New Michael Jackson trial sees his family take on AEG Live

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Once again Michael Jackson’s later years and death are to be revisited in an LA courtroom, as a jury will hear opening statements in the wrongful death suit brought against concert promotion company AEG Live by Jackson’s family. Read more


Wear your musical heart on your sleeve with Skoolwerk Apparel tees | Style

There's nothing I love more than wearing my musical heart on my sleeve, so to speak. Skoolwerk Apparel is the brand that will allow me to wear my musical influence on a t-shirt.

Based on an idea that was forged in 2009 and came to life in 2011, Skoolwerk describe themselves as being "personal passion for timeless music." Honouring the rich traditions of Soul and Jazz music, this company is one for the music lovers amongst us.

What I love most about the tees is that they are often very simple but use colour and typography to perfectly encapsulate the spirit of the pioneers to whom they most pay homage. A personal favourite of mine is the Quincy Jones piece. Read more


WeSC x RZA: Chambers Headphone Collection | Style


I'd heard a little something about this on the grapevine, however the collaboration has now come to light and you can get your first look at  another line of producer endorsed headphones. RZA, aka Bobby Digital, of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan has put his name (and seal of approval) of this series of headphones manufactured by WeSC. You get his signature and indeed overall co-sign on this range available in a range of colours.

I'll have to check them out and get back to you on how they stack up against similar endorsements, the most popular of all being Beats by Dre, however Quincy Jones also launched his own line recently alongside audio company AKG.

Check the video and available colours after the jump.
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Michael Jackson - Bad (1987) | Return To The Classics

It beggars belief that today will make it two years since Michael Jackson passed. It’s no less shocking even after all this time.

Once in a while I’ll get a hankering to listen to one of the three classic albums he made with Quincy Jones between the late 1970s and late '80s. Recently it was the turn of Bad: an album I’ve dubbed in the past as Michael’s best ‘pop’ album. And it is unabashedly pop.

Having shown signs on Thriller of moving away from the pure funk/soul rhythms of Off the Wall, with Bad Jackson and Jones threw themselves wholeheartedly into the more commercial, synthesised sounds that characterised that particular decade.

There was a noticeable absence of the sweet soul contributions from Brit maestro Rod Temperton with whom Quincy and Michael had made such beautiful music before. No doubt many saw this as selling out to a degree but if they were going to soften their sound, my goodness, Bad was the way to go about it.
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Remembering Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)


Michael Jackson – a name that conjures up many thoughts. Hopefully most of them should be concerned with his phenomenal music career, which eclipses most super stars of our day. 

Go back to 1983, Michael was at the peak of his career, Thriller had just become the biggest selling album of all time. Fast forward to the present day and Thriller is still the biggest selling album of all time and prior to his sad passing in 2009. Put that way, it would appear that very little had changed; well, career–wise anyway. And it is Michael’s career that deserves further exploration.
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Kanye West performs @Mawazine2011 International Music Festival, Morocco [Video]


Among an extensive line-up including Quincy Jones, Earth Wind & Fire, Femi Kuti, Youssou Ndour, Lionel Richie, Julian Marley, Shakira and many, many more international acts from across five continents, Kanye West hit the stage at the 10th annual Mawazine International Music Festival in Rabat, Morocco on Saturday.

Running from May 20-28 this year, the nine-day event celebrates the cultural exchange of "rhythms of the world" - check out the clip below capturing Ye's performance of "Power" and "Jesus Walks."

For more information about the annual Mawazine Festival, visit www.festivalmawazine.ma/.

[via MissInfo]


London A Cappella Festival (Jan 15) | Review


I was beside myself with enthusiasm when I heard about the third annual London A Cappella Festival, curated by the world renowned, multi-Grammy winning, unaccompanied harmony group The Swingles. What a splendid way to kick start 2011; an event dedicated to that element of music closest to my heart: harmonies!

The festival’s grand finale took place at Kings Place in Central London last Saturday 15 January. The day was, not surprisingly, chock-a-block with fun activities. I signed myself up to a workshop and the main live events and was away. Read more


Quincy Jones Says There's "No comparision" Between Him & Kanye West

When speaking to US Weekly, legendary producer Quincy Jones quickly shut down the suggestion that Kanye West is similar to him:

How man? No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on, man. He's just a rapper. There's no comparison. I'm not putting him down or making a judgement or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet. I spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don't rap. It's not the same thing. A producer has to have some sort of skills that enable him to be a producer. It's totally different to know what to do with 16 woodwinds you know from piccolos down to bass clarinet. It's a whole different mindset. No comparison. None.

When asked his opinion on Kanye, Quincy moved quickly away from him and instead praised Ludacris:

I don't think about him much. He's a great rapper, but there are a lot of good rappers. I just did The View with Ludacris, who's one of my favorites. He's a beautiful human being and college educated. I joke with him and say, 'How did 'Move Bitch Get Out The Way' come out of you?' But I was raised around the Mafia when I was a kid in Chicago in the 30s. Chicago's rough. I'm from the streets, I know what's up!

Mr. Jones also had some choice words about the releasing of new Michael Jackson material.

It seems like everybody is trying to put everything out that they can with him. I don't understand it. It's all to make money. He wouldn't have wanted it to come out this way. They must just be trying to make as much money as they can. I don't know know why else they are doing it.

[Via RS]


Ludacris ft. Naturally 7 & Rudy Currence – “Soul Bossa Nostra” (Video)

Ludacris meets the old school with the new in the visuals for “Soul Bossa Nostra”. The cut features Naturally 7 & Rudy Currence, and is the title track lifted from Quincy Jones’ latest album Q: Soul Bossa Nostra (read our review here).

[Via Yardie]


Quincy Jones Talks The Color Purple, Tina Turner, & T-Pain (Video)

Amanda Diva speaks with the legendary Quincy Jones on AOL BlackVoices' The Spark. Quincy Jones spoke about casting Oprah, Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple (and not casting Tina Turner), creating his new album, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra (read our review here), T. Pain and his view on the internet's impact on music.

Amanda also asks, "what's up with the sistas?" alluding to the perception that he prefers to date non-black women - and gets a hilarious response.

Part One:

Part two:


Quincy Jones - Q: Soul Bossa Nostra | Album Review



Quincy Jones’ latest studio album Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, Jones’ first release in 15 years, is just out on Qwest / Interscope.  This LP is a collection of 15 songs, taken from Quincy's rich production repertoire, and are reinterpreted by the current household names of jazz, R&B and pop. Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, a wink to Quincy Jones’ 1962 Soul Bossa Nova album, follows on the soundprint of the 1995 Q’s Jook Joint album, which held in its waves a star-packed line up and earned seven Grammy nominations.

In a similar vein, this album features a bewildering list of singers, musicians and producers who revisit songs Quincy Jones’ Midas touch had turned into classics.  Here is a Quincy Jones production that features Usher, Ludacris, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, T-Pain, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, Bebe Winans, Mervyn Warren, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Paul and Scott Storch.Read more


Quincy Jones x Amy Winehouse - "It's My Party" (Produced By Mark Ronson)

Amy, Amy, Amy! Ms. Winehouse teams up with the legendary Quincy Jones, and Mark Ronson on this remake of Lesley Gore's 1963 pop hit, "It's My Party." Not everyone in the Soul Culture camp is feeling this one (yes, I'm looking at YOU, Verse) but I really like it - plus, I always get excited at the prospect of new Winehouse.

"It's My Party" is lifted from Quincy Jones' forthcoming album, Soul Bossa Nostra, which features appearances from a host of names including Robin Thicke, T.I, Ludacris, B.o.B., Snoop Dogg and Jennifer Hudson, and covers a load of classic records.

The word is Soul Bossa Nostra leaked today, but the official release date is November 9th.


Listen To Usher x Robin Thicke Remake of Quincy Jones' “Secret Garden” (New Music)

Usher and Robin Thicke join forces to remake Quincy Jones' 1989 collaboration with Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge, & Barry White "Secret Garden", This remake will appear on Q: Soul Boss Nostra alongside remakes of classic Quincy Jones material by the likes of Snoop Dogg , LL Cool J , T-Pain , Ludacris , John Legend, Talib Kweli, Mary J. Blige, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Wyclef Jean, Q-Tip, Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, BeBe Winans, Scott Storch, Mervyn Warren and Jermaine Dupri..

Listen Here
[audio:http://soulculture.com/Usher feat. Robin Thicke - Secret Garden.mp3]

What do you think?
Have a listen to the original after the jump and let us know your thoughts.

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Video Teaser: Quincy Jones feat. Akon - "Strawberry Letter"

A sneak preview teaser of the brand new video for Quincy Jones and Akon's new record "Strawberry Letter", via thisisrnb.com.  Remaking the much-sampled Brothers Johnson 1977 hit  - which was also originally produced by Quincy - this is the first single from the music legend's forthcoming remix album, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.

Click here for more information on the album, executive produced by Jones, which will feature the likes of Usher, Mary J. Blige, Talib Kweli and Ludacris this summer.

....aaaaaand make yourself feel MUCH better with the original:


Insightful Corinne Bailey Rae interview in The Observer

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Corinne Bailey Rae: 'It happened to me. It could happen to anyone at any time'

From out of the darkest place, following the sudden death of her husband, Corinne Bailey Rae is re-emerging with an extraordinarily intimate and impassioned album. Here she talks about grief and the redemptive power of music

Corinne Bailey Rae disappeared from the scene following the death of her husband last year. In this insightful interview [click to read] with British newspaper The Observer she talks about how her life literally turned around on being told the news and reminisces on their relationship,  her musical journey and the forthcoming 'darker' new album.

It would seem that the effortless pop performer who soundtracked every TopShop in the land has, for the time being at least, gone. Anyone expecting the same kind of well-wrought, if hardly challenging, pop songs that made her debut such a big seller is in for quite a surprise. I'd hazard a guess that EMI are, too. In her place is a singer of immeasurably sad songs, someone who has transmuted her well of grief and anger into something beautiful and raw. "I definitely feel more serious," she says. "I feel more impassioned. I have total belief in these songs and when I sing them in front of people, I want to pass that on. I don't think there is anyone of my generation saying these things, singing about these things. And it happens, you know. It can happen to anyone at any time. I want to be out there on stage with my hands out going, does anyone else feel the same way? That's what it's about, too."

According to the article in The Observer, she will be performing some live dates before the year is out and the new album will be released in 2010.