Billboard Bits: LaToya London, Summer Storm, McClinton
News on LaToya London, Summer Storm, McClintonThird-season "American Idol" finalist LaToya London will release her debut album, "Love & Life," Sept. 20 via Concord. First single "Appreciate" features a guest spot from the Roots' Black Thought and will be commercially released in August. A video for the cut is scheduled to be shot next week.
The album also includes songs either written or produced by such industry veterans as David Foster, Narada Michael Walden and Barry J. Eastmond. Tracks being pegged for the set include "Scandalous," "Anything" and "None-a-Whatcha-Do (Bling)."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
An early stop on Norman Brown's Summer Storm tour was the 27th annual Playboy Jazz Festival, held over the weekend at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl. However, according to Brown and the other Storm performers -- saxophonist Everette Harp and singers Peabo Bryson and Brenda Russell -- several markets approached about booking the 25-city tour deemed the outing too urban for jazz audiences. The four featured performers all happen to be African-American.
"Why look at this as a black show?" asked Harp following the group's Saturday evening performance. "Why worry about the color line just because we want to work together? Why not look at it as an entertaining show packaging R&B, jazz, pop and alternative music? That's what we're proving with this tour."
Brown is hoping a CD/DVD project evolves from the tour. He also challenges the younger generation of artists to help maintain jazz's legacy. "This is our art form and we are basically turning our backs on it," he said. "There are no jazz videos so it's not accessible to younger people. We need someone like a Sean Combs or Master P to come over to this side and help promote this music."
-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.
Veteran singer/songwriter Delbert McClinton will release his next album, "Cost of Living," Aug. 23 via New West. The set features 12 new tracks and a rendition of the Jimmy Reed-popularized "I'll Change My Style." McClinton co-wrote the tunes with longtime collaborator Glen Clark and such songwriters as Tom Hambridge, Jim Weatherly and Gary Nicholson.
"Cost of Living" is McClinton's first studio album since 2002's "Room To Breathe," which was nominated for the best contemporary blues album Grammy. The artist has tour dates lined up through late October, beginning June 24 in Covington, Ky., and including Aug. 5-6 appearances at Norway's Notodden Blues Festival.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.