Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bookwerk :: Places and Spaces I've Been by Pharrell Williams

Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. Originating at the crossroads of art, design, popular culture, and street savvy, Pharrell Williams’ output is unique. By playing off different disciplines—namely music, fashion, street art, and design—and using each as an element in the other, Pharrell has redefined the role of the contemporary recording artist, blazing a trail for other musicians and prominent cultural figures.

Illustrated with lavish photography, his new book, Places and Spaces I've Been, also explores his musical career in depth, charting his many projects from his production team The Neptunes, to the band N.E.R.D., and his collaborations with friends Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and other hip-hop royalty. This unprecedented volume documents Pharrell’s prolific body of work and his contribution to contemporary culture. In his own unique graphic language, he details his extensive creative pursuits, including clothing lines, jewelry, and accessories designs for Louis Vuitton, furniture and other product design, limited-edition toys, graphic designs, skate graphics, and collaborations with Moncler, Marc Jacobs, the artist KAWS, and with architects Zaha Hadid and Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall.

Below Pharrell Williams talks about his book Places and Spaces I've Been and attends his first book signing at Marc Jacobs' store BOOK MARC in Los Angeles, California.

Follow Pharrell on Twitter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Filmwerk :: Mr Soul! The Movie - A Film by Samuel D. Pollard and Melissa Haizlip

Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL!

From 1968 to 1973, America got SOUL! -- the first "black Tonight Show" -- a groundbreaking PBS television series called SOUL! produced and hosted by Ellis Haizlip. The show was both entertaining and revolutionary, while launching the careers of many of the African American icons of the 20th century, and marking the beginning of diversity in television.

For much of America, SOUL! offered the first glimpse of black culture, music, politics and community, as well as first-ever televised performances and appearances by Earth, Wind & Fire, Arsenio Hall, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Al Green, Ashford & Simpson, and more.

(Above) Stevie Wonder (L) and Ellis Haizlip (R)

WNET/Channel 13 in New York City - celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year - was the original presenting station of SOUL!, making it a real New York story, one about the arts, culture, and a black, gay, broadcast pioneer who changed the media landscape at the onset of public television. In 1972 and 1973, at the height of the show’s success, Lincoln Center invited Haizlip to produce Soul At The Center, a critically acclaimed, two-year, twelve-day black arts festival at Lincoln Center, which became the first collaborative venture between Lincoln Center and the black community.

The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at this revolutionary program, from its initial conception to its final broadcast, including the very public battle to keep it on the air despite a shifting political landscape. The documentary interweaves Ellis Haizlip’s biography into the narrative following the five seasons of SOUL!, interspersing contemporary interviews, archival material, excerpts from the show, and narration by Keith David.

Check out the trailer below and visit the Mr. Soul Movie Website for more in depth information and to make a kind donation.

Filmwerk :: Finding The Funk – A Nelson George Documentary & Kickstarter Campaign

A journey through the origins and influence of funk music from James Brown to D’Angelo, we are FINDING THE FUNK!

Inspired by an idea from legendary record producer Arthur Baker, Finding The Funk is a road trip in search of the past, present and future of Funk music. We start in Dayton the birthplace of so many of Funk’s originators, then onto Detroit where from the ashes of Motown, P-Funk’s Mothership arose and then to LA where a new crop of musicians, like DaM-FunK, are creating their own Funk history. Among those featured in the film are Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, D’Angelo, Marcus Miller, Mtume, Nona Hendryx, Vernon Reid, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, Steve Arrington, Reggie Hudlin, Sheila E, Shock G, Alan Leeds, Sade‘s Stuart Matthewman and Diplo. Hosted by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots. Directed by Nelson George. VH1 is hoping to air FINDING THE FUNK next Spring.

Check out the trailer below and visit the Finding The Funk Kickstarter page for more in depth information and to make a kind donation.

FINDING THE FUNK Trailer from Finding the Funk on Vimeo.

Friday, October 19, 2012

?uestlove To Teach 'Classic Albums' Course At NYU

Great News! Sign me up! Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson now known as 'Professor ?uesto' will be joining the NYU staff this Spring to teach a "Classic Albums' course. According to Billboard.biz, The Roots' drummer will be joining Universal Music Enterprises vice president of A&R and Grammy winning reissues producer Harry Weinger to co-teach the course at the Clive Davis Institue for Recorded Music at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts this coming Spring semester.

The two credit class is expected to look at albums including Sly & The Family Stone's Stand!, There's a Riot Goin' On, Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul, Led Zeppelin's IV, Prince's Dirty Mind, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique among others.

Jason King, associate professor of recorded music and head of history and criticism at the Clive Davis Institute, told Billboard.biz the class will focus on the concept of what it means for something to be called classic or seminal, as well as take a close look at the music, lyrics, production, business aspects -- such as promotion and marketing -- that informed the release and reception of the album, and try to provide a context as to why these albums have stood the test of time.

We wanted to bring [?uestlove] in because we felt he should really be a professor; in a lot of ways he already is an informal, unofficial professor, not just in hip hop but in music in general, King told Billboard.biz. He's one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician. We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.

Click here to keep up with 'Professor ?uesto' on Twitter

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Artwerk :: A Young Quincy D. Jones by Nikki Yanofsky

I happened to stumble across this amazing pencil sketch of a young Quincy D. Jones in my twitter timeline this week. I absolutely knew I was going to share it so I added it to my favorites on twitter until I could get this opportunity to post and share.

Not only am I impressed with the sketch of a young Quincy D. Jones, the legendary producer, bandleader, musician and visionary, but I am also impressed by the artistic talent of the young lady that sketched it. The sketch artist happens to be 18 year-old, Canadian born, music prodigy and Jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky. She recently sketched her mentor Quincy D. Jones and like with most of her sketches, she shared it via twitter. I had become familiar with Nikki as a Jazz singer over the years but who knew she had these hidden sketch talents?

Nikki began her professional singing career at age 12 by being the youngest headliner at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Since her debut in 2006 Nikki has performed internationally at jazz festivals and major concert venues both solo and alongside such well-known artists as Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Wyclef Jean, Celine Dion, Marvin Hamlisch and The Count Basie Orchestra.

BELOW: Nikki Yanofsky "Airmail Special" with Quincy Jones Montreux Jazz 2011

Follow Nikki Yanofsky on twitter @NikkiYanofsky where she shares more of her beautiful sketches while keeping her fans and the jazz community up to date about her upcoming music.

CHOKLATE :: WIDE OPEN - VIDEO PREMIERE

On October 16th 2012 Seattle-based singer/songwriter CHOKLATE will release her highly anticipated 3rd studio project as an independent artist. Following the release of her 1st single Wide Open CHOKLATE premieres the 1st official video from her upcoming project FLY. The video for Wide Open was directed, shot and edited by ZakiRose Media Affiliates (www.zakirose.com).

Check out the new video below as CHOKLATE takes us back to those unforgettable 80s with a feel good, disco laced, rollerskating jam produced by Vitamin D. We couldn't have asked for better visuals to represent this dancefloor jam. CHOKLATE and her team nailed it! She brings her viewers along for the fun! We always appreciate CHOKLATE for keeping the music fresh and oh so FLY and not to mention having loads of fun while she works! Peep the video, have some fun and enjoy!

Producers on FLY include: Musiq Soulchild, Kuddie Fresh, Marcus D and longtime collaborative partner, Vitamin D and it features collaborations w/ Musiq Soulchild and Phontè Coleman of Foreign Exchange and Little Brother fame.

Wide Open the single from the highly anticipated FLY project is available at iTunes Now!

For More Choklate Info Visit The All New CHOKLATE Website at www.choklateonline.com

Also Follow CHOKLATE on Twitter @Choklate and @ChoklateMusic

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Filmwerk :: Jean-Michel Basquiat - The Radiant Child a film by Tamra Davis

Centered on a rare interview that director and friend Tamra Davis shot with Jean-Michel Basquiat over twenty years ago, this definitive documentary chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist. In the crime-ridden NYC of the 1970s, he covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. In 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he is an artist with "rock star status." He achieves critical and commercial success, though he is constantly confronted by racism from his peers. In 1985 he and Andy Warhol become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat's heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. The artist was 25 years old at the height of his career, and today his canvases sell for more than a million dollars. With compassion and psychological insight, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.

Featuring interviews with Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Glenn O'Brien, Maripol, Kai Eric, Nicholas Taylor, Fred Hoffmann, Michael Holman, Diego Cortez, Annina Nosei, Suzanne Mallouk, Rene Ricard, Kenny Scharf, among many others.

The Radiant Child (Part 1 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 2 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 3 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 4 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 5 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 6 of 7)

The Radiant Child (Part 7 of 7)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Filmwerk :: Once Upon A Time In New York: The Birth Of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk [Full Length BBC Documentary]

In the 1970s the Big Apple was rotten to the core, yet out of the grime, grit and low rent space emerged new music unlike anything that had gone before. Once Upon A Time In New York chronicles how the squalid streets of '70s New York gave birth to music that would go on to conquer the world - punk, disco and hip hop.

Inspired by the Velvet Underground, a new wave of 'punk' rock emerged in lower Manhattan including The New York Dolls, The Ramones and the Patti Smith Group. Meanwhile, downtown loft parties held by gay New Yorkers heralded the birth of disco, which would eventually spawn the ultimate club for the privileged few: Studio 54. The swanky mid-town discos were out of bounds to black New York so in the Bronx DJs such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa created their own parties, heralding the birth of hip hop.

Film features David Johansen, Patti Smith, John Cale, Richard Hell, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Nile Rodgers, Chuck D, Tommy Ramone, Chris Stein, Fab 5. Freddy, Lenny Kaye, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Syl Sylvain, Nicky Siano, David Mancuso, DJ AJ, David Depino, Jayne County, Leee Childers, Nelson George, Victor Bokris and Vince Aletti.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Alice Smith is 'SHE' - Her Kickstarter Success

It's been a few years since we've heard from Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Alice Smith. We were introduced to her debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers and Me, via BBE Records in 2006. Since releasing her debut Alice Smith spent the last few years growing, searching, learning hard lessons and ultimately finding her way in this thing called "The Music Business". Because things are not always what they seem and everything that glitters ain't gold, Alice Smith has finally reached a point in her life where she is able to make her own career decisions and move forward with her plans to release new music, tour and connect with the people who mean the most....her fans.

After making some solid connects and crunching some numbers, Alice figured out a way to "make a dollar out of 15 cents." She decided to turn to Kickstarter to open up about her need for financial assistance and to raise the funds needed. She exceeded both goals! Who better to understand your journey and fund your project than your fans and supporters right?!?!

With all the heartbreak and frustration that is an artistic life, Alice is finally at a very exciting place! 'SHE' is about to get funded on Friday Sep 28. With just 14 days left 'SHE' Kickstarter has exceeded its goal of $15,000.

You still have time to make a contribution. More is always good and will be put to brilliant use. Click here to contribute and to read Alice's very open and honest story about her journey from major to indie. It's a very inspiring journey and we wish Alice and her team so much success with the new album 'SHE' scheduled for release in early 2013. We Can't Wait!

Visit Alice Smith's Official Website

Follow Alice Smith on Twitter

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blue Note Records Launches Innovative New Spotify App

EMI Music’s legendary Blue Note Records has announced the launch today of an innovative new app within the popular online music streaming service Spotify. The Blue Note app provides a rich user experience by creating a space to explore and discover music spanning the entire history of the label from 1939 to present.

The Blue Note app traces the label’s evolution from the early jazz of Sidney Bechet to the trailblazing bebop of Thelonious Monk, from Art Blakey’s quintessential hardbop thru Ornette Coleman’s avant-garde flights, from Jimmy Smith’s grinding organ soul jazz leading to Donald Byrd’s funky R&B fusion and on into today’s modern explorations such as Robert Glasper’s unique blend of jazz with hip hop, and beyond. The app’s design and functionality allow the listener to discover by performer, album, style, instrument or year, providing several easy entry points into the music for jazz novices, as well as the ability for jazz aficionados to dive deep into Blue Note’s unrivaled catalog. The app also incorporates Spotify’s trademark social features such as building playlists and sharing favorite tracks with friends.

Key Features:

TIMELINE – Explore the Blue Note catalog chronologically from the label’s very first recording session with boogie woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis in 1939 to the most recent album, Heritage by African jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke, which was released last month. The app features every Blue Note title available in Spotify.

FILTER – Explore the catalog by musical style, era or even by instrument. The Artists and Blue Note 101 sections offer a filter to help guide the user through the label’s different styles of music: Tradition (Thelonious Monk, Jason Moran), Groove (Lou Donaldson, Robert Glasper) and Voices (Dianne Reeves, Norah Jones).

BLUE BREAK BEATS – Blue Note partnered with the website Who Sampled to take the user on a tour of music that contains samples from the Blue Note catalog, placing the original versions alongside the sampled versions by artists such as Beastie Boys, Chemical Brothers, Common, Madonna, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Usher, and Wu-Tang Clan.

SHOP – Peruse Blue Note merchandise that riffs off of the label’s influential visual style, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, bags, and more.

DOWNLOAD APP FOR FREE

Monday, September 10, 2012

Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP

On October 9th music lovers worldwide can expect a treat from The Robert Glasper Experiment in the form of a remix EP. The eclectic jazz, hip hop, soul collective spearheaded by jazz pianist Robert Glasper will release Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP on Blue Note Records. The 6 track collection will feature remixed and previously unreleased tracks from his acclaimed album Black Radio. The remixers include Robert Glasper himself, as well as ?uestlove, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pete Rock, with additional contributions from rappers Black Milk and Phonte, The Roots band, and vocalist Solange Knowles. The remixes reinvent tracks that originally featured Bilal (“Letter to Hermoine”), Erykah Badu (“Afro Blue”), Meshell Ndegeocello (“The Consequences of Jealousy”), and Yasiin Bey (“Black Radio”), as well as Robert Glasper Experiment’s cover of the Little Dragon song “Twice.” Also included is “Dillatude #2,” the Experiment’s tribute to the late, great hip hop producer J Dilla which is a previously unreleased track from the Black Radio sessions.

Tracklisting

1. Afro Blue feat. Erykah Badu / 9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix feat. Phonte

2. Black Radio feat. yasiin bey / Pete Rock Remix

3. The Consequences of Jealousy feat. Meshell Ndegeocello / Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Sassy Geemix

4. Twice / ?uestlove’s Twice Baked Remix feat. Solange Knowles & The Roots

5. Letter to Hermione (feat. Bilal) / Robert Glasper and Jewels Remix feat. Black Milk

6. Dillatude #2

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Filmwerk :: Doin' It In The Park - Pick-Up Basketball, NYC a film by Bobbito Garcia & Kevin Couliau

DOIN' IT IN THE PARK: PICK-UP BASKETBALL, NYC is an independent documentary directed by Bobbito Garcia and Kevin Couliau. The film explores the definition, history, culture and social impact of New York's summer b-ball scene, widely recognized as the worldwide "Mecca" of the sport.

In New York City, pick-up basketball is not just a sport. It is a way of life. There are 700+ outdoor courts, and an estimated 500,000 players, the most loyal of which approach the game as a religion, and the playground as their church.

"You can play high school or college for four years. You can play Pro for a decade. You can play pick-up ... for life."

DOIN' IT IN THE PARK: PICK-UP BASKETBALL, NYC lovingly uncovers this movement through the voices of playground legends, NBA athletes, and most importantly the common ballplayer who all day looks forward to calling "next" game at their local schoolyard.

Co-directors Bobbito Garcia and Kevin Couliau visited 180 courts throughout NYC's five boroughs to create their debut documentary. They traveled to a majority of the locations by bicycle, carrying camera equipment and a ball in their backpacks. The film's title refers as much to the subject matter as it does to the method of filmmaking, providing an unprecedented perspective on urban America's most popular, and accessible, free recreation.

Main film characters: Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Kenny Smith, "Pee Wee" Kirkland, "Fly" Williams, God Shammgod, Tim "Headache" Gittens, Corey "Homicide" Williams, Kenny Anderson, Jack Ryan, Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon, Niki Avery, Milani Malik, and the Park Pick-Up Players of NYC.

DOIN' IT IN THE PARK: PICK-UP BASKETBALL, NYC - Trailer from Doin' It In The Park on Vimeo.

For More Info Visit: Doinitinthepark.com

For Screening Cities and Dates Click Here

Follow on Twitter @doinitinthepark

Filmwerk :: Last Shop Standing - The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of The Independent Record Shop [DVD]

LAST SHOP STANDING: THE RISE, FALL AND REBIRTH OF THE INDEPENDENT RECORD SHOP

Last Shop Standing inspired by the book of the same name by Graham Jones takes you behind the counter to discover why nearly 2000 record shops have already disappeared across the UK. The 50-minute documentary film charts the rapid rise of record shops in the 1960's, 70's and 80's, the influence of the chart, the underhand deals, the demise of vinyl and rise of the CD as well as new technologies. Where did it all go wrong? Why were 3 shops a week closing? Will we be left with no record shops with the continuing rise of downloading? Hear from over 20 UK record shop owners and music industry leaders as well as musicians including Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Norman Cook, Billy Bragg, Nerina Pallot, Richard Hawley and Clint Boon as they all tell us how the shops became and still are a part of their own musical education, a place to cherish and discover new bands and new music.

Not long ago there was a record shop on every high street, but over 500 independent record stores have closed during the last few years. Record shops were always more than retail outlets, they are part of our culture; they support new bands and local talent. A place for musicians and music fans to congregate, to browse away a few hours, to walk away with music they didn't know existed.

Last Shop Standing is a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully against the backdrop of massive changes in the music industry, the biggest recession in years, the growth of online file sharing and the explosion of choice in music consumption.

For More Info Visit: LastShopStanding.com

Follow On Twitter: @LstShopStanding

Friday, August 31, 2012

DJ Spinna Presents: The Eccentric Movements Of José James [FREE DOWNLOAD]

In June we shared the exciting news about modern jazz singer José James signing to and recording for the legendary Blue Note Records label. While preparing to release his Blue Note records debut No Beginning, No End, later this year, José James teamed with renowned DJ/Producer, DJ Spinna to cook up a little pre-release refresher mix. DJ Spinna Presents: The Eccentric Movements Of José James is a 19-track musical journey thru José James' earlier work with sprinklings of music from his Blue Note Records debut. A couple of familiar favorites are blended effortlessly with the crooner’s eclectic mix of jazz, funk and soul making this a sweet end of summer treat. For those not familiar with the music of José James this mix is a great place to start! Download it now for FREE! Enjoy and Spread the word!

Dj Spinna Presents: The Eccentric Movements of Jose James Mixtape by Dj Spinna

Tracklisting:

1. Love Connection

2. Code

3. Park Bench People

4. Love

5. Come To My Door

6. Made For Love

7. It's All Over

8. Save Your Love

9. Lay You Down

10. Trouble

11. Vanguard

12. Promise In Love

13. Detroit Loveletter

14. Sword - Gun

15. Velvet

16. Desire (Moodyman Remix)

17. Warriors

18. Warriors SBRKT Remix)

19. Tomorrow

Click Here To Download Now

Follow José James on Twitter

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bookwerk :: Flip The Script - A Photographer's Music Diary By Kingsley Davis

The Flip the Script book is an unparalleled collection of photographs taken by UK photographer Kingsley Davis, documenting some of the most talented artists, musicians, Dj’s and producers from both sides of the Atlantic to have emerged over recent times. The book with a special preface by Norman Jay MBE, is a who’s who of genre-defying artists from the last ten years. Some of the artists featured in the book are Estelle (cover), Omar, Marc Mac, Pharrell, Guru, Bashy, Jonzi D, N'Dea Davenport, Ms. Dynamite, John Legend, Flying Lotus, KRS-One and many more.

Flip the Script provides a unique insight into how the music scene is changing, driven by technological innovations but also by the creativity, individuality and experimentation of the artists themselves. The title of the book reflects this change, as the artists featured have achieved success on their own terms, with or without stylists, A&R reps or publicists. And access to digital media has given them the opportunity to be heard and recognized overnight.

Many of the artists featured in Flip the Script have come through underground cultures or sub-cultures and have emerged without comprising their authentic credentials. This adds to their appeal among discerning audiences, and so the book is finding a market among music buyers, youth and urban culture enthusiasts as well as those with a professional interest in music, lifestyle and fashion.

Visit the Flip The Script Official Website for retail locations and purchase info.

Follow Flip The Script on Twitter

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CHOKLATE Announces "FLY" Album Title and a Live Seattle Preview Party Plus Answers 5 Quick Questions

Seattle-based singer/songwriter CHOKLATE announced the title of her upcoming third album this week. FLY is the title of the new album and before CHOKLATE introduces FLY to the world she will give her Seattle fans and supporters a live preview on Sunday September 16, 2012 at The Triple Door.

What: An Evening With CHOKLATE: Introducing FLY - Album Preview Party

When: Sunday September 16, 2012

Where: The Triple Door - 216 Union Street Seattle, WA

We recently caught up with CHOKLATE to ask her 5 Quick Questions about her highly anticipated third album FLY.

ON THE VERGE: What was the focus and inspiration for your upcoming album?

CHOKLATE: I just wanted to write songs and sing...I just wanted to be in the booth again and keep growing and learning. Each song is a snapshot of a moment in time in either my life or someones life very close to me. My focus was just to stay creative and my inspiration was real life.

ON THE VERGE: Who are some of your producers/collabs on the new album?

CHOKLATE: As it stands: Illmind, DJ Kemit, Tha Bizness, Musiq Soulchild, Kuddie Fresh, Vitamin D, Wajeed from PPP, Slop Funk Dust, Marcus D, Illoquint and there are one or two more that we're still finalizing.

ON THE VERGE: What can we expect from the album?

CHOKLATE: Pure unadulterated ME. Lots of truth. Harmonies galore. Honesty. Dope beats. Some "hip hop makin' whoopie with soul type R&B ish" tunes that all have real stories attached to them. An ode to my brother who I lost at the end of 2009 and a cool duet or two.

ON THE VERGE: Do you have an official release date yet?

CHOKLATE: OCT 16th (!!!!!! aaaaaah! I cant' believe it)

ON THE VERGE: With this being your third album what is different about the artist CHOKLATE?

CHOKLATE: What's different? I'm not entirely sure I'm the best one to answer that question. I think the people that support and give the music a shot and have the backstory from the other albums will be best equipped to answer that one...I'm just in my skin...living everyday and singin' songs along the way...trying to learn the lessons that life is trying to teach me and be open to all the goodness simultaneously. I know one thing, I love it a little more with each offering and I love my supporters more and more every day. They are my creative blood, my heartbeat. I LOVE THEM. whew...you have no idea...

Follow Choklate on Twitter @Choklate

Sign up and join the CHOKLATE E-Mail List to receive news, updates and info about shows in your city!

Filmwerk :: Aretha Franklin: The Queen Of Soul Documentary 1988 [Full Episode]

Aretha Franklin is not only one of the giants of soul music; she is one of the giants of American pop. In a career spanning more than forty years, she continues to find ways to inspire and amaze. Aretha Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and on August 14, 2012 The "Queen of Soul" was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Below is the link to the full 45 minute documentary about the multi-Grammy winner and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin that first aired on PBS August 22, 1988 and is now featured on biography.com. The documentary follows the career of Aretha Franklin from her early years as a gospel singer to her rise to fame.

Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that. Aretha Franklin

Click Here To Watch The Full 45 Minute Aretha Franklin: The Queen Of Soul Documentary as featured on biography.com

Check out Skoolwerk Apparel's Iconic Soul Ladies T-Shirt inspired by Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Phyllis Hyman, Patrice Rushen and Minni Riperton.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Digital Under:Ground :: Crate Blessings compiled by DJ Rhinobee (FREE Download)

Last December our partner in music, DJ Rhinobee, created a very inspiring podcast featuring the best in contemporary inspirational music. We have shared this podcast with many offline, but today we were inspired to share it on our blog and with our social network. Please do yourself a favor and download this amazing and meaningful podcast loaded with Blessings and Gems! Share it with friends, family and the World! It is truly a musical Blessing that is sure to uplift, encourage and inspire all who hear it. Please enjoy these Crate Blessings!

Click Here To Download DJ Rhinobee's Crate Blessings

Tracklisting

01. Adrianne Archie - Welcome

02. Tonex - Jesus Saves

03. Faith Evans - Heaven Only Knows

04. Jason Eskridge - So Into You

05. Sean Simmonds - Soul Glo

06. Shante - Be Like You

07. V3- Take The Time

08. V - Born Again featuring Jill Scott

09. Christopher - Could It Be

10. J.R. - Shine Your Light

11. DJ Maj - Soul Window

12. Tonex - Patient

13. Melissa Boyce - God Bless The Child

14. Sunny Hawkins - Where Would I Be

15. Debra Killings - Love

16. Trin-i-Tee 5:7 - Heaven Hear My Heat

17. Soul Cutz (Various Artists) - Love Is In The Air

18. Surel - Eyes

19. PJ Morton - No Ordinary Love

20. Lisa McClendon - Go

21. Sunny Hawkins - Send Me I'll Go

22. Anthony Hamilton - Pass Me Over

23. Curtis Lewis - X-Ray

24. V - Picture This

25. Pharrell - Our Father

26. Lisa McClendon - Hiding Place

27. Kim Burrell - A Lil' More Time

28. Kim Burrell - Pray For Love

29. Teedra Moses - I Think Of You (Shirley's Song)

30. Bibi Tanga & The Selenites - Goodbye

DJ Rhinobee's Podomatic

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Official Video :: Jarrard Anthony - Lucky Day

This past June we fell head over heals in love with a new album by indie soul crooner and Richmond, VA native Jarrard Anthony. This week Jarrard Anthony released his new video to accompany the first single Lucky Day from his album READY TO LIVE. Once again he delivers the goods and we have every reason to continue to be head over heals about Jarrard Anthony!

The album READY TO LIVE is available at your favorite retail outlet so be sure to grab a copy or two!

Jarrard Anthony upcoming show dates:

St. Louis, MO - Lola - August 23

Alexandria, VA - Birchmere - August 30

New York, NY - Drom - September 29

New York, NY - Drom - November 24

Follow Jarrard Anthony on Twitter

Sunday, July 29, 2012

BOBBI HUMPHREY LIVE At Ginny's Supper Club - Harlem, NYC - Aug 11

Join Wax Poetics as they begin a series of shows at Marcus Samuelsson’s new dinner and music venue, Ginny’s Supper Club in his Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem. They’ll warm things up at the beginning of next month with some great performances by Christian Scott and Janka Nabay, but they really pick up steam on the eleventh with a performance by the one and only “First Lady of the Flute,” Bobbi Humphrey. Still regarded as one of the illest to touch the instrument, Bobbi will be bringing her special charm to two shows at Ginny’s. Tucked away under the restaurant, Ginny’s is the perfect place to see an artist in the most intimate of settings. Join us for the night uptown as we host the woman who put “Harlem River Drive” on the map.

Wax Poetics Presents

“First Lady of the Flute” Bobbi Humphrey

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ginny’s Supper Club at Red Rooster Harlem

310 Lenox Ave. at 125th St.

8:00 PM and 10:30 PM

$25

Tickets for the 8:00 PM show available here.

Tickets for the 10:30 PM show available here.

Wax Poetics Magazine Official Website

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bookwerk :: Stacy Lattisaw - I Am Not The Same Girl: RENEWED

I Am Not The Same Girl: Renewed is the life story of Stacy Lattisaw. As a young R&B singer, she completed a total of 12 albums and toured with Michael Jackson and the Jacksons. She traveled the world as a singer and shared the stage with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Teddy Pendergrass, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill, and a host of others. As she began to mature in age and mind, her desires began to change and she cried out to God and asked him to fill the void in her life. Soon after Stacy walked away from the secular music world and dedicated her life to the Lord. Today she is renewed and walking in the destiny that God has set for her life.

In this astonishing book you will receive knowledge of how Stacy tackled her challenges as a childhood star. For Stacy success and fame came at the tender age of 12 years old but it came with a price. Although the events of her life would endure stardom and pain her personality comes through as down to earth, straight forward and sincere. Throughout her memoir Stacy's tone is from the heart rather than polished or sophisticated. It is clear that the woman behind the words is not a professional writer, however her personality comes through as clearly as the story she sets out to tell. This book will inspire all who read it because what she refers to as pain and suffering led her to her purpose! Although I Am Not The Same Girl-RENEWED will not take you long to experience some of what the author endured, the components of her book make for a compelling story and an inspirational read. The R&B music industry demanded more than she could give.

Stacy Lattisaw Official Website

R.E.D. Soul Film Presents .... RELL - A Tribute To Donny Hathaway

Was sent this video from R.E.D. Soul Film over the weekend and I wanted to share it because it literally gave me goose bumps. My insider information tells me that R&B singer RELL, first and former male R&B solo artist signed to Roc-a-Fella Records is on the comeback trail. At the moment it's a very low-key, grass-roots climb but things are bubbling and we may soon see some new available material from an artist who never really got his solo time to shine. Most may remember RELL for a banger called Love For Free featuring Jay-Z and featured in Jay-Z's rap film Streets Is Watching.

Some may already know that most recently RELL has been a writer and singer with the indie blues and soul collective Tre' Williams and the Revelations. But what most don't know is that RELL wrote the Grammy-nominated title song for Usher's 2008 Here I Stand album. Which coincidentally Here I Stand is the only Usher song that I can honestly call a favorite. Now I know why.

So I was sent this video and it's RELL doing his rendition of Donny Hathaway's very poignant and hauntingly beautiful song Giving Up from Donny's 1971 self-titled album. Listening and watching this video took me back to when I would sit in the movie theater for hours watching and re-watching Sparkle (1976) and being moved by the character Sister as she had been through her share of life (drugs and bad men). She sang this song with every bit of breath she had left, hair matted and barely able to sit upright on a stool. She was broken and the song made it even more clear. Then the scene fades to her funeral. That scene always made me cry and has stayed with me for life. Not in a bad way but it was just one of those scenes where you could feel the pain jump off the screen and your heart really went out to the character.

Check out RELL below as he pays tribute to one of the most influential singers of all time Mr. Donny Hathaway. This video was recorded during a recent impromptu jam session with R.E.D. Soul Film in one take. Check it out and you'll understand how RELL was able to take me back to sitting in a movie theater in 1976 watching Sparkle.

Stay up to date about what RELL is up to. Join RELL on Facebook.

New Music :: DJ Kemit - Everlasting

On July 31st a new and exciting release from Atlanta's own, Grammy-nominated DJ/Producer DJ Kemit, hits stores worldwide. Everlasting hits the mark for those looking for a soulful house excursion with a nice pinch of contemporary soul and cosmic/funk/jazz sprinkled in. It's been quite some time since we've heard a soulful house album that boasts a who's who of contemporary artists that we've come to know and love over the years. DJ Kemit does an excellent job bridging the gap between a range of artists and styles for this album. Kemit's ear for quality and talent is what helps make Everlasting this summer's most anticipated release. It has range but yet it's still very cohesive and dancefloor ready. If you've ever experienced Spread Love, one of DJ Kemit's monthly music/art/dance events in Atlanta, then you understand what I mean by dancefloor ready. Everlasting will burn up the dancefloor but is laid back and soulful enough for the lounge with something a little edgy added for your eclectic side and something groovy for your cosmic/funk/jazz side. Everlasting has been highly anticipated all summer and is here just in time to make your summer playlist! You can expect wonderful contributions from some of our favorites like Lady Alma, Carl McIntosh (Loose Ends), Osunlade, Choklate, Eric Roberson, Jean Baylor (Zhane), Mykel, Frank McComb, Terrance Downs, Kev Choice, N'Dambi, Craig Love and Sepesenahki.

DJ Kemit - Funky 8Ball featuring Frank McComb

DJ Kemit - Funky 8Ball featuring Frank McComb by BamaLoveSoul

Spread the Word about DJ Kemit - Everlasting the album and Spread Love by purchasing DJ Kemit - Everlasting the album. Visit your favorite music retailer on or offline. Atlanta you know Moods Music has you covered!

Follow DJ Kemit on Twitter

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Artist, Producer Ahmed Sirour Unleashes "The RE:Mixtape" Compiled and Mixed by DJ Tailwind Turner

It's Summer time and Skoolwerk Apparel teams up with artist, musician, composer, producer, remixer Ahmed Sirour for the perfect music & t-shirt collaboration! Ahmed Sirour is fast making a name for himself worldwide as an accomplished self-taught pianist with the release of his first full length, self-produced LP entitled The After 2AM Sessions LP. Ahmed's full length debut, a love themed collection of original romantic, erotic and spirtual compositions, has garnered rave reviews and continues to take the breath away from new fans and his already existing fans alike. When Ahmed is not composing his own compositions he is busy collaborating and remixing countless recordings of many major as well as legendary artists including The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Bill Summers, John Legend & The Roots, Lalah Hathaway, Little Dragon, Robert Glasper, Eric Roberson, DJ Spinna, DJ Kemit, Yahzarah, Cleveland Jones, Teri Tobin, and Lenora Jaye to name a few. Ahmed's original productions have also been featured on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Bubblers 7 compilation and the new BamaLoveSoul On Deck compilation.

As part of the Skoolwerk Apparel music and t-shirt collaboration Ahmed Sirour released The Ahmed Sirour RE:Mixtape, a continuous mix compiled from his catalog of remixes, productions and co-productions over the last two years. The RE:Mixtape is over an hour of continous music and is FREE with the purchase of his special edition After 2AM Sessions LP T-Shirt by Skoolwerk Apparel. As a special treat The Ahmed Sirour RE:Mixtape is compiled and mixed by DJ Tailwind Turner. For those who don't know, DJ Tailwind Turner is also film and television actor Dorian Missick, who since 1990, has acted in over 40 film and television projects. On the big screen Dorian Missick's film credits include Two Weeks Notice, Lucky Number Slevin, Manchurian Candidate, Bounty Hunter, Rachel Getting Married and most recently Mooz-lum as Professor Jamal, just to name a few. On the small screen Dorian can be seen most recently on the TNT network TV series Southland as Det. Ruben Robinson, the partner of Det. Lydia Adams played by actress Regina King.

With the purchase of The After 2AM Sessions LP Special Edition T-Shirt you'll receive an immediate download code for the FREE DJ Tailwind Turner compiled and mixed Ahmed Sirour - The RE-Mixtape featuring virtually every remix Ahmed Sirour has released over the last 2 years!

Check out the 5 minute preview of The Ahmed Sirour RE:Mixtape compiled & mixed by DJ Tailwind Turner below:

Visit Skoolwerk Apparel to order your Ahmed Sirour After 2AM Sessions LP Special Edition T-Shirt today!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Digital Under:Ground :: Alexis Davis Project (Replife, Mecca:83, Spinnerty , Simon S) - 3

Just a few weeks ago we introduced the single The Lift by a fresh new hip hop collective, the Alexis Davis Project, comprised of DJ/Producers Mecca:83, Simon S, Spinnerty, and MC Replife. This weekend Alexis Davis Project released their much anticipated EP entitled 3.

Two countries. Two time zones. Three DJ/producers. One MC. The group Alexis Davis is not all about simple mathematics. It is a collaboration of four fans of one another’s music that decided to come together at a time when coming together is of the essence.

But the group is about more than it’s members. Musically, Alexis Davis is about break beats, scratches, cuts, and samples; and all of these elements are served with a fresh jazz sensibility and an aperitif of what has been labeled future music.

The 6 track EP is available digitally and as a limited edition CD. Alexis Davis Project is history in the making and this is only the beginning....Purchase your preferred format using the bandcamp link below.

3 | Alexis Davis Project Bandcamp

Tall Black Guy Presents...Tempo Dreams Vol. 1

From humble origins in Detroit, raised on a healthy diet of Motown, Jazz, and Early Hip-Hop – Terrel Wallace (aka Tall Black Guy) has been steadily building a massive online following through a steady stream of productions filled with incredibly clever sample flips and deft production chops - being championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson (who included him on the latest Brownswood Bubblers album), Lefto, Anthony Valadez, and countless others - as well as recently being named the winner of the Robert Glasper Remix competition.

After making a connection and releasing a series of sold-out Tall Black Guy 7-inches through their BSTRD Boots sublabel, Brooklyn’s Bastard Jazz Recordings set their sights on a proper full-length release with Tall Black Guy. It became evident that Terrel was not only an incredible producer and collector of sounds past – but was also a connoisseur of a whole new generation of beatmakers. This group of international producers remain mostly unknown to a larger audience, and continue to bubble and simmer just under the surface. With a gentle nod towards the groundbreaking Headz compilations on Mo’ Wax that inspired the label’s beginnings 10 years ago, Bastard Jazz founder DJ DRM asked TBG to compile an album with 11 of his favorite joints from this tidepool of contemporaries. Countless nights of rapid ear movements later, and with an added touch from the tall one himself, the set is primed for release as: Tempo Dreams Vol. 1.

Things kick off appropriately enough with French producer Teru’s “Time to Reinvent” – a summer-y joint filled with lazy keys, stuttering drums and delayed effects. Chicago duo and recent Plug Research signing Tensei make an appearance with the tropical cosmic vibes of “Space Colony”, while Australia’s Jeriko Jackson delivers the incredibly smooth “Only Just” with its ghostly vocals and flowing keys. Things move a little towards the uptempo side as Brussels based beatmakers Monkeyrobot deliver “Basement Infusion”, a deep slithering piece of bass-quaking of future-House, while Pittsburgh’s Buscrates adds a shimmering edge with “Horizons”. Ta-Ku (Project Mooncircle, Brownswood) comes with the nostalgic vibe-out styling of “Smile”, while Tall Black Guy himself gives us the drum-centric journey that is “Sparkling Adventure”. Atlanta-based producer Applejac makes an appearance under his Shecky’s Jazzy Tofu pseudonym covering Roy Ayer’s “Butterfly” in a beautiful New School meets the Old kind of way, perfectly rounding off the album. Other artists included on the album include Switzerland’s Chief, Hong Kong’s FloydCheung, Detroit’s Doc Illingsworth, and Evil Needle from France – a collection of the finest beatmakers you’ve never heard!

Preview the album on this exclusive Youtube trailer below and purchase your CD, Vinyl or Digi version HERE

Tall Black Guy presents...Tempo Dreams Vol. 1 by bastardjazz

Follow Tall Black Guy On Twitter

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Filmwerk :: FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade - (The Story Of A Movement)

FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade - (The Story Of A Movement) is a crucial documentary that chronicles the evolution of Atlanta's FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival, a music and artistic renaissance movement born out of Atlanta’s diverse musical and cultural arts heritage. FunkJazz Kafé was officially established in 1994 and ran until 2004 with a special JFK finale in 2007. The documentary celebrates a 10 year legacy of Atlanta's premier multimedia music and arts festival. The film covers the decade when Atlanta’s underground music scene became established on the world stage and a new generation of soul singers and musicians emerged.

Jason Orr, the creator and founder of FunkJazz Kafé and the producer and director of the documentary has been screening the film across the country since it's screening debut at the Atlanta National Black Arts Festival in 2011. Upcoming 2012 screenings include Detroit July 28 and Philly August 4.

The film is narrated by hip hop icon Chuck D and includes appearances and perspectives from such cultural icons as Cornel West, Dick Gregory, N'Dea Davenport, Kevin Powell, Erykah Badu, Cee Lo Green, Eric Roberson, Sticman of Dead Prez, Larry Mizell, Dallas Austin, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli and many more.

Visit the FunkJazz Kafé website for screening cities near you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Digital Under:Ground :: Amma Whatt - MAYBE

It's a beautiful thing when you discover an artist via another project that you're checking out. I was checking out the new album by Jarrard Anthony entitled Ready To Live when a new name and a sweet voice jumped out at me. But it wasn't until a week later that I was made aware, by my good friend DJ Conscience, that Amma Whatt had her own material available via her bandcamp page.

Fusing sounds of R&B, hip-hop, acoustic-alternative, and world music, MAYBE is a collection of songs expressing where we often find ourselves in the cycles of love, relationships, and new beginnings. Amma Whatt also takes this opportunity to let you in on her writing process and collaborative sessions.

Guests on this project include Monet, VINX, Akil Dasan, Nicholas Ryan Gant, and Shawn Lucas. MAYBE also includes co-writes by Tubby Love and VINX, production by H2o Productions, and beat-box production by Akil Dasan.

This mainly acoustic EP, is just a preview of what's to come from Amma Whatt. She plans to release her full LP in 2013. For now you can support her efforts by purchasing this amazing EP and letting your music loving friends know about Amma Whatt. CLICK HERE to purchase the 6 song EP MAYBE. We know you'll love it as much as we do so SPREAD THE WORD!

Never Forgotten: Phyllis Hyman - The Goddess by Detrel Howell

On July 6, 2012 the world will be taking some time to remember the late, great Phyllis Hyman as she would have turned 63 years-old. OTV is proud to share The Inner Soul thoughts of music tastemaker, publicist and 'SoulMusiqLuva' Detrel Trelly Howell as she remembers "The Goddess" in her own deeply personal, heartfelt words. Phyllis Hyman was and still is loved and adored by so many fans worldwide. We appreciate Detrel for sharing her thoughts and feelings about one of our favorite Iconic Soul Ladies.

CLICK HERE to read Never Forgotten: Phyllis Hyman - The Goddess by Detrel Howell for The Inner Soul

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Digital Under:Ground :: BamaLoveSoul Presents "On Deck"

This Is It! The 1st Official BamaLoveSoul.com compilation and hopefully the 1st of many, many more. We've heard quite a bit from DJ Rahdu and the BLS Crew over the past few years as they have been "Decreaseing Our HardDrive Space Since 2008" supplying the freshest exclusive music downloads and content for everything from soul to hip hop to jazz and rare grooves. If there is any music or any exclusive that can be got then you can be sure the BLS Crew is pushing it out to their legion of loyal blog followers and music lovers worldwide. Over the years DJ Rahdu has become one of the leading tastemaker/DJs when it comes to soul, hip hop and quality gems. With the release of BamaLoveSoul Presents On Deck the internet has been all a blaze and for good reason. This stellar compilation features vocal and instrumental tracks ranging from jazzy soul to funky broken beat and even spoken word. The artists and musicians selected for the album are from around the globe checking in from Alabama to Austria.

BamaLoveSoul Presents On Deck is a well crafted, nicely packaged compilation featuring new, unreleased music from Ahmed Sirour, Byron The Aquarius, Diggs Duke, Freddie Joachim, Mr. Bird, Nicholas Ryan Gant, Soia, Ta-Ku, Tall Black Guy and Xolisa. What makes this compilation even more special, other than featuring the hottest exclusive music of the summer? BamaLoveSoul.com offers 3 different purchase formats: instant Download, limited edition CD or limited edition Vinyl. So now you have no excuse for not adding BamaLoveSoul Presents On Deck to your collection one way or another. You can order your preferred format RIGHT HERE

"I love this CD!" - D-Nice (Moods Music /Atlanta, Ga)

Order your preferred format Digi/CD/Vinyl by visiting BamaLoveSoul's Band Camp Page

Digital Under:Ground :: Alexis Davis (Replife, Mecca:83, Spinnerty, Simon S) - "The Lift"

Two countries. Two time zones. Three DJ/producers. One MC. The group Alexis Davis is not all about simple mathematics. It is a collaboration of four fans of one another’s music that decided to come together at a time when coming together is of the essence. Alexis Davis are: DJ/Producers Mecca:83, Simon S, Spinnerty, and MC Replife.

But the group is about more than it’s members. Musically, Alexis Davis is about break beats, scratches, cuts, and samples; and all of these elements are served with a fresh jazz sensibility and an aperitif of what has been labeled future music. Alexis Davis are now proud to present their debut single The Lift, taken from their forthcoming Project "3" (set for release 13th July). A hazy blend of beat scene and jazz-hop influences, meshed with Replife's signature narrative style: consider this a taste of what is to come.

This is only the beginning.....

GRAB A FREE DOWNLOAD AND SPREAD THE WORD!

Digital Under:Ground :: ELECTRIC CONVERSATION - "FLY AWAY"

It may be 5 years since the Parisian quartet's debut album Communication was released to great critical acclaim from the likes of Gilles Peterson, Jay Scarlett, Geology, but the collective members of Electric Conversation have been far from quiet in the intervening years.

From La Note's vocals gracing much hyped releases by the likes of Blue Daisy and Jazz Liberatorz to As Valet's solo album Primitive on the Japanese Moamoo/ArtUnion label and notable gigs for the group alongside the likes of Taylor McFerrin and 4Hero, Electric Conversation have continued to tread their own path blending a kaleidoscope of influences into their own unique brand of Future Soul.

Futuristica Music are now proud to present the group's new single Fly Away. Aesthecially picking up where Communication left off, Fly Away blends melodic songwriting with elements of broken beat, electronica and beat scene influences into an auditory trip that only Electric Conversation are capable of. This is future music of the highest calibre.

Fly Away is available June 29 exclusively via the Futuristica Music Bandcamp (iTunes to follow in July). Consider this release the warning shot prior to the new Electric Conversation full length later in 2012.

01. Fly Away

02. Fly Away - Simon S Extended Edit

03. Au Fil Du Rthyme

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jarrard Anthony - "Ready To Live" - Out Now!

Every once in a while an indie soul album will come along that totally blows me away! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect from Ready To Live. All I knew was that I wanted to press play, sit back and listen to a full album without having to skip songs. Didn't want to have to 'cherry pick' songs from the project and make my own EP. Too many potentially good albums are, in my opinion, ruined when there is no fluidity to the album. I consider myself a professional listener (everybody can't be an artist) so I know 'filler' songs when I hear it.

Well, this is not the case with Ready To Live, the new album by singer/songwriter/musician and Richmond, Virginia native Jarrard Anthony. I knew from the first song, Lucky Day, that it was indeed my 'lucky day' to have been blessed with this amazing new album. I could feel that I was in store for a smooth, soulful excursion with a nice pinch of jazz sprinkled in. Jarrard Anthony has been working the scene for several years but this may very well be his break out release. Ready To Live is contemporary soul at its finest and Jarrard Anthony's voice is warm and enticing with just enough soulful depth on every song to make this album an instant classic. None of the songs on the album feel forced or out of place making Ready To Live a genuine, must have album and a totally satisfying listening experience.

Ready To Live also boasts some very talented artists and legendary musicians that step in to round out the album. Lucky Day features New York-based pianist, composer, and bandleader Onaje Allan Gumbs (Norman Connors, Roy Ayers, Phyllis Hyman) and I Love You features Richmond, Virginia native and legendary jazz keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. I Love You is a cover and tribute to the late, great jazz-funk pianist/composer/playwright and Hampton, Virginian Weldon Irvine and also features native Virginian singer Patrice Covington and New York-based flutist Monet. Other wonderful talents that grace Ready To Live are Amer Amen, Amma Whatt, Darien, Eric Roberson, Jon Bibbs and Wildman.

Going forward I consider this album a blueprint for indie contemporary soul albums. Listen and you'll understand.

Download a nicely priced MP3 version of Ready To Live from the On The Verge Music Store powered by Amazon

Purchase a nicely priced physical CD of Ready To Live from Dusty Groove

Jarrard Anthony Official Website

Jarrard Anthony on Twitter

Monday, June 11, 2012

Visioneers - "Hipology" produced by Marc Mac

HIP.OL.OGY

A COLLAGE OR MONTAGE OF ELEMENTS, EVENTS, MUSIC AND FASHION THAT MAKE UP AN INDIVIDUALS PERSONAL INTERPRETATION OF HIP HOP CULTURE.

Since the late 80s Londoner Marc Mac has been converting audiences with his sophisticated take on urban soul. A hybrid concoction of breakbeat, nu-jazz, neo soul, drum and bass, and Hip Hop, its a polished sound plugged directly into the emotional highway of 21st century city living. Working under a variety of guises, his prodigious output includes his work as one half of 4hero, Visioneers, Natures Plan and Nu Era. In the late 90‘s Marc signed to Gilles Peterson’s Talking Loud Records with 4hero. 4hero went on to produce two classic albums with Talkin Loud icluding the award winning Two Pages & Creating Patterns they then set up their own label where the critically acclaimed Play With The Changes was released. Somewhere in this timeline, between producing music for Jill Scott to Roy Ayers, Phonte to Terry Callier, Marc started another project called Visioneers releasing a set of limited 7” singles getting the attention from top eclectic DJ’s including Jazzy Jeff, Kenny Dope, Gilles Peterson & Norman Jay. Visioneers was then picked up by BBE records who released the debut album Dirty Old Hip Hop.

While recording this new Visioneers record, Marc Mac began thinking how hip-hop had been a (sometimes invisible) guiding hand in his life. “The music, the fashion and culture. Although producing all kinds of music from jungle to jazz, hip-hop (or at least what is was) has always been a part of what I do in some strange and sometimes very subtle way.” Documenting this influence on Hipology.org, his very own digital scrapbook (that has also spawned the record of the same title), it’s easy to see the depth of Marc Mac’s appreciation of hip-hop. HIPOLOGY; the album includes hand picked guest John Robinson, Notes To Self, TRAC & Baron alongside some featured musicians Luke Parkhouse, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra & The Support Horns. The result is a real cool, funky eclectic mix of breaks, beats, soul/jazz and freaky squeaks and not a sampler in sight.

“I can’t paint a picture with one color I need to play with them all. Music is the same for me, how can I produce or DJ one style of music? I got to play with them all.” Marc Mac (4 Hero, Visioneers, BBE).

Visit http://hipology.org for more info on Marc Mac's Hipology project.

101 Apparel Presents Marc Mac "Hipology" - 12 min sampler by 101 Apparel

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Digital Under:Ground :: Marc Mac's Disco Crates Mix

Marc Mac presents 60 minutes of funky, jazzy disco grooves exclusively for Laid Back Radio. The mix looks back on the era when Disco & early Hip Hop co-existed; when breakers & fly dancers would hit the dance floor as the DJ spun their favorite breakdowns or a fly Disco groove, while the MC rocked the mic for a short burst to keep the party live and fresh. Get ready to blast off as Marc Mac digs deep into his over-flowing disco crates to drop 60 minutes worth of classic disco gems and rarities!

Marc Mac's output includes his work as one half of 4hero, Visioneers, Natures Plan and Nu Era; plus productions for Jill Scott to Roy Ayers, Phonte to Terry Callier. After Visioneers' debut album “Dirty Old Hip Hop” (2006), BBE records releases Marc Mac's new album under the Visioneers moniker "HIPOLOGY" (2012).

Mix courtesy of @laidbackradio