Monday, December 31, 2007


Patti Austin has received a Grammy nomination for her live big-band project Avant-Gerswhin, which celebrates the music of the revered American songwriter George Gershwin. Other jazz nominees include Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber, Brian Bromberg, Kirk Whalum, Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, Michael Buble, and the late Michael Brecker.

Dave Koz received nomination in two categories. He received a nomination for best pop instrumental album and the track “Over The Rainbow” from his album At The Movies and earning a best pop instrumental nomination. Kirk Whalum and Spyro Gyra also compete in the best pop instrumental album category against Dave Koz with Roundtrip and Good To Go-Go, respectively. The category also includes a nomination for trumpeter Chris Botti's Italia. Spyro Gyra is also a double nominee, going against Koz again in the best instrumental performance category with the track "Simple Pleasures."

Nomination for best contemporary jazz album went to Jeff Lorber for He Had A Hat; Brian Bromberg for Downright Upright; and Herbie Hankcock for River: The Joni Letters, which also received an album of the year nomination for Hancock. The late Michael Brecker was nominated in the best jazz instrumental solo category for a track from his final CD Pilgrimage, which was also nominated as the best jazz instrumental album

Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, who reunited and released So Good this year, received a nomination in the traditional R&B vocal performance race with their track "All Night Long." Singer Michael Buble's Call Me Irresponsible received a nomination in the traditional pop vocal category against Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Bette Midler, and Queen Latifah's Trav'lin' Light.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Marvin Gaye's 1978 album "Here, My Dear," will be reissued in expanded form Jan. 15 via Disc one of the project includes a remastered version of the original album plus a new mix of "Ain't It Funny (How Things Turn Around)" by Bootsy Collins. The second disc offers a resequencing of "Here, My Dear" comprised of Gaye's demo vocals and unused instrumental tracks from the period. Contributors on the album include Mocean Worker, Easy Mo Bee, Leon Ware and Salaam Remi.


Gloria Gaynor appears at the Carnival Center For The Performing Art at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami on March 22, 2008.

Veteran R&B artist Keith Sweat will release his first album in over five years, Just Me, March 18 as the first in a new deal with Rhino's Atco label. The first single is Suga Suga Suga.

Lalah Hathaway will be featured on Marcus, the forthcoming CD by Grammy-winning Marcus Miller. It will be released in the U.S. this February. The project had been previously released in the U.K. and Japan under the title Free. Hathaway is already working on her next CD, which is tentatively titled Self Portrait for a spring 2008 release on the Stax label.

Keyboardist and producer George Duke has signed a recording and distribution agreement with Heads Up International for his next CD release, due sometime in the fall of 2008.

The Wailers will perform the following concerts: December 30 at Fillmore in Denver CO, and December 31 at The Klein in Bridgeport CT.

Billy Joel is currently on the road and will perform the following concerts during 2008: February 26 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento CA, February 28 at Pepsi Center in Denver CO, and March 2 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee WI.

Kenny G’s debut CD for Concord, Rhythm And Romance, is scheduled for release in February.

Marcus Johnson’s new release is titled, The Phoenix, and its out now on Three Keys Music. The new release includes several romantics ballads featuring guest vocalists Jarian Felton on Raheem DeVaughn’s “Believe,” and Frank McComb on “Love.”


Ornette Coleman will perform the following concerts:
February 5 @ Arlene Schnitzer Hall, Portland OR
February 17 @ Chan Centre, Vancouver BC
February 22 @ Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington New Zealand
February 28 @ International Arts Festival, Hong Kong China.
February 29 @ International Arts Festival, Hong Kong China


Legendary songwriting and production team Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, widely renowned as the architects of the classic Philly soul sound, will be inducted into the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a presentation of the highly prestigious "Ahmet Ertegun Award." The Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling duo are responsible for one of the most recognizable and influential catalogs of pop and soul music ever recorded: 70 #1 Pop and R&B singles, 175 RIAA Gold, Platinum and multi- platinum certifications, five Grammys including the Recording Academy's Trustees Award and more than 3,500 songs produced to date. The Gamble & Huff signature sound is internationally recognized as "The Sound of Philadelphia" with a Gamble & Huff song being played somewhere in the world every 13.5 minutes.

Comments Gamble & Huff: "We are extremely happy and appreciative of this honor. We have always wanted to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and wholeheartedly thank the foundation for this prestigious induction. We are especially excited about being the first inductees under the newly named Ahmet Ertegun Award. Moreover, the timing couldn't be better as we celebrate a 45-year creative vision that has impacted people and music all over the world including the music of Rock and Roll."

Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Daft Punk, Michael Buble, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Outkast and Bette Midler are just a few of the top artists who have sampled or covered the Gamble & Huff song catalog. Gamble & Huff's instantly recognizable tunes and influential lyrics are a favorite among advertising agencies, music production houses, commercials, motion pictures and television sitcoms. They also have one of the most sought after sought-after pop and soul catalogs in the world.

Their Philadelphia International Records label built a solid stable of talent including Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Archie Bell and the Drells, Billy Paul and the Three Degrees to name a few. PIR recordings reached the top of the charts from day one, at one point selling more than 10 million records in a nine- month period with hits such as Billy Paul's "Me & Mrs. Jones," a Grammy winning #1 Pop and R&B hit; Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now," a popular track also covered by UK group Simply Red; The O'Jay's "Love Train" and "Backstabbers" among others.

An historic new agreement was announced last August in which the complete Philadelphia International Catalog of music has been licensed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment to be released through its Commercial Music Group and Legacy Recordings.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Van Morrison and Exile Productions in association with Polydor/UMe are pleased to announce the worldwide release of Van Morrison's back catalog beginning in January 2008. This worldwide exclusive reissue program covers 29 albums from 1971's "Tupelo Honey" through 2002's "Down The Road," and also includes the 1997 2-CD collection "The Story of Them." All of the albums have been remastered and each will include bonus material, none of which has been previously available. Additionally, each album will feature its original artwork and include complete lyrics to Morrison's compositions.

The first series of 6 albums will be released on January 29, 2008, followed by three additional release dates with the remaining titles. The first set in January includes:"Tupelo Honey" "It's Too Late To Stop Now" "Wavelength" "A Sense Of Wonder" "Avalon Sunset""Back On Top" The bonus recordings are of particular interest since this is the first time Morrison has authorized any unreleased material since "The Philosopher's Stone" in 1998. Each album will include exclusive, unreleased recordings from their respective time period -- giving a unique insight into some of his most revered songs.

The bonus content for the initial titles can be seen below:

"Tupelo Honey," 1971 -- "Wild Night" (alternative take) and a reworking of the traditional "Down By The Riverside"

"It's Too Late To Stop Now," 1974 -- a live take on "Brown Eyed Girl"

"Wavelength," 1978 -- "Kingdom Hall" and "Wavelength" (Live at the RoxyTheatre, L.A., Nov 26, 1978)

"A Sense Of Wonder," 1984 -- "Crazy Jane On God" and "A Sense Of Wonder"(alternative takes)

"Avalon Sunset," 1989 -- "Whenever God Shines His Light" (alternative take)and "When The Saints Go Marching In" (with additional lyrics by Van Morrison)

"Back On Top," 1999 -- "Philosopher's Stone" (alternative take) and "ValleyOf Tears" (a completely new arrangement of the Fats Domino song)

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Here’s a great new release from Ayo, whose name translates to "joy" inYoruba, is the daughter of a Nigerian father and a gypsy Romanian mother.Raised in Germany, Ayo's rich cultural background inspired her to listen toher father's diverse collection of Donnie Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff, Fela Kutiand Pink Floyd. On Joyful, she strives to naturally and sincerely share herstories and touch others, boosted solely by her life experience and dreams."Down On My Knees" rests upon a cool reggae rhythm, a simple folk melodyand elegant production with a voice that is 100% soul singing, crying outits love, nothing more. "If people interpret something else, hidden betweenthe lines, by all means, they're free to do so," Ayo insinuates. Laced withHispanic undertones and a hint of Caribbean spice, "And It's Supposed To BeLove" is Ayo's only cover taken from the repertoire of jazz singer AbbeyLincoln. Straightaway, "Help Is Coming" has a rhythmic style with elementsof rock and reggae, belying its emotional nature as a ballad. For fans ofany type of music, it is an immense joy to hear Ayo, but it is an absolutedelight for followers of Corinne Bailey Rae, India.Arie, and Angie Stone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Patti Austin has received a Grammy nomination for her live big-band project Avant-Gerswhin, which celebrates the music of the revered American songwriter George Gershwin. Other jazz nominees include Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber, Brian Bromberg, Kirk Whalum, Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, Michael Buble, and the late Michael Brecker.

Dave Koz received nomination in two categories. He received a nomination for best pop instrumental album and the track “Over The Rainbow” from his album At The Movies and earning a best pop instrumental nomination. Kirk Whalum and Spyro Gyra also compete in the best pop instrumental album category against Dave Koz with Roundtrip and Good To Go-Go, respectively. The category also includes a nomination for trumpeter Chris Botti's Italia. Spyro Gyra is also a double nominee, going against Koz again in the best instrumental performance category with the track "Simple Pleasures."

Nomination for best contemporary jazz album went to Jeff Lorber for He Had A Hat; Brian Bromberg for Downright Upright; and Herbie Hankcock for River: The Joni Letters, which also received an album of the year nomination for Hancock. The late Michael Brecker was nominated in the best jazz instrumental solo category for a track from his final CD Pilgrimage, which was also nominated as the best jazz instrumental album

Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, who reunited and released So Good this year, received a nomination in the traditional R&B vocal performance race with their track "All Night Long." Singer Michael Buble's Call Me Irresponsible received a nomination in the traditional pop vocal category against Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Bette Midler, and Queen Latifah's Trav'lin' Light.


Racquel Roberts is a female vocalist with a technique acquired through years of practice at the top level of musical theatre on Broadway and international stages. All of that experience reaches its fruition on her latest release The Secret of Christmas.

On The Secret of Christmas, Racquel took traditional holiday arrangements and transformed them by composing her own bright and spirited musical interpretations with the help of Los Angeles jazz composer Nick Mancini.

Racquel has been singing since her older sister introduced her to music as a child. While in college at UC Irvine in 1999, she auditioned for the Broadway musical Rent which led to several years performing on stage around the world with Rent, Hairspray, and The Lion King. Throughout those great experiences, Racquel has learned more than she could have ever imagined about the business and along the way, it has established her as a legitimate voice in the independent music business and on stage.

The Secret of Christmas takes what you would expect from a holiday album and turns it upside down, in a refreshing and pleasing way. Holiday music lifts the spirit and everyone has his or her yearly favorites however, how many Christmas albums that are in your collection could you play all year and enjoy? Few recordings have that kind of versatility and appeal.

The Secret of Christmas draws from the foundations of jazz and dips into the well of the blues, rhythm and blues, funk, and pop. Racquel Roberts is true to her heart and turns out an outstanding overall recording, that will touch your soul, enliven your spirit and renew your faith in humankind, and most importantly will make you move to the beat and inspire you to dance. The originality and feeling of these recordings touches upon the true meaning of Christmas and you realize that the secret to unlocking what it all means is inside you. Great music and words can help to bring the truth to light.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Chris Standring has just finished work on his brand new album entitle “Love & Paragraphs.” It’s scheduled for release in January. Chris is releasing this on his own record label - Ultimate Vibe Recordings. He’s contracted for a joint venture with The Artizen Music Group (Rick Braun & Richard' Elliot’s label) which enables him to have national distribution through Ryko. Speaking of Rick Braun and Richard Elliot, Chris Standring has co-written a song with them called "R n R", the first single from their new album of the same name. The song is a huge hit on the smooth jazz radio and was recently charted at number one for the eighth week running.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The Groove Boutique has been featuring tracks from Randy Muller Boom Chang Bang’s Groovin’ U CD. Here’s what has to say about Randy Muller: “…an artist we know from his great work with larger horns in ‘70’s soul, but who steps out nicely here on his own! The album focuses on Randy’s own work on funky flute, and features some really great grooves with a sweetly jazzy style! Given Muller’s pedigree in classic club, the rhythms here are a lot better than you’d hear on similar albums of this nature, never too smooth, nor too polished, always nicely chunky, and often a but funky – a perfect setting for Randy sweetly gliding solos on flute! Most titles are instrumental, but there were a bit of vocals on the record too – and titles include “Magic”, “Call Me”, ‘Always And Forever”, “Westchester Nights”, ‘Devotion”, “Hello”, “Bala”, and “Easy Luv”.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here’s a brand new release from the crooner who has continued to tour and record since he first came onto the scene five decades ago. His newest CD, I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up features 12 new recording including “The Shadow of Your Smile” (with Chris Botti), “Desperado”, “She’s The One”, “One Sweet Day”, and more. Very few artists could claim to have had hits spanning several decades, but Andy Williams has managed to remain consistently popular with music fans of all ages due to his silky smooth vocals and smooth jazz grooves. He currently appears on a regular basis at his own theatre in Branson, Missouri. The new CD is a collection of the world’s greatest songs.

On the set, Andy pays tribute to some of the most memorable songs ever, including She's The One (Robbie Williams), One Sweet Day (Mariah Carey), Lady In Red (Chris De Burgh), Desperado (The Eagles), and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Neil Sedaka). The album also includes a duet with Chris Botti, one of the leading trumpeters in the world with their take on Sinatra's beautiful The Shadow Of Your Smile.

Recorded in 2006 over a period of 8 months, the album was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, Bratislava in Slovakia, as well as at Andy's Moon River theatre in Branson, Missouri. Williams, who turns 80 this year, possesses one of the most distinct and memorable voices of the entire pop era. This new collection is a must-have for all fans of Andy, as well as all lovers of the musical art of romance.

1. Lady In Red
2. Desperado
3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
4. Have I Told You Lately
5. She’s The One
6. I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up
7. I Don’t Want To Talk About It
8. I’ll Never Break Your Heart
9. The Shadow Of Your Smile (with Chris Botti)
10. Just To See Her
11. One Sweet Day
12. Every Breath You Take
13. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yellowjackets – Peace Round
This one’s a collection of well-known traditional Christmas songs with the kind of contemporary jazz trimmings that only a team like keyboardist Russell Ferrante, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Marcus Baylor can hang. Includes seasonal classics such as “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Hiroshima - The Spirit of the Season
Fueled by the East-meets-West juxtaposition of modern-day synthesizer and traditional Japanese koto, flute, and percussion frequently underscored by exotic world-beat rhythms, this unique holiday recording puts a multicultural spin on some well-known Christmas songs and introduces a few original compositions that are likely to become holiday favorites in the years to come. Among the holiday treats are “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” Little Drummer Boy,” and Irving Berlin’s classic “White Christmas.”

Roberto Perera - Christmas Fantasies

This acclaimed harpist strikes a perfect balance between Latin rhythms and the classic music of Christmas. Seasonal favorites include "Winter Wonderland," incongruously but effectively dressed up in a merengue rhythm, and "The Christmas Song," a hot salsafied version which shows Perera's total affinity with the energy and harmony of the Caribbean. Other selections are regional standards little known and heard outside Latin America such as the classic Venezuelan "Niño Lindo" and "La Peregrinación" of Argentine folklore.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


AIFF – Afro Soul System (Unique/Germany)
Billie Holiday – Rare Live Recordings 1935-1959 (ESP Disk Ltd.)
Birgit Lystager – Birgit Lystager (Disques Dessinee/Japan)
Blossom Dearie – Christmas Spice So Very Nice (Daffodil/Celeste/Japan)
Blue Mitchell – Bantu Village (Blue Note)
Chocolateclay – Chocolateclay (Cat/P-Vine/Japan)
Enrico Simonetti with Goblin – Gamma (Bella Casa/UK)
Ernie Watts – Wonder Bag (Vault/Wounded Bird)
Fascinations – Quiet Dance (High Contast/Japan)
Giorgio Azzolini – Azzolini’s Spanish Portrait (Jazz D’Essai/Commodo Depot/Japan)
Jacy Parker – Spotlight On Jacy Parker (Verve/Japan)
James Brown – The Singles Vol. 4 1966-1967 (Hip-O Select)
Joe Henderson – The Milestone Years (Milestone)
Mark De Clive-Lowe – Journey 2 The Light (Freedom/Japan)
Mathia Landaeus – Goes A Long Way (Moserobie/Sweden)
Maxine Weldon – Chilly Wind (Mainstream/P-Vine/Japan)
Mel Torme – Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley (Verve/Japan)
Miles Davis – Star People (Columbia/France)
Modern Jazz Gang – Miles Before & After (Adventure/Commodo Depot/Japan)
Moon Baker – ABC Of Romance (Supertracks/Netherlands)
Narada Michael Walden – Looking At You Looking At Me (Atlantic)
Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators – Keep Reachin’ Up Remixed (Timmion/UK)
Oscar Pettiford – Deep Passion (ABC/Japan)
Patricia Scot – Once Around The Clock (ABC/Japan)
Pierre Henry – Pierre Henry 8.0 (Universal/France)
Sarah Vaughan – Time In My Life (Mainstream/P-Vine/Japan)
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – 100 Days 100 Nights (Daptone)
Sly Stone – Family Soul Sessions: The Rare 45 RPSs 1963-1966 (Cleopatra)
Stanley Turrentine – Let It Go (Impulse/Japan)
Starvue – Upward Bound (Midwest/P-Vine/Japan)
Timo Lassey – Soul & Jazz Of Timo Lassey (Ricky Trick/Finland)
Tribe Collective – Livin’ In A New Day (Community Projects)
Wyclef Jean – Carnival Vol II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant (Columbia)
Wynton Matsalis – Levee Low Moan – Soul Gestures In Southern Blue Vol 3 (Columbia)

Saturday, December 08, 2007


NEW YORK, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Geffen Records superstar andhit-making songwriter Mary J. Blige, is set to follow-up the mostsuccessful album of her career, the triple platinum "The Breakthrough,"with her eighth (8th) studio CD "Growing Pains" on Tuesday, December 18th,one week before Christmas. "Growing Pains" includes her top ten single "Just Fine" which hasbecome an instant favorite on radio enjoyed by over 20 million listeners."Just Fine" is in heavy rotation on MTV, BET and VH-1, and Mary recentlyshot the video for her second single, "Work That," which is currentlyfeatured in an Apple iPod commercial.

After selling over 40 million CDs and garnering six Grammy Awardsduring her phenomenal 15-year career, Mary is confident that her fans willnot be disappointed with "Growing Pains." "They're going to get a sense ofwhat my state of mind is and how I view the world," she says. "Andhopefully, most of all, they're going to hear just the sincere honesty andlove that I have for them." She adds, "'Growing Pains' represents acceptingthat there's pain that goes along with growing and change. No pain, nogain." "Growing Pains," with Mary co-writing most of the songs on the album,features guest appearances by Ludacris and Usher and production by TheNeptunes, Jazze Pha, Johnta Austin, Neyo, Stargate, Bryan-Michael Cox, Dreand Vidal, Tricky, Dream, and Sean Garrett.

Mary makes her message loud, clear and seriously funky on the firstrelease "Just Fine" produced by Jazze Pha and Tricky and co-written by Maryand Dream. A celebration of life, "Just Fine" gives you Mary fierce, and asthe video shows, glamorous. The song's vibe? "Sometimes it feels likeyou're having this miserable time, like all 365 days of the year are tough.But then, you get one of those days; maybe when your hair is great, oryou're not stuck in traffic; where it's a 'just fine' day. At some point,"Mary laughs, "You've got have one or two of those."

The party and positivity keeps on keeping on with the rump shakingsecond single "Work That." Mary comments, "When I meet a woman who doesn'tknow what to do about her weight or her hair I always say -- 'whatever itis that you have, make that work for you, Work what you got.'" After releasing her bestselling anthology "Reflections" last year,"Growing Pains" is Mary's first CD of new material since "The Breakthrough"debuted at #1 in 2005, selling over 700,000 copies its first week -- thebest opening week for a solo R&B female artist in SoundScan history. Thealbum's first single, "Be Without You," also made chart history by holdingdown the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B charts for a record breaking 16straight weeks; making it the longest-running No. 1 song on the R&B chartin over 40 years.

Mary led all artists with eight 2007 Grammy nominationsfor the landmark album, and she took home honors for Best Female R&B VocalPerformance, Best R&B Song (both for "Be Without You"), and Best R&B Album.After earning three Grammy Awards, she continued her award show dominationby winning nine Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, two BETAwards, two NAACP Image Awards, and a Soul Train Award.

"The Breakthrough"lived up to its name selling over seven million copies worldwide. You can witness the incredible magic of Mary J. Blige on televisionthis week as she performs on "CNN Heroes: All All-Star Tribute" on December6th and "Movies Rock!" on CBS on December 7th (both at 9 PM Eastern time).Mary will also bring in 2008 on New Year's Eve on MTV.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Chris Standring is offering a discount for those who purchase all 5 of his CD’s. He has a 4 CD complete album collection on sale during the month of December for $39.95 (a savings of $40). It includes the albums: Soul Express, Groovalicious, Hip Sway, Velvet and Solar System. If you are looking to purchase these you need to order before December 31. Go to Chris’ website for more information at

Paul Hardcastle’s next release Hardcastle 5 can now be pre-ordered at The site also allows you to preview the first single to be released to radio “Your Smile”. The label is offering the CD at $9.99 while supplies last.

Rafe Gomez will bring his Groove Boutique to The Key Club on Tuesday, December 31 from 6PM to 3AM. You can also expect a performance by The Mix Band featuring Ambrosia. The Key Club is located at 58 Park Place, Newark, New Jersey. Go to for more information.

Giant Step Records is hosting their annual holiday party on December 12 at BLVD. The party will feature an incredible lineup of DJs, including Mr. Scruff, Turntables on the Hudson, Moni, Tyler Askew, DJ Center and Dhundee, plus live performances by Taylor McFerrin, Tiombe Lockhart, Jose James. There will be an open bar with Stolichnaya Vodka from 9PM to 11PM. BLVD is at 199 Bowery in New York City.

This weekend on the Smooth Jazz TV syndicated program look out for Grammy nominee Corinne Bailey Rae, Lee Ritenour, Ivan Linn, and Spyro Gyra. Check your local listings for air times


LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2007) - BETTYE LaVETTE continues her bold ascent with a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album for her CD "THE SCENE OF THE CRIME" (Anti- Records). Joined by the Drive-By Truckers as her backing band, BETTYE's essential new entry into the soul music canon channels more than 40 years of blood, sweat, and shattered dreams into one glorious catharsis.

"I haven't been this happy since 1962 when this whole thing started," declares an elated BETTYE.
It was 35 years ago in Muscle Shoals -- a decade after she scored a top-ten hit with her debut single "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man" -- that BETTYE recorded the career-defining masterpiece that never was: Atlantic Records inexplicably shelved the record. Scarred but not broken, BETTYE persevered as a tireless performer, honing her craft and focusing her heartbreak.

Now "THE SCENE OF THE CRIME" has indisputably become the career-defining masterpiece that is. On the heels of her critically lauded Anti- debut (2005's "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise"), "SCENE" has been garnering nonstop rave reviews -- and not a few rhetorical questions:

NPR asks, "Is there any soul singer who brings more guts, more conviction and more emotion to her singing?" and Entertainment Weekly wonders, "Is there a more wrenching soul singer alive than Bettye LaVette?"
Elsewhere, the praise has been every bit as assertive as BETTYE herself is in redefining cuts like Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Talking Old Soldiers," Willie Nelson's "Somebody Pick Up My Pieces," and Don Henley's "You Don't Know Me At All" on "THE SCENE OF THE CRIME":

"LaVette's nuanced singing evokes prime Tina Turner with even more command," says Rolling Stone. Adds USA Today, "This album...just rips, with some truly sublime peaks. 'The Scene of the Crime' is a smoldering revelation displaying an artist nearly a half century into her career who is only now approaching the peak of her considerable powers," notes Paste. And the All Music Guide: "It gets better with each listen, and stands so far outside the realm of anything her better-known peers are doing today that it's almost scary."

Thursday, December 06, 2007


SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2007) — Nominations for the 50th Annual GRAMMY® Awards were announced today by The Recording Academy® reflecting one of the most diverse years ever with the Album Of The Year category alone representing the country, hip-hop, jazz, pop and rock genres. The press event was held at The Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood and was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives. Artists reading nominations this morning included Akon, Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park), Fergie, Vince Gill, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Jam, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), George Lopez, Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park) and Taylor Swift. The 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," Feb. 10, 2008, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Kanye West tops the nominations with eight, Amy Winehouse garners six, and the Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and T-Pain each earn five nods. Akon, Dierks Bentley, Chris Daughtry, Feist, Tim McGraw, John Newton, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, and Bruce Springsteen receive four each.

"This year's nominations truly reflect a diverse and talented community of artists and creators who represent some of the most exceptional music of the year," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The GRAMMY Awards process once again has yielded a comprehensive group of excellent nominees and coupled with the fact that it's our milestone 50th year, this year's telecast promises music fans a spectacular show filled with stellar performances and unique 'GRAMMY Moments' for which Music's Biggest Night™ has come to be renowned."

Following is a sampling of nominations in 110 categories from the GRAMMY Awards' 31 Fields:

Nominees for Album Of The Year are:
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace — Foo Fighters
These Days — Vince Gill
River: The Joni Letters — Herbie Hancock
Graduation — Kanye West
Back To Black — Amy Winehouse

Nominees for Record Of The Year are:
"Irreplaceable" — Beyoncé
"The Pretender" — Foo Fighters
"Umbrella" — Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z
"What Goes Around…Comes Around" — Justin Timberlake
"Rehab" — Amy Winehouse

Best New Artist nominees are:
Taylor Swift
Amy Winehouse

Song Of The Year nominees include:
"Before He Cheats" — John Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
"Hey There Delilah" — Tom Higgenson, songwriter (Plain White T's)
"Like A Star" — Corinne Bailey Rae, songwriter (Corinne Bailey Rae)
"Rehab" — Amy Winehouse, songwriter (Amy Winehouse)
"Umbrella" — Shawn Carter, Kuk Harrell, Terius "Dream" Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z)

Nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album go to:
Lost Highway — Bon Jovi
The Reminder — Feist
It Won't Be Soon Before Long — Maroon 5
Memory Almost Full — Paul McCartney
Back To Black — Amy Winehouse

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals nods go to:
"Steppin' Out" — Tony Bennett & Christina Aguilera
"Beautiful Liar" — Beyoncé & Shakira
"Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" — Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
"The Sweet Escape" — Gwen Stefani & Akon
"Give It To Me" — Timbaland Featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake

Best Pop Instrumental Performance nominees are:
"Off The Grid" — Beastie Boys
"Paris Sunrise #7" — Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
"Over The Rainbow" — Dave Koz
"One Week Last Summer" — Joni Mitchell
"Simple Pleasures" — Spyro Gyra

For Best Dance Recording, the nominees are:
"Do It Again" — The Chemical Brothers
"D.A.N.C.E." — Justice
"Love Today" — Mika
"Don't Stop The Music" —Rihanna
"Love Stoned/I Think She Knows" — Justin Timberlake

Nominations for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance go to:
"Timebomb" — Beck
"Only Mama Knows" — Paul McCartney
"Our Country" — John Mellencamp
"Radio Nowhere" — Bruce Springsteen
"Come On" — Lucinda Williams

Best Rock Album nominees are:
Daughtry — Daughtry
Revival — John Fogerty
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace — Foo Fighters
Magic — Bruce Springsteen
Sky Blue Sky — Wilco

Nods for Best Rock Song go to:
"Come On" — Lucinda Williams, songwriter (Lucinda Williams)
"Icky Thump" — Jack White, songwriter (The White Stripes)
"It's Not Over" — Chris Daughtry, Gregg Wattenberg, Mark Wilkerson & Brett Young, songwriters (Daughtry)
"The Pretender" — Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel & Chris Shiflett, songwriters (Foo Fighters)
"Radio Nowhere" — Bruce Springsteen, songwriters (Bruce Springsteen)

Nominees for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals are:
"Same Girl" — R. Kelly Featuring Usher
"Disrespectful" — Chaka Khan Featuring Mary J. Blige
"Hate That I Love You" — Rihanna Featuring Ne-Yo
"Baby" — Angie Stone Featuring Betty Wright
"Bartender" — T-Pain Featuring Akon

For Best Contemporary R&B album, the nominees are:
Konvicted — Akon
Just Like You — Keyshia Cole
Fantasia — Fantasia
East Side Story — Emily King
Because Of You — Ne-Yo

Best Urban/Alternative Performance nods go to:
"Make A Baby" — Vikter Duplaix
"That's The Way Of The World" — Dwele
"Daydreamin'" — Lupe Fiasco Featuring Jill Scott
"Fantasy" — Meshell Ndegeocello
"Dream" — Alice Smith

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration nods go to:
"I Wanna Love You" — Akon Featuring Snoop Dogg
"Kiss, Kiss" — Chris Brown & T-Pain
"Let It Go" — Keyshia Cole Featuring Missy Elliott & Lil' Kim
"Umbrella" — Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z
"Good Life" — Kanye West Featuring T-Pain

Nominees for Best Rap Song are:
"Ayo Technology" — N. Hills, Curtis Jackson, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (50 Cent Featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)
"Big Things Poppin' (Do It)" — Clifford Harris & Byron Thomas, songwriters (T.I.)
"Can't Tell Me Nothing" — A. Davis & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West)
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" — Soulja Boy Tell'Em, songwriter (Soulja Boy Tell'Em)
"Good Life" — A. Davis, F. Najm & K. West, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring T-Pain)

For Best Rap Album, the nominees are:
Finding Forever — Common
Kingdom Come — Jay-Z
Hip Hop Is Dead — Nas
T.I. vs T.I.P. — T.I.
Graduation — Kanye West

Nods for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals go to:
"Days Aren't Long Enough" — Steve Earle & Allison Moorer
"Because Of You" — Reba McEntire & Kelly Clarkson
"I Need You" — Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
"Lost Highway" — Willie Nelson & Ray Price
"Oh Love" — Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood

For Best Country Song, the nominees are:
"Before He Cheats" — Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
"Give It Away" — Bill Anderson, Buddy Cannon & Jamey Johnson, songwriters (George Strait)
"I Need You" — Tony Lane & David Lee, songwriters (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
"If You're Reading This" — Tim McGraw, Brad Warren & Brett Warren, songwriters (Tim McGraw)
"Long Trip Alone" — Brett Beavers, Dierks Bentley & Steve Bogard, songwriters (Dierks Bentley)

Nominations for Best Country Album are:
Long Trip Alone — Dierks Bentley
These Days — Vince Gill
Let It Go — Tim McGraw
5th Gear — Brad Paisley
It Just Comes Natural — George Strait

For Best Contemporary Jazz Album, the nominees are:
Party Hats — Will Bernard
Downright Upright — Brian Bromberg
Re-Imagination — Eldar
River: The Joni Letters — Herbie Hancock
He Had A Hat — Jeff Lorber

Nods for Best Jazz Vocal Album go to:
Avant Gershwin — Patti Austin
Red Earth — A Malian Journey — Dee Dee Bridgewater
Music Maestro Please — Freddy Cole
Nightmoves — Kurt Elling
On The Other Side — Tierney Sutton

This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to: Howard Benson, Joe Chiccarelli, Mike Elizondo, Mark Ronson, and Timbaland

In the newly added Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album category, nominations go to: Le Cowboy Creole (Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie), King Cake (Lisa Haley), Live: Á La Blue Moon (Lost Bayou Ramblers), Blues De Musicien (Pine Leaf Boys), Racines (Racines), The La Louisianne Sessions (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars), and Live! Worldwide (Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience).

In the Latin Field, Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album has now been split into two categories. Nominations for Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album are: No Hay Espacio (Black:Guayaba), Adelantando (Jarabe De Palo), Amantes Sunt Amentes (Panda), Kamikaze (Rabanes), Memo Rex Commander Y El Corazón Atómico De La Via Láctea (Zoé). For Best Latin Urban Album, nods go to: E.S.L. (Akwid), El Abayarde Contra-Ataca (Tego Calderón), Residente O Visitante (Calle 13), El Cartel: The Big Boss (Daddy Yankee), and Vacaneria! (Fulanito).

GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 12 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 9, 2008, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.

The 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions and AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Walter C. Miller is producer/director, Tisha Fein is the coordinating producer, and Tzvi Small is supervising producer.


RCA recording artists Foo Fighters and their album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace earned a total of five nominations -- including Album of the Year and Best Rock Album -- at the 50th annual Grammy Awards announcements today in Los Angeles. The Foo Fighters track "The Pretender" is nominated for Record of the Year, Best Hard Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. To date, Foo Fighters have earned four Grammy Awards including two for Best Rock Album for There Is Nothing Left To Lose (2000) and One By One (2003).

19 Recordings/RCA Records group Daughtry and earned four Grammy Award nominations. Daughtry's self-titled No. 1 album (certified 3X platinum) is nominated for Best Rock Album, with the track "Home" nominated for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocals and the track "It's Not Over" nominated for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song.

Carrie Underwood's hit single "Before He Cheats," a track from the 6X platinum album Some Hearts, is nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and for two songwriter awards, Song of the Year and Best Country Song. Carrie, who is already a 4x Grammy winner, is also nominated for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the track "Oh Love," performed with Brad Paisley on his album 5th Gear.

J Records artist Fantasia earned nominations for Best Contemporary R&B Album for her best-selling album Fantasia and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the track "When I See U," also nominated for Best R&B Song
(a songwriters award).

J Records artist Alicia Keys, a nine-time Grammy Award winner, earned two nominations for her song "No One" (which she co-wrote for her album As I Am) as Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and as Best R&B Song (a
songwriters award).

"Candyman," a song by RCA recording artist Christina Aguilera from her album Back to Basics, is nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Christina also picked up a co-nomination with the legendary Tony Bennett in
the category of Best Pop Collaboration With Vocal for their duet on "Steppin' Out With My Baby" from the album Tony Bennett: An American Classic.

East Side Story, the J Records debut album by Emily King, is nominated in the category of Best Contemporary R&B Album. "Guaranteed," composed and performed by Eddie Vedder for the J Records soundtrack Into The Wild, is
nominated for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Tele­vision Or Other Visual Media.

RCA Records recording artist Mark Ronson is nominated for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical for his work on his own release Version among many other nominated recordings including the album Back to Black by Amy
Winehouse and the track "Littlest Things" by Lily Allen.

Special congratulations to these RCA Music Group artists who received Grammy Award nominations for the following recordings:
- Aretha Franklin -- Best Gospel Performance for "Never Gonna Break My Faith" with Mary J. Blige, from the original soundtrack album Bobby.

- Kelly Clarkson -- Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Because of You" (co-written by Kelly Clarkson) with Reba McEntire, from her album Reba Duets.

- Christina Aguilera -- Best Pop Collaboration With Vocal for "Steppin' Out With My Baby" with Tony Bennett, from his album Tony Bennett: An American Classic.

- Carrie Underwood -- Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Oh Love" with Brad Paisley, from his album 5th Gear.

Further congratulations go to:
- Arista recording artist Jennifer Hudson, whose incredible performance contributed to the nomination of "Love You I Do" (composed by Siedah Garrett & Henry Krieger) as Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media, and to the nomination of the Dreamgirls soundtrack for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.

- Howard Benson, nominated for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical for his work on Daughtry among other recordings.

The 50th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on the CBS network beginning at 8:00 pm (ET) on Sunday, February 10, 2008.


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