Womack' on the Shanachie label
By Eunice Moseley
"I really wanted to stay as close to the original as
possible," Soul singer/songwriter Calvin Richardson said about his new project, "Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby
Womack" to be released this month on Shanachie Entertainment. "I went into the Bobby
Womack mode...I had a week to prepare ...never had a chance to rehearsal (with the live band)."
Calvin admitted this is the first album he recorded with a live band, a band that happens to belong
to Inspirational singer Ann Nesby. Ann is featured on the "Love has finally come" selection
on the CD. That particular Bobby Womack cover was originally sung with Patti LaBelle, but Ann Nesby
was the perfect one to attempt it. Not many can compare to Patti, but the incredible vocals of
Nesby did it with no sweat. That was one of my favorite songs on the album, not only because of
Ann's soulful contribution and Calvin's unbelievable passion to the song, but it has a Jazz feel to it thanks to the horn
playing of Michael Burton.
Richardson is a native North Carolinian,
the eldest of nine children. His musical influence as a child came from his mother who sang in a
Gospel group (The Willing Wonders). He was allowed to listen to secular music and thus was influenced
further by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway and Bobby Womack. Those influences are noticeable
in his style and delivery, but the Calvin Richardson difference is his Urban Contemporary twist.
Encouraged by his friends K-Ci and JoJo, Calvin formed a group Undacover
whose first single "Love Slave" (Tommy Boy Records) was featured on the 1995 soundtrack
of the "New Jersey Drive" movie. The group folded but Richardson kept going by releasing a solo project, "Country
Boy," on Uptown/Universal Records in 1999, which featured vocal help from Chico Debarge, Monifah
His song "More Than a Woman" was recorded by Angie Stone who had him as a
featured vocalist (later it was released with the featured vocals from Joe) on her "Mahogany
Soul" CD. His "There goes my baby," which he co-wrote, was recorded by Charlie Wilson.
In 2003 he released his sophomore album on Hollywood Records, "2:35pm." In 2008 his third
CD, "When love comes," was released on Shanachie Entertainment.
wanted to put an (original) album out every year...Shanachie asked me to do a dedication to Bobby
Womack," Calvin pointed out.
Richardson said he jumped at the chance because of Bobby's influence
on him. He was also the one who chose the Womack songs to go on the album and some of them, he said, he hadn't
even heard before, but in a week he was ready. One of the things Bobby Womack use to do that Calvin
included in this album was talking before and during his songs.
did start talking like that," Calvin laughs. "It's to set you up."
Richardson did a masterful job on the "Facts of Life: The Soul of
Bobby Womack" CD. I could listen to it over and over again, and this is not because I am a
Calvin Richardson fan, but because of the quality of his vocals. I love good vocalists. His unbelievable soulful
sound and his delivery makes it seem as though he does it all effortlessly.
from "Love has finally come," other favorites of mine on the CD include "Across 110th Street,"
a lover's plea; "Your welcome, stop on by," a finger snapping get-you-going song; the sad "Harry
Hippie," "American dream," a master-piece of Soul mixed with Urban/R&B and Calvin,
hauntingly, sounding so much like Womack; "Daylight," has a bit of a Jazz influence,
and "Facts of Life," has that Bobby Womack signature style having a smooth transitions
from talking to singing.
For more on Calvin Richardson or to heard
from his "Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack" CD log onto www.IamCalvinRichardson.com
Tyreika Renee', the next female Urban
R&B singing/songwriting sensation, to release debut national release
Tyreika Renee' started right after high school with a dream to be a singer/songwriter. While working on her songwriting skills
she enrolled into a modeling school, Barbizon, who later hired her for various modeling projects.
As a singer/songwriter her career took a turn for the best, thanks to her father, when she attended
a Russell Simmons event.
"At 18 I knew, watching music videos,
I could do it," said 21 year-old Tyreika Renee' about her passion for singing and songwriting.
"My father took me to a music business seminar at Morgan (State University) with Russell Simmons
on the panel. A man passed by me and gave me his business card. I called him and found out that he lived
up the street from me. With him (a producer) I recorded my first song 'I gotta have you'."
"When I started writing my mother got involved and I started doing shows. A girl asked
me to sing on a song of hers at the Five Seasons Hotel. This guy was there and asked me to come
perform at a Hip-Hop club and I ended up performing there every Monday night."
Requests for performances by Tyreika Renee' started flowing in. She was
featured in the line-up of her home town of Baltimore's Stop the Violence Tour, where she met a
promoter from DC who immediately booked her for performances in nearby Washington (and surrounding
Last year Tyreika Renee', now managed by Starr Management,
locally released "This is Me," which garnered her two hot local club singles "Radio"
and "Parking lot pimpin'." Often compared to another Baltimore native Lil' Mo, Tyreika
Renee' won the Blammy Hip-Hop Award as the Best Female R&B Artist of the Year in 2007. The
CD was well received, so much so, that she has recently signed with "indie" label Major
Movement Records (MMR) for her national debut self-titled CD, slated for a Fall, 2009 release.
like to work with producers Brian Cox, Rodney Jerkins and Timberland and maybe have Joe, Jadakiss
and Lil' Wayne featured on my CD," Tyreika Renee' pointed out, giggling a little at the possibilities,
when asked who are her dream producers or featured singers she's love to have on one of her albums.
The self-titled CD will include remakes of her two local hits "Radio"
and "Parking lot pimpin'." Tyreika Renee' will be promoting the album release in late
Fall during her "Urban 'Radio' Tour," presented by Starr Management and MMR, to start
first at local schools in her own town and go on to include Hip-Hop and Urban clubs and schools
across the country. The tour will host an Urban Fashion show, other local artists and an open audition for
those interested in touring with her as backup singers and band members.
more on Tyreika Renee' log onto www.myspace.com/tyreikarenee and www.starrmanagement.vpweb.com.
Pulse of Entertainment - August 14, 2009
Gospel sensation Vicki Yohe is live from the Cathedral in Atlanta
By Eunice Moseley
"I haven't had an album out in four years," said
Gospel singing sensation Vicki Yohe about her absence from the music scene. "I love to sing them (the songs)...all
of them can be sung in church."
The newest CD project from Vicki
titled "Reveal your glory: Live from the Cathedral" is not only recorded live at Word of Faith
Family Worship Cathedral in Atlanta, but it has a collection of powerful worship and praise songs
that she delivers in a powerful yet sweet way. I would say to me her sound is reminiscent of a
cross between Patti LaBelle and Whitney Houston.
The daughter of
a minister, Yohe's vocal influences were Tramaine Hawkins and Aretha Franklin. Along with her sister
Vicki formed a Gospel duo that traveled with her evangelizing father. In 1992 she recorded her first project.
Since then she has released nine albums, the "Reveal your glory: Live from the Cathedral" is her
Vicki signed with CeCe Winans' "indie" label PureSprings Gospel and released
"I just want you" and it garnered her a Dove and Stellar Award nominations. Her second
CD on PureSpring Gospel, "He's been faithfu,l" included a top ten single "Deliverance
"'Reveal your glory' (track) was
25 minutes long, we cut it down to 10 minutes," said Vicki about the live recording. "There
was a moment I was weeping...I was crying out to God. We rehearsed for a month...We did it in one
To listen to the CD you will be amazed
that all eleven selections were recorded in one day, with some songs as long as 10 minutes long, yet on each one she stayed
powerful and on point. Four of the songs were written by members of the Living Waters Worship Center
in Odenton, Maryland where Duane Manns is the music director. Mann even contributed to the title
track "Reveal your glory."
"A lot of people have been waiting for
this. It entered on Billboard at 22, went to 12 and is now at 14," Vicki stated. "I'm
just getting started."
During the four year absence from the music scene
Vick and her husband Troy have been busy with their New Destiny for Children Foundation, an orphanage
in Jinjn, Uganda where they are now parents to forty adopted children. In 2005 they adopted, in
the states, a newborn (from Atlanta), Walter, now four and in 2007 adopted another newborn in Ohio, Adley, now
18 months. They are also parents to Vicki's nephew since he was five (he is now 18) and her husbands three
sons (from a previous relationship).
"I have been traveling for 19 years.
It's not about selling CDs and I'm not trying to win awards," Yohe pointed out. To me "My
goal is to get people in the presence of God."
favorite selections on the "Reveal your glory: Live from the Cathedral" album include
"Soul Cries Out," written by Landy Maughon, which makes you want to rock with praise;
"Continually," written by Thomas Greenley, gets you to rocking a bit harder in praise; "The
Lord is good," written by Benita Washington and Virgil Straford, is another awesome praise song, and "Because
of who you are," written by Dan and Martha Munizzi, is a heartfelt song that features a great
choir of wonderful vocalists. "Because of who you are," was also on her 2004 CD which
received a Dove Award nomination.
For more on Vicki
Yohe or to hear songs from the album log onto www.myspace.com/OfficialVYohe or www.VickiYohe.org.
The Pulse of Entertainment
- August 21, 2009
JJ Hairston is resting on God's promise with a powerful new project off the Light Records label
By Eunice Moseley
James "JJ" Hairston has become the ultimate
music minister with his Youthful Praise ensemble of over 30 members. His newest CD project, "Resting on His promise,"
on Evidence Gospel/Light Records is another powerful project that praises and worships God. Aside
from the excellent vocals of Youthful Praise, JJ has enlisted the support of two powerful Gospel
legends Pastor Shirley Ceasar and Dorinda Clark-Cole on this album.
Caesar is a label mate," JJ Hairston said about one of the featured vocalist and on the other
he said, "... Dorinda, she is one of my favorite Gospel artist."
hopes to broaden his audience with the "Resting on His promise" CD. Known for his praise
and worship recordings ("Awesome" in 2002,
"Thank you for the change" in 2004, "Live
the worship, the praise" in 2005, and "Exalted" in 2007), Hairston wants this album "to
"We are all going through trying times," he pointed out.
is noticing that his audience is coming more interracial and he is rejoicing in the opportunity
to ministry in song to a wider market. JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise will be touring overseas
soon. Before that, the tour takes them to Philadelphia August 31st, the Baltimore/DC area from
September 5th and 6th, and at the end of the year to Italy and then Switzerland.
want to get into more production and actually work with other artists," JJ said about future
projects. "Help to form their sound."
Well I believe JJ and his direction of the Youthful
Praise group, has certainly found a sound that is powerful, uplifting, meaningful and with instrumental support
that is just as powerful (especially the electrical guitar and the violin).
favorite cuts on the twelve song CD include "Close to you," a sweet love song to God
about a personal relationship, "Still mighty, still strong," with Dorinda Clark-Cole,
which is a very emotional selection with a Jazz feel to it, and "Lord you're mighty,"
a signature JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise worship and praise selection.
more on "Resting on His promise" or JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise log onto www.myspace.com/youthfulpraise,
www.youthfulpraise.org or www.lightrecords.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - August 28, 2009
Jazz flute player Delandria Mills makes Gospel music with new CD release, 'Manifestation'
Jazz flutist Delandria Mills releases a Gospel/Inspirational
album on Tehillah Entertainment titled "Manifestation." The thirteen track CD also includes
the vocals of this talented musician/songwriter.
didn't intend to be a jazz artist, but a Christian artist," Delandria said about crossing
over from Jazz to Gospel. "I grew up in the church...For years I wanted to play with a lot
of different artists. I don't play with nothing that doesn't have a message or uplifting message."
is also a member of Tye Tribbett's backing band, Soundcheck. A native of Houston, Texas Delandria
holds a bachelors of arts from Prairie View A&M University and a masters in music at the Peabody Conservatory
of Music. Her studies and her music have taken her all over the country.
heard me play in church," Mills said about how you became a member of the band for one of
todays hottest Contemporary Gospel artists. "He remembered me."
said that when she plays, she is always trying to please God in how she plays. Just listening to
"Manifestation" I know God would be very proud . The emotional, joyous, and praise and
worship album is a testament to her ability to make a instrumental song sound like Gospel.
"You're thinking about the chords...staying true to the song, whatever
the title is," Delandria explains about the makings of a Gospel instrumental.
message of God's Gospel is delievered when their instruments sing and uplift the notes. Amongst
the 13 tracks include my favorites on the CD "Forever and Ever," with its James Bond type delivery
and feel; "Almighty God," that gives me the mental image of leaves flying on the winds of God, "Rauha
(Peace)," and "Love Song," which includes the unbelievable vocals of this flute
"As an instrumentalist I don't have to do things over.
(Using my) Vocals I work harder," Delandria laughed a bit when discribing the difference in
blowing her flute and singing.
For more on Delandria Mills or the "Manifestation"
CD log onto www.MySpace.com/KingdomFlutist.com or www.TehillahEnterprisesPR.com.
New Jazz/Soul artist, Amy Serrata,
looking to break the mold with her new self-titled debut CD
Singer/songwriter Amy Serrata influences include diverse artists such as Jill Scott, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Kanye,
Common and Q-Tip is evident on her debut self titled album. Her sound can go from Jazz to Pop,
then take a turn at Funk and then back to Jazz again.
been writing poetry for a long time," Amy said when asked how she got into songwriting. "It
wasn't until a couple years ago I learned how to form my poetry in a way it was a song."
Once Amy formed those songs she enlisted the help of Willie Norwood (father
of Brandy and Ray J) for vocal coaching. Not only did Willie help but he co-produced the Amy Serrata
CD. Amy's love for music is in sharing with people, sharing ideas.
"I really like 'Hello World' and 'My
Baby, My Child' about children being abducted," Serrata points out about the CD.
My personal favorites include "Skin" and "Lets" because
of that Jazz feel; "My Baby, My Child" a nice Pop/Jazz vibe; "Soul Food" that
has an oriental influence, and "Rooted" with a Funky/Pop sound. You will - without a doubt - get a melting pot
of vocal sounds and styles from Amy to enjoy.
more on this new shinning star log onto www.AmySerrata.com or www.MySpace.com/AmySerrata.
The Pulse of Entertainment - September 4, 2009
The new queen of comedy, Luenell, appears in the 20th Century Fox film, 'All About Steve,' hitting theaters September 4, 2009
By Eunice Moseley
The new queen of comedy, Luenell, is on a fast track to claim
her crown, with yet another comedic role in a major motion picture. On September 4, 2009 20th Century Fox Films releases,
"All About Steve," starring Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Haden Church and Luenell
who plays Lydia, a "protester."
The PG-13 film is about a quirky cross-word
puzzle designer (Bullock), who has a borderline genius intelligence. She is set up with a blind
date, by her parents, with a CNN camera man (Cooper). She decides he is her soul mate and that
they are meant to be together. She begins a quest to follow him wherever he goes trying to persuade him
that they belong together. Luenell's character, along with some other "misfits,"' like Church, are encouraging
her to pursue her "man." He starts to think he may be a victim of starking.
Luenell, who also carried the title of the "original bad girl of comedy," said the highlight
of working on the "All About Steve" film was working with "A-lister" Sandra
Bullock and she added, "and Bradley is not hard on the eyes."
is the first film I've done thats rated PG-13," Luenell pointed out. "My daughter (a
professional dancer) can see it."
With the help of her manager, William Hanford
Lee, Jr., Luenell has "bust" Hollywood's doors wide-open and she is taking no prisoners.
Her early credits in films include "So I Married an Axe Murder" in 1993 starring Mike
Myers; "The Rock" in 1996 with Sean Connery; "Never Die Alone" in 2004 with DMX
and Michael Ealy; "Borat" in 2006 with Sacha Baron Cohren, and "Devine Intervention" om 2007 with
Jazsmin Lewis and Wesley Jonathan.
Through all this Luenell has also been
appearing in television series such as "Nash Bridges," "Reality Bites Back," "Head
Case," and "Californication." As a comedian Luenell has graced the stages of BET's
Comicview, The John Kerwin Show, and 1st Amendment Stand Up.
have a screen play in my head,"Luenell told me when asked about other projects she has going
on. "I have a comedy album 'Luenell Live: Bold, Bad and Uncut!' now on iTune and a Podcast
(Hey Luenell Radio) show."
For more on Luenell
log onto www.myspace.com/heyluenell or www.HeyLuenell.com and for more on the "All About Steve" movie release log onto www.AllAboutSteveMovie.com.
Director Billie Woodruff takes on
'Bring it on: Fight to the Finish' starring Christina Milian, now on DVD
"We did a music video together and we always wanted to do a film (together)," said film director Billie Woodruff
about working with Christina Milian again in the Beacon Picture/Universal Film "Bring it on:
Fight to the Finish," now on DVD. "She was younger then and has always been professional.
She is one of the people that had the 'it' factor, she was born to do it. I knew she was talented,
but I didn't have any idea she was that talented, She hit it every time, nailed it."
Billie was talking about the major moves and flips she had to do as a
cheer-leading squad leader in the film, the focus of all of the "Bring it On" series of films. "Bring
it on: Fight to the Finish" is the fifth series.
at the studio (Universal) reached out to see if I had any interest," Woodruff said about how
he got the directors job. "At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do number five. But they
were open to bringing some new ideas."
Billie, who began his career at BET and moved
on to directing music videos for such artists as Toni Braxton, Joe, TLC, Luther Vandross, Dru Hill,
Outkast, Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Mary J, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin, had ideas to make this
film unlike the others by putting more focus on the cheer-leading moves. He also shot at angles
never used before.
"I saw the things they were doing
and I said 'Oh my God...its almost Olympic the things they do," Billie said. "I wanted to show that kind of movements...isolate
the moves. I shot underneath with a special camera - 700 frames per second - it almost stops and
then speeds up again."
Woodruff, whose film credits include "Honey"
with Jessica Alba and "Beauty Shop" with Queen Latifah, said in the end he was very satisfied
with the "flavor" he brought to the film. The only challenges he had was the tight schedule
and with the choreography, the challenge was to "make sure it was properly executed...make
sure the movie had something fresh to it."
on: Fight to the Finish" leading lady, Christina Milian, plays Lina Cruz an East Los Angeles high school cheer leading
squad captain who has high hopes of winning the Spirit Championships with her team's fusion of
Latin and Hip-Hop moves. Her world turns upside down when her mother remarries and then relocates
to Malibu where she is forced to adjust to a new home, new sister (Holland Roden), new school (Malibu
Vista High), and a new cheer leading squad (the Sea Lions). She takes on the task of turning the
squad into championship team. Her rival team, the Jaguars, captain is Avery (Rachele Smith), who happens
to be the sister of her romantic interest Evan (Cody Longo).
starring with Christina in "Bring it on: Fight to the Finish" are Nikki SooHoo (The Suite
Life of Zack and Cody), Meagan Holder (90210), Vanessa Born (CSI: New York) and Gabrielle Dennis
(The Game). The DVD has Blu-ray Hi-Def pure digital sound and its soundtrack includes songs from
Christina, as well as, Lady GaGa, Kat DeLuna and The Veronicas.
For more information on Christina Milian log
onto www.ChristinaMilian.org and for more information on the "Bring it on" Fight to the
Finish" DVD log onto www.BringitOnMovie.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - September 11, 2009
All-4-One is back with 'No Regrets' on Peak Records
By Eunice Moseley
R&B singing sensations All-4-One started their music
careers with a 1994 self titled debut album which released a single, "I Swear," that
garnered them a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. On September
15, 2009 they release to stores a new CD, "No Regrets," on Peak Records/Concord Music
"We actually have
been recording, but not in the U.S.," group member Tony Borowiak said about their absence
from the music scene. "We've been recording overseas, falling in love, getting to know our
family and playing golf!"
addition, member Jamie Jones released a U.S. solo Gospel album. Now All-4-One is releasing a new
project in the U.S., "No Regrets," which is a melting pot of R&B styles. The album
takes you to old school, then they give you the signature All-4-One style and then they add the
new Urban R&B sound.
of the things we believe in is God giving us an abundance of talent," Member Jamie Jones said
about their career and musical successes. "We go in the worst inner city schools and say its
not about talent its about the work. You can't rely on just your talent."
All-4-One, a four member group also
includes Delious Kennedy and Alfred Nevarez, is one of those groups that are known for their harmony. That smooth
harmony is still evident in "No Regrets." The platinum selling artists have already released
the first single, "My Child," a song that member Jamie says is one of his favorites.
My favorites on the "No
Regret" CD include "When I Needed an Angel," an awesome love song with beautiful
violins; "If Your Hearts Not in It" evokes tears and is so heart-wrenching; "You Don't Know Nothing,"
an a Capella finger snapping number; "Ol' Fashion Lovin;" a very strong love song; the
title track "No Regrets," an Urban R&B cut, and "If Sorry Never Comes"
another Urban number. The CD is produced by The Heavyweights (Jamie Jones) and executively produced
To learn more about
All-4-One or to hear from the new CD log onto www.All-4-One.com or www.concordrecords.com.
singer/songwriter Tarrus Riley releases third CD in the U.S. on VP Records
Best Male Vocalist and Best Song 2008 International Reggae and World Music Awards winner Tarrus Riley releases his third album,
"Contagious," on Cannon/VP Records. I miss Reggae and when I listened to the CD I wasn't
disappointed at all.
What I heard was true Reggae with
vocals reminiscent of John Legend, imagine John Legend singing reggae, thats what I hear in Tarrus.
The album is so much grounded in the roots of Reggae, any Reggae lover would love this CD.
"It's something for everyone, " Tarrus Riley
said about "Contagious." "It's not for one set of people...the message is love yourself,
love your community."
Riley, who released his debut album in 2004 in Jamaica, sees his music in the same light that
Reggae music's legendary for and that is to be a "healing message." Riley, who offers
an amazing 18 cuts on the CD, just finished a 25 city tour. The tour started in Hartford in early
August and ended in Queens in early September.
songs on the "Contagious" CD that I find myself listening to over and over again include "Let
Peace Reign," which has a great message and sweet vocal support by Etana and soulful vocal support by Duane
Stephenson; "Good Girl Gone Bad," featuring Konshems; "Human Nature" a great
Reggae take on the Michael Jackson cover song (with even the signature electric guitar lead); "Soul
Mate," a love song that makes you rock - and I love the horn support; "Young Heart"
is a nice head-bobbing love song, and "Start a New."
For more on Tarrus Riley and his "Contagious" release log onto www.myspace.com/TarrusRiley or www.VPRecords.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - September 18, 2009
Kloud 9 brings their soulful R&B back to the U.S. with a new Shanachie CD release, ‘Enjoy the Ride'
By Eunice Moseley
"This is our fourth full album," said Kelvis one
of the duo members of Kloud 9 about their current "Enjoy the Ride" CD release on the Shanachie label. "We
grew up listening to Gospel music...we always wanted to do true R&B with a touch of Jazz."
That desire to do "true R&B with a touch of Jazz" was so
strong for Kendall, the other member of the duo and twin of Kelvis, gave notice at his job and
moved to London to pursue that dream.
"I moved to London, England out of frustration
with the U.S. music scene," Kendall explained about why they had to release the first three
albums overseas. "We were shopping for a record label (in the U.S.). The industry said it
was too clean. I broke down and went home and was talking to my sister and I said, ‘I going
away and not coming back to the U.S. until I found an outlet to release my music.'"
Six months after arriving in London Kendall met Maysa (formerly of the group Incognito) and
later met Bluey (founder and producer of Incognito).
after that (meeting Bluey and Maysa) we got a call from Expansion Records in the UK to do an album,"
Kendall points out.
In 2002 Kloud 9 released their debut "On Kloud 9" in the
UK. The album topped the UK "Sweet Rhythms Soul Chart" for three weeks and spent twelve
weeks on Finland's Soul charts. In 2005 the brothers released "Yearning to Love You"
and "Kloud 9 Presents the Vibe Room," which reached number one on the UK Soul music charts.
Now the twins are running their own company, Deep 3 Entertainment, and
releasing their debut U.S. album on Shanachie Entertainment. The CD is truly impressive and a reminder
of how soulful vocals can move you deeply. Kloud 9 gets the support of Incognito and Mitchell Jones on the album.
In promoting the "Enjoy the Ride" release Kloud 9 has been performing as opening
act for The Isley Brothers, The Whispers, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Maysa. They will be performing
in California in October, just left Washington, DC performing with Marvin Sapp and will be off
to the UK in November. In 2010 they will be releasing a "Best of Kloud 9" CD in the UK.
Though the whole album is full of outstanding soulful R&B numbers
my favorites, that I find myself playing over and over again is "Appreciation," "I'm
Calling You," a nice head-bobbing love song, and the single off the new CD "Can't Be
To learn more about Kloud 9 and to hear music from
the CD log onto to www.myspace.com/Kloud9Twins and at www.facebook.com/SoulTwins.
Saxophonist Mekiel Reuben is ‘Cookin'
in East L.A." with his new CD
I love to hear a horn sing and I was pleasantly rewarded with a CD of a saxophonist that can do just that. On the newly released
Mekiel Reuben "Cookin' in East L.A." project he shows such skills. After looking into
his background I found that the man is just a natural born horn player (any horn).
"I use to ditch freshman year in high school," Reuben recalls with a chuckle.
"I was in the auditorium while the band was practicing."
his sophomore year Mekiel was in the band. He pointed to a trumpet and called it a clarinet, which
shows his knowledge - at the time - of instruments, the band director pulled out an actual clarinet
and he just started playing it. Reuben went from the clarinet to the saxophone, where he stayed.
He went on to join the jazz band in school.
"I wasn't a great
reader," Mekiel said of his musical skills. "But they said I had a great tone."
Exactly what I mean about making your horn talk, he uses the tones to make his horn sing. "Cookin'
in L.A." has ten Jazz cuts that will get you hook on Mekiel Reuben music.
Away" was Mekiel's debut CD release in 1994, in 1996 he released "Simply Peaceful;" in
2000 it was "Shadows if Love," and in 2005 "Hangin' on Moonlight" was released.
His 2009 release "Cookin' in L.A." (MekMuse Records) gives you such numbers as "Love
Triangle," the cover song "I Keep Forgetting" and the first single, "Too Hot,"
featuring award winning Jazz guitarist Vernon Neilly.
cuts on the "Cookin' in L.A." CD seems to be "Blackwood," the cover songs "Ain't
Nobody" and "Baby Come to Me," and "Operation." Learn more on Mekiel Reuben
Pulse of Entertainment - September 25, 2009
Hip-Hop/Praise and Worship artist Faithful releases new CD on Living Water Records
Amazing producer Quran Rankin (Christina Aguilera,
Donnie McClurkin) puts the magic touch on the sophomore project of Hip-Hop/Gospel artist Nicole "Faithful" Franklin
titled "Taking it Back. The CD is released on Living Water Records (distributed by Thank You
Entertainment//Fontana/Universal). It offers twelve hot Contemporary Gospel selections that are
of a Praise and Worship nature.
"I wrote all the lyrics," Faithful said.
The rapper, spoken word artist and film director also pointed out that producer Quran was "an
amazing producer, he plays everything."
"Me and Quran is like a team...Lord inspired,"
Once you listen to the album you will see why Faithful and I refer
to his skills as "amazing." After you get over the shock of the music you are sucked
into the talents of Faithful as she raps (a flow reminiscent to me of a Mc Lyte/DaBrat combination),
use spoken word and arrangement of the background vocals of Dennis Clark, Sherrie, Bryan Clark
and Sharon Youngblood.
In the entertainment business Faithful is known as Nicole Franklin the film
director and choreographer. She served under the tutelage of film director F. Gary Gray and Paul Hunter.
As choreographer Faithful worked on such programs as Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, The David
Letterman Show and The European MTV Awards. She also worked on the projects of Whitney Houston,
LL Cool J, Mary Mary, and Snoop Dogg. Her debut CD was released on the Streetlife/Scotti Bros imprint.
I love the vocals of Dennis Clark on the "He's Coming" selection; I am amazed at the
violin driven track and the great harmony on "Without You;" Faithful's spoken word talents shine
through on the previously mentioned song and "The Greatest;" I love the hard Hip-Hop on the title track
"Taking it Back," and the Rock feel, with the piano driven intro on "You Are"
Stop by and meet Nicole "Faithful" Franklin Sunday, October
18th at the Uplifting Minds II entertainment conference's national talent competition showcase
at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall-Theater) from 5 - 7 p.m., admission is free. Log
to hear or learn more on Faithful.
group T.O.K. releases ‘Our World' on VP Records
"Our last CD was in 04-05," Flexx, one of four members of the Dancehall group T.O.K. said about their absence from
the record business. "Since then we had been working on our album...always making music. The
hardest part was choosing the songs."
Sixteen tracks are on the recently released
T.O.K. CD, "Our World," on VP Records. The Reggae band, Flexx, Craigy-T, Alex and Bay-C,
first released an album in 2001 "My Crew, My Dawgs" which garnered them the hot single
"Eagle's Cry" (a version of Prince's "When Doves Cry") . In 2005 T.O.K. released
"Unknown Language" which resulted in a Billboard Top 100 singles "Gal You Lead"
"We just came off a tour in Europe,"
Flexx pointed out. "We have a (large) fan base...Japan, Span and the Caribbean's."
Craig-T added, "(We want to) show people how much we've grown. To prove it's ‘Our World.'"
Beenie Man is featured on "Miss World" one of my favorites because of its hard
dancehall delivery. My other favorites include "Get Out (Don't Come Back);" "Guardian
Angel" which has a great message, and "Me and My Dawgs."
For more on T.O.K.
log onto www.myspace.com/TOKMusic, www.facebook.com/T.O.K. and www.twitter.com/TOKCrew.
The Pulse of Entertainment -
October 2, 2009
Latin rapper Down aka Kilo announced the release of his newest CD ‘Cholo Skate' at a red carpet event in Hollywood
By Eunice Moseley
"California Cowboy" in 2003 which featured heavies
such as Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger and Nate Dogg to his current album "Cholo Skate," his forth project, which
also features Snoop Dogg, along with Too Short, DJ Quick and the late Tupac. The new project is
released on Fontana Universal, distributed through Imgrooves.
Skate' it came out September 1st," Down aka Kilo said at his red carpet launch party held
recently in Hollywood. "The single is "Put Your Locs On"...the music video for it
and ‘Cholo Skate' is on YouTube."
Kilo also told me that he just finished filming
a Latin comedy "Lean like a Cholo" named after his hot single off his 2007 CD release
"The Definition of an Ese." That single went platinum and sold ½ a million ringtones.
"It's a Latin comedy... It's positive too. So all you mothers out
there take the little homeboys to the theaters to see it," Down said into my camera. "And if you
don't want to go to the theater, you can even drop them off and pick them up later. I have no bad stuff here."
His launch party had a great crowd of celebrities with comedian/actress Luenell hosting
the event. Others I saw on the red carpet included comedian/actress Anne McKnight who was there fresh from
filming a movie in Arizona where she so-stars with KeKe Palmer and Nicole Parker; Ernest Thomas
of "Everybody Hates Chris;" celebrity fitness trainer Sam Bell; reality star Juliette
Fairley, Latin rapper Ronin Gray and R&B singers Une' and 2-U-Neek who just released their
single "Party" now at all BestBuys.
I was pretty amaze
with Down aka Kilo by the time I left the event, not only from all the love he was shown, but the more I
listened to his music and watched his music video I started to see a Latin Dr. Dre. See for yourself log onto www.myspace.com/downakakilo for more on Down aka Kilo.
Tony Award winning
Melba Moore joins R&B crooner Phil Perry in creating ‘The Gift of Love' on Shanachie
"Just the opportunity to do any record with a Tony Award winner, I had to rethink how I approach doing it as a solo artist...to
do a duet," R&B crooner Phil Perry said about his newest CD project "The Gift of
Love," a duet with legendary singer/actress Melba Moore. "Melba is so patient. I put
pressure on myself to step it up."
Melba being the sweet and funny Melba
we all (over 30) know said with a little chuckle, "Phil pretty much laid out the guidelines."
The CD offers so much love in so many forms you will get Melba's Tony Award winning vocals
of love on "I Believe," which is just her voice accompanied by the keyboard and then
there is the duo beautifully combining their vocals on such songs as "Give (The Gift of Love)"
which has some powerful horns and a great message; "We'll Be Together" which has a Pop feel;
"Survival Kit" with its orchestra effect is so uplifting and their cover of "Sadie" is very moving.
"In the beginning I was willing to follow Phil. Phil had success with Shanachie.
He brought on board a wonderful producer Chris "Big Dog" Davis," Melba points out as to way she let Phil "lay
out the guidelines."
"It's important for a producer to
let an artist remain themselves," Phil said about working with "Big Dog." "If
you don't feel it the people are not going to feel it."
Moore became the first African-American who took over a white entertainment's role on Broadway,
it was for Hair in 1968. By age 25 she won a Tony Award for her role in the musical Purlie and
then she went onto a career in the music business. She formed Hush Productions with then husband
Charles Luggins and launched the career of Freddie Jackson. She released ten albums during that time with "Livin' for
Your Love," "Love the One I'm With" a duet with Kashif; "A Little Bit More"
a duet with Freddie Jackson; her number one hit "Falling" and her powerful version of
the black national anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" being her hottest hits.
Phil Perry was a member of an early 70s group, The Montclairs, who disbanded in 1975 forcing
Perry to join with bandmate Kevin Sanlin as a duo for Capitol Records in 1980. In 1985 he married
Soul/Jazz singer Lillian "Tang" Tynes and they formed a partnership that lasts even today. In
the early 90s Phil released hit singles "Call Me," a remake of Aretha Franklin's 1970 hit; "Amazing
Love," and "Forever" from his album "The Heart of the Man." "The
Gift of Love" is his second Shanachie CD, the first "Mighty Love" garnered him a
Male Vocalist of the Year Award at the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards that year.
For more information on "The Gift of Love" CD log onto www.Shanachie.com. For more on Melba Moore log onto www.MelbaMoore.com and for more on Phil Perry log onto www.PhilParry.net.
The Pulse of Entertainment - October
Chris Rock's Sundance winning film, 'Good Hair,' hits theaters this week
By Eunice Moseley
By the brief discussion with Chris Rock on his "Good
Hair" film, released to theaters this week, I think there were a lot of things that influenced him to do a documentary
film on the concept of "good hair." He said not only did his brief conversation with
his daughter (five at the time) asking him why she didn't have "good hair," but his love
for Michael Moore's documentaries and the fact that there were no documentary films on "hair"
was a driving force as well.
"When she said it I didn't panic, because
if you over-react, they'll see that and they will over-react. So I played it off and said, 'your
hair is beautiful, want some ice cream?'" recalled Chris Rock about that day which sparked
his interest in "good hair.".
"It was oh so hard
to sell this," Rock pointed out. "Even after winning the Sundance Film Festival, we were still looking."
Well Chris and Kevin O'Donnell (producer), Jeff Stilson (writer/director), and writers
Lance Crouther and Chuck Sklar found a partner in HBO Films and eventually theatrical release through Liddell
Entertainment and Roadside Attractions. There are cameo appearances throughout the documentary
by Nia Long, Ice-T, Paul Mooney, Dr. Maya Angelou, Salt n Pepa, Eve, Rev. Al Sharpton and Raven
Symone all being interviewed by Chris on the subject of "good hair."
was excited about it... I tried to be honest about my hair," Raven Symone said about her contribution
to the film. "I think people need to stop hiding."
Raven also admitted
that when she was on the Crosby Show that he didn't allow them to do anything with their hair,
as fair as chemically change it.
"I think it is
still a sensitive subject," actress Nia Long said about the conversations that the "Good Hair" film is
provoking. "My son at nine said, 'Mama you scary when your hair is short!'"
The documentary follows Chris Rock and crew to barbershops to talk to men about their hair issue
and in particular their women's hair issues; he goes to beauty salons and get shock with how much
money women spend on weaves and how it effects their relationships at home; he takes us to the
Bronner Brothers Hair Show to be amazed at seeing 100,000 people come together to learn about hair
and hair products; he travels to scientific laboratories and learn the shocking reality of the chemicals
we use in our hair, and then he travels to Indian Temples to explore where the hair for weaves come from, all with
shocking discoveries that are sure to provoke "hair" discussions across the country.
Of course the film has lots of laughs with Chris Rock as your host, that goes without saying, but
it's the education that amazes me and I think will amaze the audience. Before leaving Rock added
that he is working on a DVD on the origin of the Jhery Curl.
found six guys that still have their hair in a Jhery Curl!" Chris laughed.
like good clean fun and I am all for that. The Roadside Attractions film "Good Hair"
is released to theaters on October 9, 2009. Log onto www.GoodHairMovie.com for more information.
TV One premiers fourth
season of 'Who's Got Jokes' with host Bill Bellamy
Comedian/actor Bill Bellamy host TV One's "Who's Got Jokes" comedian competition and on October 10, 2009 at 10:00
p.m.ET a fourth season will air. Rodney Perry and Tommy Ford co-host the showcase with judges this
first episode to include actress Terri J. Vaughn (All of Us/The Steve Harvey Show), R&B singer
and reality star Ray J, and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game). "Who's Got Jokes"
is also executive produced by Ralph Farquhar (The Parkers/Moesha).
"There was a whole family there,"
actor Tommy Ford said. "I think thats what makes the whole show special."
This season TV One, at the request of Ralph Farquhar, takes the show to Las Vegas, so
there will be some big "Vegas" surprises.
"Vegas brings the people," Bill
Bellamy said about the experience. "People come there to have a good time."
added that they challenged the executive producer to make it bigger and Bill starts to tell a story
about a tiger experience, but it was so funny that he could hardly get the story out. Tommy helps him out
by saying the show will give the audience the "full Vegas experience."
the comedians that will be competing Bill said they reminded him of how hungry he was in his early career. They
travel from city to city, from club to club looking for talent.
None of them have more than five years in the business," Bill pointed out. "Some crashed and
burned, but it made it great TV."
"We had a lot more women (this season),"
executive producer Ralph Farquhar added.
"Oh yea and they were
good (ones)," Bellamy said. "Especially this girl name Jackie, Jackie Fabulous. She is infectious, lovable
Other episode judges will include actresses Kym Whitley and LisaRaye McCoy, former
NBA baller Eric Snow and comedian George Wallace. For more information on TV One's "Who's
Got Jokes" log onto www.TVOneOnline.com.
Pulse of Entertainment - October 16, 2009
Ten year-old Kwesi Boakye an A-lister as co-star in a new Tyler Perry film and TNT drama series
Though only ten years-old
actor Kwesi Boakye hasn't had an overnight success with his co-starring role in the newest Tyler
Perry film, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," starring actress Taraji P. Henson (The Curious
Case of Benjamin Button) and in the new TNT drama television series "Men of a Certain Age,"
opposite Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), he has been acting for a while starting with a starring role at
the age of four in the drama "Strong Medicine."
"When I was three or two I had to
cry," Kwesi says to me when asked from where he draws his emotions for acting. "I had
a dog that got hit by a car and died."
In the film Boakye is referring to he couldn't keep his dog and had to give it away, so
the young actor (at 3 - 4 years-old at the time) draw from his own painful dog experiences to evoke
the tears and emotions needed for the scene. Even before then Kwesi was modeling for Baby Gap.
Kwesi has also appeared
in such television series as "Boston Legal," "South Park," "The Shield"
and "Days of Our Lives." He is also the voice of Andrew in the animated series "Special
Agent Oso," the voice of Mr. Hoppy in the Nickelodeons' "Ni Hao Ki Lan," and in
the 2007 Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning animation movie "Happy Feet."
"I learned a lot of things. Tyler Perry is the King of ‘improvise',"
Kwesi said when asked with all his experience what he learned while shooting "I Can Do Bad
All By Myself." "I didn't know what that was. He said, 'Don't be scared. Say or do what
comes to mind.' I was in a scene when I first get introduced to Madea. (his character Manny and
two other kids break into Madea's home and get caught) and me and Joe went at it, back and forth,
I was improvising that whole scene and as it went on it got easier."
When I asked the ten year-old actor to give other young artists
trying to get into major roles advice he simply said, "Don't quit..Keep doing what you do."
(Photo Credit of Kwesi and Taraji P. Henson: Haa)
Hip-Hop/Gospel's Prayz1 shares his Urban R&B vocals
in new project, 'Seat Music'
"My faith in the vision that God gave me," was the simple answer to my question why Gospel Hip-Hop/R&B artist
Prayz1 continues to put out his independent CD projects. "God gives us dreams and visions
and we give up sometimes, but I still believe in the vision He gave me."
In his first national CD release "Seat
Music" (his debut "The Difference" was a regional release) Prayz1 surprises his fans
by sharing his vocal singing abilities, as well as, his unbelievable flow for rap.
"It was deliberate," Prayz1 said about singing on half the album. "We
wanted it to come straight from our creative box, what God gave us is what we do and live."
The "we" Prayz1 refers to is
his band, Tha Underdogz, a ten-piece ensemble that takes Prayz1 projects to a whole new Hip-Hop/Gospel
level with music of an alternative feel and sound. On "Faith" the music Tha Underdogz deliver is
almost Rock with its electrical guitar leading the way doing amazing things. Prayz1 also does some amazing things
with his Urban R&B style singing on this cut. On "Fly" you get to enjoy some real
Hip-Hop with the beat-boxing.
Featured on the "Seat Music"
CD release, aside from Tha Underdogs, is vocals by Angela White on "Stronger," rapping
by Tye Tribbet on "Better," and Jeromisha Lemar on "Hold On."
"Tye wanted to rap," Prayz1 said about Tribbet's support of his album by switching
roles - instead of Tye singing he is rapping and instead of Prayz1 rapping he is singing. "That's
part of what I do is sing. At first I wanted to do a double CD, one of me singing and one for my
rapping. I wanted to show a taste of the different dimensions they get with Prayz1."
Prayz1, who has performed as opening
act for such Gospel greats as Tye, JJ Hairston, John P. Kee and Kierra Sheard, offers the listeners 16 cuts on
the new "Seat Music" album. Aside from "Faith" and "Fly" some of my other favorites
on this CD include "Express Yourself," because I love his flow of rap and it has some
heavy music to support it; "Numbers," driven by horns reminiscent of the days of Duke
Ellington; "Hold On" with its great vocals by Jeromisha and its uplifting message, and
"Do Right" which also has a great message.
For more information on Prayz1 or his new "Seat Music" CD release log onto www.Prayz1.com, www.myspace.com/1Line or www.sonicbids.com/Prayz1.
Pulse of Entertainment - October 23, 2009
Neo-Soul Rahsaan Patterson's world tour comes to an end in Detroit
By Eunice Moseley
Rahsaan Patterson started in the entertainment business on
the kids television show "Kids Incorporated" with Fergie, Mario Lopez and Shanice and then he later worked as
a background singer for such artists as Brandy ("Baby") and Tevin Campbell ("Back
to the World"). He later signed to MCA Records and released his self-titled debut in 1997.
His next release was "Love in Stereo" in 1999.
He later contributed to the soundtrack of
"Brown Sugar" and in 2004 released "After Hours" on his own label Artistry
Music. In 2007 he released "Wines and Spirits" and in 2008 he released "The Ultimate
Gift." Through it all he collaborated on projects for such artists as Ledisi, Jodi Whatley,
Chico DeBarge and Brian Culbertson.
"I sing background, write
and occasionally produce, "Rahsaan Patterson said about his work with other artists. "My 2007 release
has been sustaining my live performances for two years."
said he enjoys performing live in fact, his world tour will finally be ending December 30, 2009
in Detroit. He recently performed near my home town of Baltimore in Annapolis at the Rams Head.
"I enjoyed performing there. I love Annapolis," Patterson said.
"Last Christmas was the first time I performed at the Rams Head. I heard about it from a friend,
To date Rahsaan Patterson has sold over
10 million albums and has received a 2008 BETJ Virtual Award and was honored as the 2007 SoulTracks
Artist of the Year. His single off of his "Wine and Spirits" CD, "Stop Breaking My Heart," entered
Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart as the Hot Shot Debut and the highest ranking debut
of that week. On the Adult R&B Chart the single remained in the top 20 position for several
months, an amazing accomplishment for an independent artist (and label).
more in Rahsaan Patterson log onto www.Rahsaan.com and www.MySpace.com/Rahspace.
Stellar Award nominated singer/songwriter
Tarralyn Ramsey releases 'Beyond the Darkness'
When I first listened to Gospel singer/songwriter Tarralyn Ramsey's "Beyond the Darkness" release her voice immediately
reminded me of a combination of Deborah Cox and Whitney Houston.
I have been getting the comparison to Deborah Cox," Tarralyn Ramsey admitted to me when I
said her vocals were reminiscent of those talent ladies. "My nick-name is Lil' Whitney!"
Well "Lil' Whitney" has an awesome voice and she brings it to us, her third
CD, on her own "indie" label Tarprincel Entertainment Group. Her company is not only
a label but a publishing, management and production company.
In 2000 Tarralyn started in the music business
with a recording deal at Verity/Warner with a self-titled debut which garnered her a Stellar Award
nomination. In 2004 she released "Tarralyn" on Casablanca/Universal Records. Ramsey won
the VH1 "Born to Diva" Award. Recently she released "Beyond the Darkness" on her label,
which is distributed by Central South.
"My distribution company
called and said it's been two-three years," Tarralyn recalls the reason she went back into the studio
after so many years since her last 2004 album. "I kind of got in a place before they called
where I couldn't sleep and once the distributer called I got overwhelmed with stress. I remember
stepping my foot in the studio and ten songs were done. We were in the studio for five days straight...
(We) finished twelve songs in a month!"
Tarralyn told me the gap in CD releases
was because she "got burnt out." Well the wait was worth it because of her passion to
the task resulted in a powerful CD. You don't hear allot of instrumentals, which is great because you get to hear her unbelievable
"I don't like a lot of busy production." Ramsey pointed out.
Tarralyn Ramsey says she hopes her CD touches people in a "dark place"
because life can throw you curve balls but "God will change it."
favorite songs on this funky soulful Gospel singer's "Beyond the Darkness" CD include
"I'll Take Your Trouble" a sweet testimony of God's love for us; "Glory and Honor"
a great hand clapping Praise and Worship selection; "Wise Men Still Seek Him" a heart-felt
worship song, and "Yes, You Can" a lovely uplifting anthem for dream seekers.
hear from the CD or learn more about Tarralyn Ramsey log onto www.TarralynRamsey.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - October 30, 2009
Robert Townsend presents 'Musical Theater of Hope' on Gospel Music Channel
By Eunice Moseley
"I love Gospel music," actor/director Robert Townsend
told me when asked why he produced "Musical Theater of Hope" a half hour musical presentation of three different
scenarios of what people go through in finding God's love and mercy.
need hope," he said
"Robert Townsend presents Musical Theater
of Hope" aired on the Gospel Music Channel Sunday, October 25 and 27, 2009 and will re-air
in November. The first of the three 10 minute episodes stars Howard Hewett and is titled "David's
News." In it Howard's character David gathers all of his friends and family together for an
important announcement that brings both joy and tears. Howard preforms the Gospel hit, "I
Can Only Imagine."
The second 10 minute episode, "Cora's
Release," stars Gospel singer Tameka Scotton. Her character Cora is serving a life sentence in prison for
killing the man that molested her daughter, she has also been diagnosed with cancer and is seeking a "mercy
release." Tameka will be performing the Gospel selection, "My Redeemer." The third
10 minute episode stars Nina Gaddy Wallace, Jevonne Wilson, Latrice Pace and Joquita Williams and
is titled "The Sparrow Reunion." This group of talent Gospel singers play four sisters
who were once part of a successful singing group that let greed, jealousy, drugs and infidelity
destroy the group. They reunite at their mother's funeral and will be performing the old Gospel traditional selection, "His
Eye Is on the Sparrow."
"The audition was in Atlanta and
3,000 people came," Robert said about the process of selecting who would star in the three episodes.
"I got Howard Hewett. It's his first time acting. God has given him such a gift."
Townsend also said the story of "Cora's Release" is based on
a true story he read in a newspaper. He said, "I felt for the woman."
four ladies he chose for "The Sparrow Reunion" were picked because Robert felt they all
looked like they could be sisters.
"I just like creating and giving back,"
Robert points out. "I think about what I'm leaving behind. My mentors are Sidney Poiter and
Bill Crosby. They welcomed me...so I have to work on a certain (level) of integrity."
said he also has an eight episode on-line television series running at www.PIC.tv titled "Diary
of a Single Mom" starring Leon ('Five Heart Beats') and Richard Roundtree ('Shaft').
web is the future," Townsend stresses. "I'm learning from them (his kids). I can talk
to my friends in Brazil (on-line)."
is an actor, producer, comedian, writer and director. His career includes roles in "A Soldier's Story"
and "The Mighty Quinn" co-starring with Denzel Washington. He starred in "Hollywood Shuffle"
and the WB Network sitcom"The Parent Hood." Robert directed Eddie Murphy in his "Raw"
DVD and Halle Berry in "B*A*P*S." He also directed and starred in "The Meteor Man"
and "The Five Heartbeats."
Townsend won an
Image Award in 2001 and helmed "Carmen: A Hip-Hopera" for MTV Films starring Beyonce'
Knowles and the "10,000 Black Men Named George" television piece about the Pullman porter strike for Showtime
starring Charles S. Dutton and Mario Van Peebles.
learn more on the re-airing of "Robert Townsend presents Musical Theater of Hope" on
the Gospel Music Channel log onto www.GospelMusicChannel.com.
International model turned singer
Tinu releases 'Addicted' her sophomore project
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Nigeria by her parents, who where born there, Tinu (pronounced Teenu) became an international
model and even obtained a degree in Finance and Marketing from New York University. Tinu, who speaks
English, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Italian and Hindu, also launched a successful accessory collection.
Her "Tinu Shoebag" has been worn at Academy Award shows. This month she releases her
sophomore CD on EliBi, Inc. world-wide. Her debut music video from the first single off the "Addicted"
project, "Wild Things," was recently picked up by MTV Base, which airs in Europe and
"It came from growing up in Nigeria," Tinu said about her accent.
About her forming her own label (and other companies) Tinu said, "I have street smarts...people
hustled (in Nigeria). If you want it to be done right, do it yourself."
that sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to just be on top of your game. Her exotic voice and
style, I told her, reminds me of Grace Jones. She admitted that she is a fan of Jones who was also a model turned singer
with an exotic style and a deep sultry voice.
"After high school
I went into modeling," Tinu said about her career in entertainment. "It (hit me)...that it's temporary."
Tinu's modeling career had her jet-setting and partying around the world. She signed to
a label and experienced that normal shock of the cut-throat business of entertainment. She said she learned that the system
is not about the artist but the label.
"It should be artist
driven and not label driven," Tinu said.
Now her album is released
on her own label EliBi, Inc. and I must say her whole packaging, marketing and promotions has been that of a class-act.
The production on the CD is outstanding with Rennie Grant as producer and Lalou vocals in the background..
My favorite cuts on the "Addicted" CD include "In Love" a sweet love song;
"Let's Rock," "My Life" which has a Rock feel to it, and "Not the Devil"
which has an awesome electric guitar lead.
For more on Tinu or the "Addicted"
CD log onto www.TinuOnLine.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment -
November 6, 2009
Kevon Edmonds is back with a hot new CD solo project, 'Who Knew'
Kevon Edmonds, the fourth oldest
brother of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and the co-founder and lead member of the group
After 7, has teamed with Make Entertainment for a hot new project titled "Who Knew."
The recently released CD is distributed through EMI Distribution.
"I used young producers," singer/songwriter Kevon Edmonds said when asked about the hot tracks on his new CD.
The young producers Kevon is talking about consist of the hot songwriting team from Boston Kadis and Sean and his nephews
Jason and Dave Edmonds. Also on the CD is Greg Curtis who co-wrote the first single, "Oh,"
with Kevon. Kadis and Sean produced the title Pop track "Who Knew," the R&B cut "Hurt
Too Much to Cry," and the fairytail sounding "April's Fool."
never stop believing that there was going to be another record," said Edmonds about the ten
year gap between this sophomore solo project and his debut album. "This (music) is nothing
I was trained to do. It's just a talent God has blessed you with...you might take a break...you don't waste that."
Kevon said that without him planning it, it seems his solo projects are being released every ten years.
has perfect timing," Edmonds continued. "It gives me an opportunity to re-introduce myself
to my fans and I get to make new fans, introduce myself to new listeners...connect the dots."
The "Who Knew" CD does just that, it offers both old school and new school. You get
the old school way of recording with the live instruments and quality soulful vocals such as in
my two most favorite cuts "Who Knew" and "Oh." Then you get the new school
way of sound manipulation and experimentation such as on the Urban R&B selections "She Love's Me"
and "April's Fool," also favorite selections of mine.
While attending Indiana University
Kevon formed the R&B group After 7 with classmate Keith Mitchell and his brother Melvin Edmonds.
After graduate they signed with his younger brother Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds' record
label LaFace (with LA Reid) who had just signed a deal with Virgin Records.
The group released
a self-titled album in 1989 which earned them a platinum album and seven gold singles. In 1995
they left the label and by 1997 the group had disbanded. In 1999 Kevon Edmonds released his first solo project "24/7"
on RCA/BMG and it garnered him a gold title track single. Now Edmonds is promoting his sophomore
CD "Who Knew" on independent label Make Entertainment/EMI.
(Make Entertainment) was one of the guys trying to get me to do another record," Kevon points
Edmonds said that independent labels may not have the funds and that may
make the process stressful, but that they were willing to put their noses to the grindstone. Kevon
feels that the finished product was worth the risk of going with an "indie" label.
Ted Winn debuts his solo Gospel
CD 'Balance' through Shanachie Entertainment
Ted Winn, half of the duo Ted and Sheri and owner of Veracity Entertainment, a publishing/production rights management company
to over 30 high-profile songwriters such as Ciara, Marques Houston, Toni Braxton and T-Pain, has
just released his solo Gospel CD project "Balance" on TeddysJamz Records, distributed
through Shanachie Entertainment. The CD project offers twelve great Praise and Worship selections.
"I waited to do a record," Ted Winn said about what made him do a solo project.
"We (Ted and Sheri) decided to take a record sabbatical. I wanted to have something to say,
not just put something out there."
With the new CD "Balance" Ted's
message is that, "I think there is something for everybody."
The first single off of the "Balance"
project is "God Believes in You."
As the Gospel duo Ted and Sheri Winn won two Stellar Awards. He has
worked with Richard Smallwood's Vision Choir since 1999. A native of Memphis Ted sang with Kevin
Davidson and The Voices of Binghamton after begin honorably discharged from the Air Force. He later
formed Ted Winn and Deliverance. In 1995 he and Sheri Jones-Moffet formed Ted and Sheri and signed
to a record deal in 1999. Together they have released two albums "The Healing Starts Here"
Featured on the "Balance" solo
project is legendary Gospel artist Vanessa Bell Armstrong on the selection "His Favor."
"Balance" not only offers Ted's great vocals but uplifting lyrics and awesome
tracks. My favorite selections on the CD are "Oh My Soul," because I love the piano and
violin support; "Great is Our Lord" a Praise and Worship song that brings visions of
Sunday morning church fellowship; "His Favor" with its great horn support; "Reap"
has an R&B track with a horn lead reminiscent of the horns normally heard by Earth, Wind and
Fire, and "Moving Forward" a sweet testimony from the heart.
information on Ted Winn or to hear selections from his CD log onto www.myspace.com/teddwinn or www.tedwinn.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - November 13, 2009
Jon Secada goes back to his roots with his new 'Expressions' Jazz CD project
"I studied Jazz music...six
years of college...loved it," said multi-Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jon Secada
when asked why a Pop legend would record a Jazz album. "My career (just) went in another direct.
This album is my chance to get back to my roots."
Cuban-American. who was raised in Florida, released his self-titled Pop debut in 1992. Jon Secada is now amongst the
Latin performers who have sold over 20 million records worldwide. He has also written and produced for
such artists as Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez.
After high school
jon went on to received a Master's Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami
and became musically inspired by legendary male vocalists like Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and
Secada's newest project "Expressions: The Jazz Album" is on The
Orchard imprint. "Expressions" brings his Pop experiences together with his Jazz roots for a memorable
""I love music period," Jon points out. "(I studied) more than Jazz...I
was into all kinds of stuff. I loved the fusing. I was raised up on ...Sly and the Family Stone...it
was part of the educational process."
Secada, who sang background vocals for Gloria Estefan and co-wrote
"Coming Out of the Dark" and "Into the Light" with her, said when the opportunity
came to sing English speaking Pop music he took advantage of it. Today he is a multi-platinum selling
international recording artist and songwriter, and now he is executively producing his own project,
as well as, co-producing along with a list of other talented people.
"We went - kind a - back to
school...grass roots," Jon said about the new CD project. "When I went to college...it
was very acoustic...not a lot of instruments."
Secada said that Jazz music back then also had a bluesy
Joe Williams type feel to it and harmony, "thats what I wanted" he said. I believe that
is what he got with the "Expressions: The Jazz Album."
My favorite selections
on the "Expressions" CD, which was recorded at the famous Hit Factory in Miami, includes "Body and
Soul" which has outstanding horn support by Ed Calle, piano support by Mike Levine and the
symbols from the drums are perfect courtesy of Lee Levin; "Alone Again (Naturally)" a
cover song that has only the piano and Jon's awesome voice; "Rainbows" written by Jon
Secada and carries the essence of the days of Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra; "Letter from a Friend"
is something you can dance to and it has a great story line; "Find Me in Your Dreams" a lovely love
song written by Jon and features Dave Koz on Sax, and "Chances Are" another cover song
beautifully done by Secada with Jason Carder on Trumpet.
Bahamian Urban R&B
artist Alia debuts 'Unfadeable' on Galleria/Universal Music
With a sound reminiscent of Chante Moore and a look - to me - reminiscent of Ciara, Bahamian born singer/song writer Alia
makes her much anticipated debut CD release with "Unfadeable" on Galleria Entertainment/Eyecon
Music/Fontana/University Music Group. The nine song Urban R&B/Pop collection is an impressive
"We decided to go with my Bahamian style, just be me,"
Alia said when I pointed out her refreshing style of dress. "Let it flow naturally."
When I told her that her voice reminds me of Chante Moore
she said, "You got that one right, Chante Moore. People are always saying I sound like Chante
Moore. Yes, it is a compliment."
Alia said when
she started singing at the age of 18 she had decided to do it from that point on as a career.
"I knew I could sing at age seven," she
pointed out. "I had neighbors who use to always say, 'you need to hear this girl sing!' So
I did all the talent shows and the Apollo and won them all!"
CD project is sure to impress those who hear it. My favorite cuts on the CD include "Addiction"
which has a nice Pop/R&B sound; "Use to Have" with its Urban feel to it;"Sign Your
Name" a Terrance Trent Darby cover song that she gives a gritty feel to, and "Hologram" a dance cut
I can invision hearing at the clubs, not that I go anymore.
To learn more about Alia or to hear songs from her "Unfadeable"
CD log onto www.AliaSings.com or www.myspace.com/AliaSings
The Pulse of Entertainment - November 20,
Irene "Mama" Stokes is cooking with the stars on her new Internet cooking show
By Eunice Moseley
Irene Stokes known to most as comedian/actress Mama
Stokes, mother of music/film producer Chris Stokes (Immature/IMx, B2K, "You Got Served"),
has launch an Internet cooking show, "Irene Cooking with the Stars." Her cooking show
has had celebrities such Raven Symone', Jamie Foxx, and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
"The family unit has broken down...one way of communicating is at the
dinner table," Irene Stokes pointed out when asked why she decided to do a cooking show. "The show visits celebrities
like Marques Houston. (When I was there) I made my Obama Beans."
said her show will be airing on cable, channel 5, soon. As we discussed the many styles of cooking
I asked her about cooking tips for a person like me with Hypertension.
key is the cutting back on salt," Stokes said. "Pork has a lot of salt...we over salt.
You can use garlic, certain soy sauces....lemon in collard greens."
Irene said her show is
also about affordable family meals. She has a special section in her show - and on her website where the
show is aired - devoted to various dishes that use Ramen Noodles. Her recipes on the show are also
in an upcoming cook book, "Irene's Kitchen Volume 1," which will include poetry and lots
of pictures. The meals are economical, quick, easy and hearty. Stokes will show her audience how
to feed a family of four with only $15.00.
"It came from raising kids (she has
six children and 20 grandchildren)," Irene said about how she learn all these cooking skills. "My mother Ruth
is the greatest cook in the world!"
Irene Stokes relocated from her home town
of Cleveland for what she said was "streets paved with gold." She was blessed to meet
then high-profile comedian Red Foxx and be able to work for him for a time when he and Bill Crosby
had a club together.
"I like comedy and a lot of women didn't do comedy,"
Irene said about her career as a comedian. "Red took me under his wing...boy it was a hard field."
Irene said comedy is not something you learn. As a comedic actress Irene Stokes appear in "That's My Mama," "Penitentiary"
and "You Got Served," which is a film produced and directed by her son Chris Stokes.
Irene's daughter Juanita "Smooth" Stokes is a rapper who was signed to Jimmy Jam and
Terry Lewis' label Perspective Records, along with Sounds of Blackness and Mint Condition.
"We always laughed in the kitchen...fun times," Mama Stokes said about her kitchen
at home raising her children. That same atmosphere viewers will find when they tune into her cooking show. "I am a happy
person. It's always better to be happy."
The show is informative, light hearted
and fun. I enjoyed watching the episodes and learn a lot of cooking tips. I was also must mention
how amazing Irene "MaMa" Stokes looks.
Stax Records is back
with a new CD release, N'dambi's 'Pink Elephant'
Stax Records known for its creation of Southern Soul music, is the home to such legends as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and
Isaac Hayes. It was purchased by Concord Music in 2004 and is now dedicated to R&B and Soul.
Stax's just released a hot new CD from N'dambi titled "Pink Elephant" (CoCo Red/BluKey/Stax
Reminiscent, to me, of India.Arie in sound and storytelling style, N' dambi also gives
up a twist of Soul, Funk and Jazz fused together in vocal sound and style. On this project, which
is produced by Leon Sylvers (Blackstreet, Gladys Knight), N' dambi shows her true artistic talent
"It was deliberate to tell stories in my writing,"
she said about her style. Holding a degree in Creative Writing from Southern Methodist University
N' dambi said, "I wanted to be a novelist."
The daughter of
Baptist ministers in Dallas, Texas N' dambi was only allowed Gospel and Country music in the house. When out of
the house N' dambi gravitated towards music made by Earth, Wind and Fire, the Bar-Kays and the Ohio Players,
which had a profound influence on her sound.
debut release was in 1999 titled "Little Lost Girl Blues." Next, she released "Tunin'
Up & Cosignin'," and then "A Weird Kind of Wonderful," which was released only
"Stax was looking for a new artist," N' dambi said
about her Stax's record deal. "At the same time I was looking for a label."
favorite songs on the "Pink Elephant" project include "Imitation" a finger
snapping number that has a Jazz flavor to it; "Nobody Jones" a heart-felt song about dream chasers; "The
One" a funky song, and "The World is a Beat" another funky cut with a drum driven
N' dambi is currently promoting her "Pink Elephant" CD release with shows
in Chicago, California, Dallas and Oakland. For more information on dates or to hear songs from
the album log onto www.NdambiOnline.com.
Pulse of Entertainment - November 27, 2009
Law and Order: SUV's Tamara Tunie supports Hearts of Gold by hosting its Fall Gala
The Hearts of Gold non-profit organization helps New York
City mothers and their children in residence at their three Manhattan shelters. It recently hosted
their 13th Annual Fall Fundraising Gala "It's a Love Thing" hosted by Law and Order:
SUV's Tamara Tunie. The event offered a fashion show, auction, after-hours party and more. Tamara shared
hosting duties with CNN's Soleddad O'Brien, the organization's Goodwill Ambassador.
"I was invited to a gala about five years ago through a friend who is president (Jack Gindi),"
said actress Tamara Tunie about how she became involved in the non-profit organization. "I
was impressed with the organization. It is such a grassroots organization. Her drive (Founder and
Executive Director Deborah Koenigsberger) impressed me. If you ever met a person no one can say
no to she is the person."
Tamara said Deborah's energy and passion was infectious.
After attending a couple of the events Tamara Tunie was made an honorary chair on the advisory board that also include
The Honorable David N. Dinkins, Rhonda Ross (Diana Ross' daughter), and Vanessa L. Williams ("Ugly
"What I really found attractive is it's mission to help those moms with education and employment,"
Tunie said. "So they can step out...and govern aide on their own."
Tunie, a Pennsylvania native, started her work as an actress as Jessica Griffin McKechie Harris
on the day-time soap opera "As the World Turns" from 1986-1995 and again from 1999-2007.
She also appeared on NYPD Blue as Lillian Fancy from 1994-1997, Alberta Green on "24"
and is currently Melinda Warner on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000. In film Tamara narrated the story for
Eve's Bayou and acted in Devils Advocate and Snake Eyes.
Hearts of Gold (HoG) was
founded in 1996 by former model and fashion stylist Deborah Koenigsberger who was touched by the
struggles of homeless women (and their children). To date it has raised over $1.6 million for its
shelters and also other city shelters such as Icahn House East, Nazareth Housing, Alexander Abraham
Residence and Semiperm HDFC.
The Sax Pack
is back with a new Jazz CD off the Shanachie Entertainment imprint
Three outstanding saxophone players, Jeff Kashiva, Kim Waters and Steve Cole, together make the triple-Jazz-threat The Sax
Pack. The Sax Pack recently released their second joint project on Shanachie Entertainment titled
"The Pack is Back."
"I was backstage on another show watching
the remake of The Rat Pack. I called Steve and Kim (with the idea thanks to a friend Miles Gildersale
who joked he should do The Sax Pack)," said sax player Jeff Kashiva about how he founded the
group. "We had no material but great
Steve Cole laughs and says, "We were
the only ones who took his call!"
While you know how God works
things out because the combination of Jeff, Steve and Kim Waters saxophone playing together is like no other
and makes for a powerful group. A group that has thus far recorded two powerful projects. Not to
forget their "rat pack" image of them in suits with open collar, loose tie and a martini
The first single off "The Pack is Back" CD release,
"Fallin' For You," was number one on the Jazz charts for 11 consecutive weeks. They just
released a hot remix of that single by Davy D.
"We are diverse," Jeff admits when
I mentioned that I could tell the difference in the horn playing on the CD. "I never hung
out with Kim but we have a great relationship."
"We all have certain strengths,"
Steve adds. "A non verbal communication...the music writes itself."
Sax Pack has been touring for the last five years to sold-out venues. Their Shanachie debut was
self-titled and released in 2008.
Jeff Kashiwa is a soulful Jazz sax player, Kim Waters brings his Urban/Jazz
sax playing and Steve Cole adds his R&B/Jazz influence.
perform in suits," Jeff points out. "They are provided by a Touch of Class, Steve Hooks'
My favorite cuts on the CD include the first single "Fallin'
For You" because its a hand clapping jam; "Wanna Get Closer" a feet-tapping number;
the title track "The Pack is Back" which gives you something fast to dance to, and "All
That I Am" is a sexy slow dance selection.
For more information on The Sax Pack log onto
www.TheSaxPack.com and to hear songs from the "The Pack is Back" CD log onto www.myspace.com/TheSaxPack.
The Pulse of Entertainment - December 4, 2009
The Forty-Ninth Walt Disney animation, The Princess and the Frog, is a musical masterpiece
The 75 year-old animation division of Walt Disney does it
again with its 49th film, The Princess and the Frog. The Rated G movie hits theaters December 11,
The Princess and the Frog makes
history with the first black Disney princess. It's an historical musical masterpiece for the whole family
and generations to come to enjoy.
The animation takes
place in New Orleans with its' music and storyline includes landmarks of the city's heritage, such
as The French Quarters, The Garden District and The Bayou. The lead character Tiana dreams of owning
a New Orleans restaurant but she ends up becoming a Princess. Tony Award winning Anika Noni Rose
("Dreamgirls") is the voice of Tiana and she does a remarkable job with that New Orleans
"The first time I saw her in color...I saw my face," said Anika Noni about her animated
character. "I just started to cry."
Personally I cried too, twice, throughout
the film. In fact, I cry at some commercials so maybe that doesn't count.
voice-over work was outstanding. Academy Award winning actor Keith David ("Platoon")
is the devilish voice of Dr. Facilier who puts a voodoo spell on Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) in
an attempt to gain control of an eager to be married rich girl, Charlotte (Jennifer Cody/Law and
Order). Charlotte has her eyes on the Prince and all his money. The spell of course turns poor Prince Naveen into a frog.
So the journey begins to break the spell.
NAACP Image Award nominated actress
Jenifer Lewis ("The Preacher's Wife") plays Mama Odie who finally saves the day with
the magic needed to break the spell. You will fall in love with Ray, the firefly played by Daytime
Emmy Award nominated voice-over actor Jim Cummings ("My Friends Tigger and Pooh"), whose
light leads the way and Louis, played by Broadway actor Michael-Leon Wooley ("Dreamgirls"), the Jazz loving
alligator the is the unofficial bodyguard.
Other supporting characters include Big
Daddy, father of the marriage-seeking rich girl Charlotte, played by Golden Globe winning actor
John Goodman ("Roseanne"), Oprah Winfrey is the voice of Tiana's mother Eudora, and Oscar
winning actor Terrence Howard ("Crash") is James, Tiana's father.
I was fired," Howard laughed about the short process. "I did my part and waited, a month went by, nothing!"
On a more serious note Terrence pointed out that, "It was the easiest role I have ever done
because I was talking to my own girls (as the father of Tiana)."
said he sang all the songs that Dr, Facilier sang in the animation film. In fact, according to
producer Peter Del Vecho, everyone sang their own songs. Bruno Campos ("Nip/Tuck"), who
is the voice of Prince Naveen, said that that was his first time singing (professionally).
never done anything like this before," Bruno Campos said about singing in the film. "I wasn't
sure how this was going to come together."
Well it all came together just
great. The soundtrack and score to the animation was under the direction of Academy and Grammy
Award winning songwriter/producer Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.," "A Bug's Life").
The soundtrack, executive produced by Chris Montan, includes selections by Anika Noni Rose, Terrance
Howard and Ne-Yo (Island Def Jam Music). Musicians Dr. John, Terence Blanchard and Terrance Simien brought their unique
New Orleans sound.
Some of the sure-to-be-favorites in the score (and soundtrack)
are "Friends on the Other Side," "When We're Human," "Dig a Little Deeper,"
and "Almost There."
Jesse Cook's new CD project, ‘The Rumba Foundation,' has fans excited
Jazz guitarist Jesse Cook has his fans all excited about the new CD project "The Rumba Foundation" (E1 Entertainment)
an album made to take him back to the Cuban roots of the Rumba. His style is a fusion of Jazz,
Latin and world music, and on this project he does not disappoint his fans.
circumstances Cook ends up in Bogota, Columbia, not Cuba, with Latin Grammy Award winners Los Gauteros
de San Jacinto (a traditional Vallenato group). As a result his ninth project started to change
course with a fused together sound of a Vallenato and Rumba Flamenco mixture.
was born in France (raised in Canada)," Jesse Cook pointed out. "I had a toy guitar -
got it in Spain."
Of course the rest is history because
Cook never put down that guitar, he mastered it. Jesse's mother was in television so you could
say he had entertainment in his blood. His skills on the guitar grew until now he makes his guitar sing Jazz with a
Latin tone of voice. The first single, "Bogota' By Bus," is already playing frequently on Jazz
radio stations across the country.
"We have been touring like crazy,"
Jesse said about his performance schedule in support of highly popular "The Rumba Foundation"
Cook started touring in late September, 2009 and
the tour continues this month visiting Omaha, Cleveland and New York. In January, 2010 he travels
to Arizona, California, Texas, Alabama and Florida. The platinum
selling Jazz guitarists' music was heard during the Olympic Figure Skating Games when a Russian
team used Jesse Cooks' music. His compositions were also heard on Sex in the City, the movie.
My favorite cuts on "The Rumba Foundation" include "Rain Day" because
of the sweet way he makes his guitar cry; "Homebound," "Improv1" for its Latin feel; "Tuesday's
Child" because of the violins and its constant flow of strings, and "Gaita" which
makes you want to get up and do the Rumba!
more detailed information on the Juno Award winner's performance schedule log onto www.JesseCook.com. (Photo credit: David Wile)
Pulse of Entertainment - December 11, 2009
Warner Bros. Pictures presents Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in 'Invictus,' a look into the mind of Nelson Mandela
"I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul...I
am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul," are the words that ring throughout
the Warner Bros. Picture presentation "Invictus," a story about how the mind of South
Africa's heroic icon Nelson Mandela works.
quote is from a poem by William Ernest Henley which Mandela recited throughout his 27 year imprisonment (for his
political views) and it gave him the passion to not give in. Nelson believes this poem gave him
what he needed to survive so that he could one day walk away from the South African prison - still
intact with his soul.
"Invictus" stars Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman
as Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Plenaar, the captain of the rugby team, Springboks. Mandela
uses the team to unite a nation that was divided by race. The film gives the audience a look into the mind of a very
very wise man.
The film shows how Nelson used what was in front of him to not only
show South Africans that they are more powerful as one, but to also show the world that South Africa
is worthy of their investment.
"Mandela was asked who he'd like to play him,
he said Morgan Freeman," said Morgan when asked if he received the blessing from Mandela to
play him. "When he said he'd prefer I be the one to play him...I had to start then (preparing for the role).
I contacted him shortly afterwards. I said I have to have access to you, touch your hand."
Freeman explained that he went to lunch and dinner with Nelson just holding his hand.
Morgan said," I have to feel your energy, see how you feel...the hardest challenge was sounding
As you will see in the film he conquered that as well as Mandela's walk, facial
expressions and posture. Morgan, in my opinion, gave another Academy Award winning performance.
Directed by Clint Eastwood ("Million Dollar Baby") and produced by Rob Lorenz, Mace
Neufeld and Lori McCreary "Invictus" is based on a book, "Playing the Enemy," by John Carlin.
The movie will make you cry, laugh, gasp in horror - at how one human can treat another - and in the end make you cheer
when the South African rugby team went beyond what they thought they could do to win the 1995 World
"First thing I did when I read the script was to call Clint and say, 'This can't be
true?'," said Matt Damon about the unbelievably true story of how newly elected president
of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, used an under-rated rugby team - that blacks cheered against -
and motivated them to win the world cup and in the process united a nation. "I also said the
guy is huge, I'm only 5'11"!"
Matt admitted that he worked hard on Francois' accent. He visited
the rugby captains' home and learned more about him and in the process gain a good friend.
The screenplay was written by South African native Anthony Peckham ("Sherlock Holmes")
and "Invictus" was executive produced by Freeman, Tim Moore, Gary barber and Roger Bimbaum.
"Mandela is about challenging people to succeed," said co-producer Lori McCreary, who
is a producing partner of Morgan Freeman. "Morgan got him down good...Morgan and I hope to
screen it with him in South African...Mandela is really excited for us to be there."
releases a music video for each song on his current CD, 'Mr. Houston'
Co-founder and lead vocalist in the Pop/R&B group Immature/IMx and an outstanding comedic and dramatic actor who has starred
in such television shows as "Sister Sister" and "Cuts," has a marketing campaign
for his current solo release, "Mr. Houston," that will make history.
campaign calls for a music video for all 12 songs on the album. It also includes a perfect Christmas
stocking stuffer, a DVD, for the CD release that is available just in time for Christmas.
"Timing," said Marques Houston is what is important when asked
about the gap between albums. "An artist gets the feeling...I felt like recording. I actually
started recording right after the last album."
So far from what I can see Houston has released
nine music videos of the twelve song on the CD which include "How I do" released in September
with Marques sporting an expensive looking suit; my favorite of all the videos, "Case of You,"
which has the veteran performer doing his famous dance moves; "Date" and "Sunset," which
has Houston in all white on the beach playing a classical guitar, were both released in October; "Circles,"
also released in October, has amassed almost three million views; "Body" released in
November has him singing tenor (watch out Prince) and "Favorite Girl" - also released
in November - has over a million views. Other releases include the first single "I Love Her"
and the second single "Sexy Young Thing" which Houston say is his favorite because it
is a bit jazzy and has live instruments.
The CD comes with a new
production team (Detail/Akon and Christina Aguilera, Jay Bynum, and Alex Cantrell) and label Musicworks Entertainment,
which he co-owns with Jerome "Romeo" Jones (also a co-founder of the group Immature/IMx),
distributed by TUG/Universal Music.
"Mr. Houston" is Marques' four solo
project. After the disbandment of the group Houston's first solo CD was "MH" followed
by "Naked," which reach number 13 on the Billboard Charts and number five on the R&B/Hip-Hop
Charts, and "Veteran," the last CD, which also reach number five on Billboard 200 Chart
and number one on Billboards' Top R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. Marques was also featured on the 50 Cent
remix of "Candy Shop."
Watch out for the
new Chris Stokes directed movie "Boogie Town" in 2010, a modern day West Side Story where Marques Houston stars
along with Brenda Song and Vanessa Simmons. The film dance routines are choreographed by Shane
Sparks. In this film you will really get to see the dance skills of Houston.
more on the "Mr. Houston" CD log onto www.Marques-Houston.com, www.myspace.com/marqueshouston, www.youtube.com/mrhouston08, or you can twit him at www.twitter.com/marqueshouston.
The Pulse of Entertainment - December 18, 2009
Boyz II Men releases ‘Love' just in time for Christmas
The most commercially successful R&B group of all times,
Boyz II Men, recently released a new project, "Love," on Decca/Universal Music just in
time for Christmas. The new project is produced by Randy Jackson (American Idol) and Boyz II Men.
It also features the unbelievable vocals of Michael Buble' on "When I Fall in Love."
"We wanted to try something different," said Nathan Morris, PhD about the
new CD titled "Love." "We want to also show diversity...mainly focus on the love concept.
It's about the lyrics."
It is also about the vocals and harmony which Boyz II Men are experts at. Their
"Love" project consists of 12 cover songs - all about love. You will hear such classics
as "I Can't Make You Love Me" (originally sung by Bonnie Raitt); "If You Leave Me
Now" (Chicago); "Misty Blue" (Dorothy Moore), and "Cupid" (Sam Cook).
II Men is coming on 20 years next year," Morris informed me. "We're balladeers that's what we do. Boyz
II Men has been about love."
Members Nathan, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Michael McCary formed
their group in 1988 has a quintet before member Marc Nelson left for a solo career. The remaining
members became a quartet and signed to Motown in 1990. They help create the "New Jack Swing"
genre of music with their first up-tempo single "Motownphilly" produced by Dallas Austin.
Today, minus Michael - for medical reasons in 2003 - Boyz II Men became the most successful R&B
male group of all times. They have sold over 60 million albums.
In 2004 the guys formed their own label,
MSM Music/Koch, and released the "Throw Back, Vol. 1" CD which sold over 200,000 independently.
In 2007 the group signed with Decca Records and released "Motown: A Journey through Hitsville
USA" which received two Grammy Award nominations. In 2008 they released "Showtime"
"It was good doing the independent thing," Nathan said about
the experience. "It's not easy. It's just you. Today it's tough! It takes a lot of money, especially
for a group of our caliber."
Next year they celebrate for a whole year 20 years of being together
with many difference events, such as a CD, tour and cruise. They even hope to have Michael with
them. What an accomplishment in an industry where groups rarely stay together, as Nathan said,
"very few groups make it to 20 years."
I am a hopeless romantic so this CD is an early Christmas
gift. My favorite cuts on the album include "In My Life" (Beatles); "Shining Star"
(Earth, Wind and Fire); the bonus track "Back for Good" (Take That); "Cupid,"
love the classical guitar support; "Misty Blue," "Amazed" (Lonestar); "I Can't Make You Love Me,"
and "When I Fall in Love" featuring Michael Buble' who brings a fresh addition to the
song and his vocals reminds me of Nat King Cole - the original singer of this lovely ballad.
Boyz II Men continues to travel the world performing to sold-out crowds. For information on Boyz
II Men's upcoming performances or to heard some songs off the CD log onto their websites www.myspace.com/BoyzIIMen
nominated Ann Nesby records Christmas special for Gospel Music Channel, now on DVD
The former lead singer of the Sounds of Blackness Ann Nesby recorded a Christmas special, "Ann Nesby's Soulful Christmas,"
for the Gospel Music Channel which is now on DVD. Nesby has also garnered two Grammy Award nominations.
One nomination is for her duet with R&B's Calvin Richardson on "Love Has Finally Come"
for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and the other is for "Sow Love"
from her latest CD "The Lula Lee Project" for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.
"The idea was my brother in Christ Alvin Williams," said Ann
Nesby. "I'd see him and he'd say I'm going to get you on!"
Good for him that he did because the hour long performance surely put me in the Christmas
spirit. The beautiful set and Ann's vocals are unbelievable. Her band, lead by her god-brother
Big Jim Wright (musical director for the Mo'Nique Show), plays heavenly.
is a featured singer on the ‘Soul Holiday' selection, on the DVD, a song written by Ann and
Jim for the Sounds of Blackness. The "Soul Holiday" song is also featured in the Lee
Daniel's directed film "Precious."
a reminder that Christmas is not about gifts it's about the soul," she pointed out. "I
had no clue Big Jim would be on Mo'Niques' show (as musical director)."
Her back ground singers are some powerful vocalists and consist of Contrell Jones, LaTasha Dorsey
and Lydia Pace - all Gospel artists in their right. All that plus the unbelievable vocals of the
lady herself is why, so far, I've watched the DVD at least four times.
am so grateful (for the opportunity)," Ann said about taping the Christmas special. "I
love Christmas chorals. ‘O Come All Ye Faithful' with Sounds of Blackness won a Grammy; it's
one of my favorite songs."
Aside from "O Come
All Ye Faithful" other selections performed by Ann Nesby include "Jesus What a Wonderful
Child," "Going All the Way" written by Nesby and Big Jim; "I Found a Place" which
is on her "Lula Lee Project"; "I Believe," "It's Christmas Time/Joy to the World,"
"Silent Night," and "So Much Joy."
did everything twice," Ann informed me when I mentioned what a hard job singing for a straight
hour can be when you sing with all your soul as she does. "It was new for me, my first time.
It was really nice. I dreamed about doing something like this."
for her first time Nesby truly worked it like a pro. For someone who sang for two hours straight
(or longer) her vocals are outstanding.
This six-time Grammy Award nominated Gospel artist that has the
vocal power of Patty LaBelle, the soul of Aretha Frankin and the spirit of Pastor Shirley Caesar will be attending
the 52nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 8 p.m. (ET). You can also
see the "Ann Nesby's Soulful Christmas" special on the Gospel Music Channel Sunday, December
For more information on Ann log onto www.AnnNesby.com, www.myspace.com/annnesby, www.facebook.com/annnesby or you can twit her personally at www.twitter.com/AnnNesby. Learn more about the Gospel Music Channel by logging onto www.GospelMusicChannel.com.
The Pulse of Entertainment - December 25, 2009
Shirley Caesar's ‘A City Called Heaven' is
a melting pot of Gospel selections
By Eunice Moseley
"I love this song and I love singing about Heaven,"
Pastor Shirley Caesar said about the title of her latest CD project on Shu-Bel/Light Records. "I love singing about
my future home...I put something for everyone."
thing I can say for Shirley Caesar and that is she is always willing to reach out with God's words
and message of salvation through all avenues available to her - Traditional Gospel and Contemporary
such as Urban, R&B, Jazz and Pop Gospel. On "A City Called Heaven" Caesar is joined
by J. Moss in an Urban flavored selection titled "Nobody." On this song Shirley is rocking!
"Every time I record I put the word out that Shirley Caesar is looking
for songs," she explained when asked how she was able to be so diverse. "I couldn't resist that
one (title song)."
Anyone who has seen this multi-Grammy Award
winner perform know that she gives her heart and soul into a performance - she holds church. Caesar
started very young as a member of the Caravans, so young that they had to get her mother's permission
for her to go on tour. Today Shirley has since recorded over 30 albums to her credit.
"I just left South Africa, they made me a Zulu Queen," Shirley
informed me. "I went not to sing but they are trying to bring awareness to abuse of women
If not preaching at her church in Raleigh-Durham,
NC Shirley is traveling the world singing and uplifting God's children - preparing them for ‘A City Called
Heaven." Songs on the CD that either touched my heart or are my favorite inspirational selections
include the first single "Nobody," featuring J Moss, a gusty Urban Gospel selection;
"In This Place" a sweet love song about God's love which I feel in time will become a
traditional Gospel song; the title track "A City Called Heaven" a beautiful emotional ballad
of God's promise of an eternal life; "Cornerstone," written by Caesar, is a traditional sounding selection
that has a touch of Jazz thanks to the horn support; "Been So Good" a great Praise and
Worship" song, and "Can't Even Walk (Without Him Holding My Hand)" another traditional
Gospel song of testimony.
"That's all I do," Shirley said.
"I sing. I feel I can pretty much sing any kind of Gospel."
agree with her and I enjoy listening to her sing any kind of song. For more on Shirley Caesar and
her "A City Called Heaven" release log onto www.ShirleyCaesar.com, www.myspace.com/shirleycaesar or visit her at www.facebook.com/pastor.shirleycaesar.
Ami Rushes is ‘Refreshed' on her
current Kurt Carr produced album
Award winning Gospel producer Kurt Carr recently produced the newest CD project for Gospel artist Ami Rushes titled "Refreshed."
Normally a Praise and Worship artist Rushes records a more contemporary project with Carr at the
"I wanted to broaden my audience," Ami Rushes explained when asked about the
new sound. "I have songs that not only touch the Gospel market but the Christian market."
Initially Ami came into the music industry as a Rock and Roll and R&B
"Through a hospital experience many years ago...they didn't think I was going to
be ok," Ami said about the changing point when she went from secular music to Gospel. "I
wanted to do something. God saved me...I have to give back."
door into the Gospel music industry came through Rev. James Cleveland. Her style of Gospel includes
that Rock and Roll and R&B influence. You can hear it in my favorite cuts on the "Refreshed"
CD (Ami Rushes Ministries/Central South) which include "El Shaddai" for it brought tears
to my eyes it was so heart-felt; "Through It All," written by Andrae Crouch, a power
song; "He Touched Me" for the Jazz influence - thanks to the horn support, and "The Happy Song"
for its finger-snapping harmonic sound.
For more on Ami Rushes and
her current "Refreshed" CD release log onto www.AmiRishes.com.