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By RASHOD D. OLLISON | February 23, 2006
I almost hung up on Roberta Flack. Her assistant, Nicole, left a message on my voice mail at home one recent Thursday afternoon, telling me the pop legend would call that evening about 8:30. And since I'm terrible about checking my home messages, I had no idea to expect the call. Just as I was about to punish a plate of homemade tacos, my phone rings at 8:30 on the dot. Without checking the caller ID, I pick it up and groan. "Hello." Through fuzzy reception, a sweet-voiced woman asks, "May I speak to Roland?"
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By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 8, 2008
Leona Lewis is a pop dream come to life: She has a face and figure the camera loves, and a voice that smoothly soars to mountainous heights. But the British pop singer is mostly ill-served on Spirit, her calculated and ultimately boring debut. The CD's American release was preceded by the No. 1 smash "Bleeding Love," the only song on the album with a pulse. Though the 13 cuts are slick and tuneful, they all sound like weak Mariah Carey knockoffs. And when Lewis isn't jumping up and down the scale with her rangy voice, she sounds a bit tentative interpreting the maudlin lyrics of newfound love and heartbreak.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | February 27, 1992
That Roberta Flack likes to take a "classic" approach to the songs she sings will probably come as no surprise to any of her fans. It hardly matters what kind of song she decides to sing; whether she's applying herself to the folk-song purity of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" or the soulful cadences of "You Make Me Feel Brand New," Flack's sense of how a song should be sung remains the same."
NEWS
December 20, 2007
JOEL DORN, 65 Grammy-winning producer Joel Dorn, a record producer who worked with Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, the Neville Brothers, Herbie Mann, Les McCann, Keith Jarrett and other musicians, has died. Mr. Dorn won back-to-back Grammys for record of the year in 1972 and 1973 for the Roberta Flack hits "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly With His Song."
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | February 27, 1992
That Roberta Flack likes to take a "classic" approach to the songs she sings will probably come as no surprise to any of her fans. It hardly matters what kind of song she decides to sing; whether she's applying herself to the folk-song purity of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" or the soulful cadences of "You Make Me Feel Brand New," Flack's sense of how a song should be sung remains the same."
NEWS
December 20, 2007
JOEL DORN, 65 Grammy-winning producer Joel Dorn, a record producer who worked with Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, the Neville Brothers, Herbie Mann, Les McCann, Keith Jarrett and other musicians, has died. Mr. Dorn won back-to-back Grammys for record of the year in 1972 and 1973 for the Roberta Flack hits "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly With His Song."
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | September 20, 1991
TIMESPACEStevie Nicks (Modern 91711)Greatest hits albums usually aren't a great deal for devoted fans, who end up paying for a set of songs they already have just to hear one or two new ones. But "Timespace," Stevie Nicks' new best-of collection, actually seems to have been assembled with the long-term fan in mind. Sure, it's full of old favorites -- "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Talk to Me," "Rooms on Fire" -- but augments those songs with liner notes in which Nicks explains how each song came to be written, and for whom.
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 8, 2008
Leona Lewis is a pop dream come to life: She has a face and figure the camera loves, and a voice that smoothly soars to mountainous heights. But the British pop singer is mostly ill-served on Spirit, her calculated and ultimately boring debut. The CD's American release was preceded by the No. 1 smash "Bleeding Love," the only song on the album with a pulse. Though the 13 cuts are slick and tuneful, they all sound like weak Mariah Carey knockoffs. And when Lewis isn't jumping up and down the scale with her rangy voice, she sounds a bit tentative interpreting the maudlin lyrics of newfound love and heartbreak.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | May 8, 2003
If you found yourself lost in the sonic richness of those early Luther Vandross albums -- Never Too Much, Forever, For Always, For Love, The Night I Fell in Love and others -- then you felt Marcus Miller. That's right. You felt the man as his thick, rumbling, liquid bass lines buoyed the strings, the horns and Vandross' wondrous voice. For 20 years, Miller was an integral part of his friend's formula. "Luther and I would be in the studio mixing those records," Miller remembers, "and he would be turning up his vocals, and I'm on the other end, turning up the bass.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | March 2, 2006
In the changer this week, we have new albums from a silky-voiced thug crooner, a woefully underrated Baltimore song stylist, a band named after a French TV children's show and a conceited, rough-mouthed female rapper blazing the hip-hop scene. Jaheim, "Ghetto Classics": Last week, this CD, the New Jersey native's third, debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts after selling 152,000 copies during its first week in stores. All three of Jaheim's albums have incorporated the word ghetto in the title.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | March 2, 2006
In the changer this week, we have new albums from a silky-voiced thug crooner, a woefully underrated Baltimore song stylist, a band named after a French TV children's show and a conceited, rough-mouthed female rapper blazing the hip-hop scene. Jaheim, "Ghetto Classics": Last week, this CD, the New Jersey native's third, debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts after selling 152,000 copies during its first week in stores. All three of Jaheim's albums have incorporated the word ghetto in the title.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | February 23, 2006
I almost hung up on Roberta Flack. Her assistant, Nicole, left a message on my voice mail at home one recent Thursday afternoon, telling me the pop legend would call that evening about 8:30. And since I'm terrible about checking my home messages, I had no idea to expect the call. Just as I was about to punish a plate of homemade tacos, my phone rings at 8:30 on the dot. Without checking the caller ID, I pick it up and groan. "Hello." Through fuzzy reception, a sweet-voiced woman asks, "May I speak to Roland?"
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison | June 10, 2004
JUNE IS Black Music Month. President Bush finally got around to "proclaiming" it last year. But let me tell ya: I don't need 30 days designated as a time to recognize the wealth of contributions brothas and sistas have made to American music: the blues, rock, jazz, gospel, R&B, hip-hop. Please! Every day is Black Music Month. Just click on the radio or turn the channel to MTV: Black performers every hour on the hour -- gyrating across the screen, tossing silky weaves, rapping about -- well, nothing really.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | January 22, 2004
She looks like him: round face, full lips, haunting eyes. And when she sings, there's more than a hint of him in her vocal texture -- the honeyed smokiness, the bluesy phrasing. Lalah Hathaway, the oldest daughter of late soul great Donny Hathaway, has been told many times, "You sound just like your daddy." But she doesn't believe it. "All my life people have told me how they have admired my father," says Hathaway, who's calling from her cell phone in a Los Angeles boutique. "Singers I know -- Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, lots of singers -- rank him up there with the top. I think he'd be tickled pink that Justin Timberlake is going around saying, 'Donny Hathaway is my favorite singer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | May 8, 2003
If you found yourself lost in the sonic richness of those early Luther Vandross albums -- Never Too Much, Forever, For Always, For Love, The Night I Fell in Love and others -- then you felt Marcus Miller. That's right. You felt the man as his thick, rumbling, liquid bass lines buoyed the strings, the horns and Vandross' wondrous voice. For 20 years, Miller was an integral part of his friend's formula. "Luther and I would be in the studio mixing those records," Miller remembers, "and he would be turning up his vocals, and I'm on the other end, turning up the bass.
FEATURES
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | November 6, 2002
Going into this year's Grammy Awards, India.Arie felt on top of the world. Her debut album, Acoustic Soul, had earned her a stunning seven nominations -- more than U2 or Alicia Keys -- and her straight-talking lyrics about self-love and appreciating dark skin had made songs such as "Video" and "Brown Skin" popular anthems for millions of women and African-Americans. But on Grammy night in February, Keys ended up being the darling, leaving with five awards while Arie won nothing. Instead of wallowing, Arie picked herself up, dusted off the bitterness and embarked on a journey of re-evaluation, introspection and heartfelt songwriting.
FEATURES
By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF | November 6, 2002
Going into this year's Grammy Awards, India.Arie felt on top of the world. Her debut album, Acoustic Soul, had earned her a stunning seven nominations -- more than U2 or Alicia Keys -- and her straight-talking lyrics about self-love and appreciating dark skin had made songs such as "Video" and "Brown Skin" popular anthems for millions of women and African-Americans. But on Grammy night in February, Keys ended up being the darling, leaving with five awards while Arie won nothing. Instead of wallowing, Arie picked herself up, dusted off the bitterness and embarked on a journey of re-evaluation, introspection and heartfelt songwriting.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | February 27, 1992
That Roberta Flack likes to take a "classic" approach to the songs she sings will probably come as no surprise to any of her fans. It hardly matters what kind of song she decides to sing; whether she's applying herself to the folk-song purity of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" or the soulful cadences of "You Make Me Feel Brand New," Flack's sense of how a song should be sung remains the same."
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