Angie Stone has left J Records and will release her new CD, “The Art of Love and War,” October 16th on Stax Records. The CD was recorded at Marvin Gaye’s former studio on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles where Stone performed, co-produced, and wrote over 90% of the material. Stone stated, “This [CD] 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 first release “Baby” featuring Betty Wright has already hit the airwaves. Stone said her favorite song on the CD is “Happy Being Me.” She commented, “I guess that title gives you a clue about how I’m feeling right now.”
Jill Scott is back and will release her new project, “The Real Thing: Words & Sounds vol. 3” on September 25th. “Hate on Me” is the first single from the CD on Hidden Beach Label. If you go to family.hiddenbeach.com you can listen to a 17-minute sampler of the songs on the CD.
“Trav’lin Light” is the title of Queen Latifah’s September 25th release on the Verve label. Latifah has recorded classic songs by Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee and Carmen McRae. Also featured on the project are Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, keyboardists George Duke and Joe Sample, bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Anthony Wilson.
Sultry Chaka Khan’s new project, “Funk This” will also release on September 25th. The first single “Angel” is a ballad that highlights Chaka’s strong vocals. Another hot song on the CD is a duet, “Disrespectful” with Mary J. Blige. This CD will be released on Burgundy Records and will also contain Chaka’s rendition of Prince’s hit “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand,” and Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies’ Man.” Chaka will also sing a Rufus (the group she was the lead singer) medley. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are producing the CD. “The album may remind people of my early Rufus albums because I’m in a similar soul space,” Chaka comments. “I’ve been on a little journey in the last few years, finding Yvette again. I went through a period of being insecure. I’m walking a different path now. I’ve changed. This album is different from any other album I’ve recorded because it reflects what I’m about, who I am now. The album is called “Funk This” because it’s funky!”
Producer, Songwriter singer and 10 time Grammy winner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will release “Playlist” on re-launched Mercury Records. This September 18th release, will be the first album that contains mostly remakes of some of Edmonds’ favorite tunes. Some of those on the CD are James Taylor’s “Fire & Rain,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer,” Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle,” and Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” These songs came from memories, and these songs helped shape who I am and they’re still shaping who I am,” says Edmonds about the emotional new album. “They shaped my past and now they’re shaping my future.” There will also be some original songs on the CD. Edmonds says, “…I’m lucky. I feel that I wrote two songs that can stand with everything else [on the album]. They fit right in.”
Michelle Johnson, known by her fans as Meshell Ndegeocello (Swahili for free as a bird) will release her 7th studio album “The World Has Made Me The Man of My Dreams” on September 25th. It features guest appearances by notable jazz artists guitarist Pat Metheny, drummer Deantoni Parks and guitarist David Gilmore, plus blues guitarist Doyle Bramhall, Latin percussionist Gilmar Gomes and African vocalists Oumou Sangare and Thandiswa Mazwai. “I feel quite lucky,” Ndegeocello said of the roster. About the title of her album Ndegeocello comments, “”After being sold a bunch of fantasies, I grew up thinking I had to go out and find the man of my dreams, that that was the greatest opportunity for happiness and a good life. I’ve come to find out there is no man of my dreams, there is no panacea, you’re on your own. You have to be the man of your dreams.”