Cleveland, OH December 3, 2007 - Heads Up International, one of the world’s
premier crossover jazz labels, today announced the signing of an exclusive
recording agreement with keyboardist/composer George Duke and his Big Piano
Music record label. An enduring figure in straightahead jazz, jazz fusion, R&B and
funk since the 1960s, Duke will make his Heads Up debut with a yet-to-be-titled
album scheduled for release in September 2008.
“I’m very excited to have George on board,” says Dave Love, President of Heads Up
International. “He brings with him a lifetime of innovation and excellence, and a
resume that includes collaborations with some of the biggest names in jazz, funk,
rock and pop. There’s an unprecedented artistic synergy at Heads Up, thanks to
the many high-profile artists currently on the label, and George’s presence and
contribution is certain to push that synergy to an even greater intensity.”
“I’m very happy to be part of this new association with Heads Up,” says Duke, who
is currently in the studio crafting the new album. “There’s a huge audience that’s
interested in the music of more mature artists, and music that has a little more
depth than what you might find elsewhere. I look forward to working with Dave and
his team on all of the productions for BPM as I believe that’s what Heads Up is all
His debut on Heads Up promises to be a return to the funk sensibilities he originally explored in the late ‘70s
– the kind that successfully combined energy, fun and thematic substance. To date, the guest list includes
Bootsy Collins, Jill Scott, Howard Hewett and Teena Marie. Additional high-profile funksters – old-school and
newcomer alike – are likely to get on board before the sessions are complete.
“This is probably going to be the biggest record I’ve done in a long time,” Duke predicts. “I’m trying to get back
to the kind of message that was being delivered in the ‘60s. If you look back at Sly Stone or James Brown,
those guys delivered positive, uplifting messages. That’s what this record will be about. There will be some
political statements made, some other issues addressed, but all in a positive way. I really want this to be a
record that people love.”
Good Listening and Dance Music For Grown-ups Still Exists
ANGIE STONE Delivers Soul Music and Carries On the Tradition of STAX Label
With "The Art Of Love & War" - Stones Says It Is Her Best Work Ever
By: Dr. Gatsby Melodi' PhD
KANSAS CITY December 10, 2007 - Neo-Soul diva Angie Stone, declares that
her new CD, "The Art Of Love And War", is her best album ever. "The Art Of Love
& War", in stores on October 16th on the reactivated iconic Stax Records label,
channels the best of the classic tradition while looking forward and taking the
genre to new places. Stone exclaims, “This is a reflection of where I am both
mentally and spiritually and what I feel I’ve attained at this point in my life.”
The CD was recorded in its entirety at Marvin’s Room, Marvin Gaye’s former
studio on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles and the one-woman dynamo performed,
co-produced, and wrote over 90% of the material.
"The Art of Love & War" is a musical distillation of everything that Angie has been through and has learned
throughout her stellar career. “Baby” featuring R&B/soul/gospel great Betty Wright and production by Co-T,
has an irresistible groove, and is the first single to radio.
Renowned production team DOA worked with Angie on the introspective ballad “Reasons”. Album opener,
“Take Everything In” and “Here We Go” are two of six standout tracks produced by the acclaimed Jonathan
Richmond. The anthemic “My People” with special guest James Ingram, was selected by Essence Magazine
Publisher, Susan Taylor, as the theme song for Essence Festival’s return to New Orleans.
“I think my personal favorite is ‘Happy Being Me,’ Stone points out. “I guess that title gives you a clue about
how I’m feeling right now.”
Angie Stone is stellar with a gift for ministering through music. "The Art of Love & War" is love and pain at it's
purest and hope for redemption on the horizons.
Other stand-out tracks include the very upbeat #11 - 'Play Wit It' inwhich she sings the hook 'you don't wanna
mess with me'; #2 'Baby' - a duet Stone does with veteran Betty Wright with a 1960's jerk feel to the beat;
the mesmerizing closeout track #14 - 'Happy Being Me' featuring Pauletta Washington; and the talk version
#13 'Wait For Me' - a personal discussion with her husband that is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
Stone’s previous work earned her the reputation of a modern-day Aretha, rejuvenating classic R&B with her
incomparable soul-baring intensity. Although her previous efforts brought her acclaim, Stone felt stultified and
in need of a fresh start. She has found that and more with, "The Art Of Love & War" in many ways a creative
rebirth. And Stax, with its legacy of gritty Southern-steeped soul, is her ideal home.
CHAKA KHAN'S First Studio Album In More Than 10 Years Is Worth the Wait
"Chaka Funk This Khan" Is Funk at its Finest and Chaka At the Height of Her
Powers As A Performer - She Joins Cast of "Color Purple" In January 2008
By: Dr. Gatsby Melodi', PhD
KANSAS CITY - December 10, 2007 - Celebrating over three decades of
milestones, Chaka Khan has added another success to her list with the debut of
her new CD on SONY BMG Burgundy Records titled "Funk This", which entered
at #15 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, and marks Chaka's highest charting
album in over twenty years when "I Feel For You" peaked at #14, in 1984.
"Funk This" was produced by the Grammy Award winners Jimmy Jam & Terry
Lewis, and embodies funky soul of her musical roots with RUFUS and her
passionate signature vocal styles that make Chaka Khan timeless.
Khan's still got what it takes to be at the forefront of the music scene even after all this time, and the
album works from beginning to the end, which is a rare find these days. What expectations does she
have, if any about her latest work? Khan admits, "I have big expectations. I try to be honest with my
approach and the production of it. I think that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were very instrumental in
that. We went in to the studio with the consciousness that we were going to do an album where
people fall in love with my voice the way they did when they first heard it. That was fun and liberating
at the same time", she concludes. Chaka Khan will join the musical production of "The Color Purple"
in January as Sofia, the strong-willed character portrayed by Oprah Winfrey in the film version, playing
opposite Gospel and R&B singer BeBe Winans.
HEADS UP INTERNATIONAL SIGNS JAZZ/R&B/FUNK LEGEND GEORGE DUKE
2007 Has Been Quite A Year For
"Prince of Sophisticated Soul" - WILL DOWNING
New CD "After Tonight" is infectious...the more you listen to it --- the more
you are drawn in-to-it.
By: Dr. Gatsby Melodi' PhD
Will Downing "After Tonight"
Distributed by Concord Records
Released Oct 30, 2007
In January 2006 God called Lou Rawls home. In July 2005 God called Luther Vandross home. That leaves only
two remaining legendary crooners capable to take the message of love between two people to the ultimate
level of ecstasy as recognized by jazz and rhythm and blues aficionados' , meaning singers that have paid their
dues over time -- they are Peabo Bryson and Will Downing.
In years past, other performers like Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Curtis Mayfield, Jackie Wilson, James
Brown, Isaac Hayes and Barry White added the spoken word to their albums and called it the extended version
-- and this time out opening track 'Will's Groove' sets a mood with those same 1960's feelgood beats.
Done acapella fashion, Downing begins the CD saying these words -- "Yeah ya'll I got this idea. I wanna start
this record off with this baseline. It goes something like this" - he then starts to sing boodoo boodoo.boo boo
boo doo ...boodoo ..boodoo doo ..boodoo doo doo" and then the keyboards, drums, bass and guitar blow your
mind delivering the funk back to you for nearly four minutes.
Sexy and determined to provide you with a sing-along hook and desire to sing-along to the hook is cut #4 'No
One Can Love You More' penned by legendary songwriter Skip Scarbourough ('Giving You the Best That I've Got'
- Anita Baker); ('Can't Hide Love' / 'Love's Holiday' - Earth, Wind & Fire) ('Don't Ask My Neighbours' - The
Emotions / Ahmad Jamal / Nancy Wilson), -- here Downing shares the solo spotlight with Gerald Albright. It's
Another standout track that is certain to gets folks out on the dance floor is cut #5 'Lover's Melody' featuring
excitement to make the body bobb and weave to the rhythmic beats. It features a remarkable solo from
ahmazing Roy Ayers on vibes. 'Lover's Melody' like most of the other tracks is penned by Downing and Rex
The album is kicking with excitement and phat beats clearly designed to make love not war between two lovers
not afraid to get vulnerable, or commit to the relationship. Downing penned 'God Is So Amazing' with his
wife/singer Audrey Wheeler and Noel Goring. Bill Withers "You Just Can't Smile It Away' features tenor sax solo
from Kirk Whalen. Like I said the CD is infectious and on it Downing no doubt delivers SOUL!!
KANSAS CITY Dec 10, 2007 - Will Downing is no doubt one of the most
innovatively talented singer, songwriters in the world of music entertainment, and
he is also one of the nicest men in jazz often referred to as "ardent" amongst his
piers and others in the music business.
Superstars like Najee and Walter Beasley call him "My brother" and "My friend"
when they speak about Downing. I have known Downing since 2005, and in all
actuality he is so very real, so very unpretentious and he is definitely one very
reachable and cool dude. His new CD "After Tonight" contains 10 tracks of pure
R&B and Soul sounds that thump and bump the beats.
Setting the standards high for those singers looking to reach "crooner" status over
a career that has spanned more than three decades - "After Tonight" from Will
Downing proves that he remains committed to the efforts in the lyrics he writes
about when added to his music that weaves and settles deep down inside of your
heart and then warms a place there that has never been touched before when
sprinkling his seeds of love and friendship and family values.