Chaka Khan

Recent Articles

Womack the wise man of romance

Give it up to Bobby Womack, wise as an owl when it comes to romance. When dealing with a woman, nothing beats common sense. In accord with that Old Chinese Proverb, ”Every woman that look good to you, brotha, — don’t matter how fine the gal might be — ain’t necessarily good for you.” Brotha Bobby, a.k.a The Preacher, if his word ain’t all the way gospel, his verse sure gets close. Look. How you gon’ argue with ”I’m Through Trying to Prove my Love to You,” when the man soulfully intones, ”God, if He see that you don’t want something that’s good for you/He take it away and give it to somebody else”? Continue Reading →

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Jeffrey Osborne delivers jazz standards with A Time For Love



Eighties’ heartthrob, master vocalist and a fine songsmith, Jeffrey Osborne has a very special gift for fans, A Time For Love (SSR Records). His newest since 2005’s Yes, I’m Ready,

it’s a winning note on which listeners who’ve always enjoyed this premiere performer will eagerly welcome him back. In addition to Osborne still being in top form, A Time For Love has going for it that he’s reunited with renowned producer-keyboardist-arranger George Duke (Jeffrey Osborne, Stay With Me Tonight, Don’t Stop).  The illustrious combination still gets the job done.  Beautifully. This album is a collection of jazz standards like “The Shadow of Your Smile,” the timeless Nat “King” Cole classic “Nature Boy,” and “What a Wonderful World,” with some pop staples thrown in, i.e., “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” along with the dusty chestnut “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” done as a duet with Chaka Khan.  Most music lovers won’t recognize the name outside longtime readers of liner notes, but a splendid inclusion is bassist Christian McBride who, at one point or another, has accompanied just about everyone under the sun: from Freddie Hubbard to Carly Simon to Queen Latifah and back. Osborne’s captivating baritone is rich as ever, even, in fact, subtler, as he pulls out a palette of shaded colors to give the songs— each of them old as the hills — freshly seductive vitality.  James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” gets a marvelously nuanced reading, starting with its sparse, sweetly arranged intro, which is a tad more upbeat than the original. Continue Reading →

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Cities’ youth hear celebrities’ success stories



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Singer-songwriter Ledisi, nationally syndicated radio talk host Warren BallentineWarren Ballentine, and actress Kim Coles were panelists at the half-day United Negro College Fund “Empower Me Tour” stop in Minneapolis October 13 at Dunwoody College of Technology. Each told a packed auditorium of Twin Cities middle- and high-school students how they overcame personal struggles until they eventually achieved success. Ledisi Anibade Young — her first name is Nigerian and means “to come forth” — was born in New Orleans and left home at age 18, later forming a group named after her middle name in 1995. However, she said initially she wasn’t able to convince record execs, who often told her, “You sound good, but we don’t know what to do with you.”

After opening for Chaka Khan, Ledisi was signed by Verve in 2000, and the twice-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter said she now has four albums to her credit. “I am living my parents’ dream,” she said proudly. Continue Reading →

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Marcus Miller: Musician/composer draws from rich history of working with legends


Marcus Miller has one of world’s most recognizable bass sounds, and he’s bringing that sound to the Dakota for a two-night stint on Sept 11-12. At 53, his impressive musical résumé reads like a who’s who of some of the best talent in the world. We’re talking Luther Vandross, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Take 6, Kenny Garrett, and the list goes on and on. He continues to build on a rich recorded legacy of his own, which now includes a chart-topping new album entitled Renaissance on Concord Records. The CD has 13 tracks and features special guests such as vocalist Gretchen Parlato, New Orleans vocalist/pianist Dr. John and Panamanian salsa star Rubén Blades. It also includes covers of hits by the Jackson Five, War, Janelle Monàe, and Ivan Lins. Continue Reading →

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Recognition of Black women in American film industry still the exception, not the rule


Movies, Media & More

Dwight Hobbes

You really have to wonder whether Black women are ever going to get from the American film industry the break they have long since earned, which is to say it’s gravely doubtful. White men who wield the power don’t show any signs of doing anything of the kind. Nor do White women. Not even the liberated liberal ones who just love to strut around as living breathing examples of social progress and always seem to have a special Black girlfriend on-call to trot out at upscale parties and other see-and-be-seen social events. Black men in the business, they, generally speaking, are just plain sorry when it comes to holding the same door for Black women that they themselves walked through when it was grudgingly opened. Continue Reading →

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