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The Jacksons Ready First Album Since '89, With Collaborators and 'New Flavors'
Jackie Jackson is hoping that having the four active Jacksons in one place for the group's upcoming Las Vegas residency will help the troupe finish its long-in-the-making next album.
"I'm so happy all the brothers will be together in Las Vegas. During the day time they can finish recording and then do the shows during the evening time," Jackson, who resides in Sin City, tells Billboard. He reports that he, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon have "quite a bit" of the album finished -- at least half of it, he estimates -- with a hoped-for early summer completion. And the group is happy with the results so far.
"It sounds like Jacksons music, with today's sounds," Jackie explains. "People still want to hear that Jackson 5 harmony; we can't get away from where we came from. That's what they want to hear. But there's a lot of new flavors we can combine that with. Something like Bruno Mars' 'Treasure,' that's like on old Jacksons song. When I first heard that song I said, 'That could have been on one of ours!' "
The Jacksons are working with a number of contemporary artists and producers, though none are being identified yet. The set will be the first new Jacksons release since 1989's "2300 Jackson Street."
The upcoming stand at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino kicks off Feb. 20, with 40 shows currently on the schedule. Dubbed RockTellz & CockTails, it's an outgrowth of the 2012-2013 Unity Tour, which found the Jacksons on the road together first time since 1984's Victory Tour -- and, obviously, for the first time without Michael Jackson in the lead position and the other brothers covering his parts in the group's songs as well as some of his solo hits.
"We love singing them," Jackie says. "That's our brother, and people want to hear those songs and it's very emotional as well because we try to do the best we can with them. It's kind of a like a tear-jerker moment, but we manage to do OK with it and really enjoy it and people have a great time when we're singing those songs."
The shows -- which come 45 years after the Jackson 5's first hits for Motown -- will be similar to the Unity Tour, Jackie says, except with "lots of glitz and production, because it's Vegas" and also will include a bit more verbiage from the brothers.
"There's going to be a lot of storytelling in this how was well, telling stories that you've never heard before," Jackie promises. Like what? "Ah, I can't let the cat out of the bag," he says with a laugh. "There'll be some significant stories about the Jacksons -- what Michael used to do, what we all did. That's all I can say. But it's gonna be a lot of fun."
He adds that the Jacksons film "everything we do," but no concrete plans have been made yet for a DVD or television broadcast of the show.