Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.
Continuing a time-honored tradition of R&B duos that includes the couplings of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Peaches & Herb, and Rene & Angela, contemporary soul singers Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore celebrate love on "Things That Lovers Do." The Arista set arrived in stores Feb. 11.
Interestingly, the married pair are currently starring in a play that shares the album's title. During its first run, "Things That Lovers Do" has already stopped in Atlanta, and is currently open in Washington, D.C. (Feb. 10-16). Upcoming cities are New York (Feb. 18-23), Detroit (Feb. 24-March 2), Philadelphia (March 3-16), and Baltimore (March 17-23). West Coast dates may be added later in the year after Moore gives birth to the couple's first child in the spring.
"We could have done a conventional tour," says Lattimore. "The thing is, I kept getting scripts for various plays. The perception is that if you do a play, your career must be [stagnant]. Chante and I both felt that if we could do a play together, we could get rid of that stigma, bring some validity to the art form, and focus on good black theater."
Working with a script written by Javon Johnson, the pair brought in renowned Broadway choreographer/director George Faison. "Javon listened to 18 songs, including some of my hits, some of Chante's, and songs from the album," Lattimore says. "He had a story in mind and placed the songs we presented into that story."
Moore and Lattimore, who celebrated their first anniversary Jan. 1, say manager Michael Mauldin conceived the idea of their pairing up. "You can be in love with someone all you want, but it's a whole different thing when they're also in your work space," Lattimore observes. "So one of the first questions we considered was how it would work once we recorded and were asked to perform together. We actually did a few appearances on awards shows to see how it would be."
While the album primarily is a tribute to classic duets (i.e., Billy Preston & Syreeta's "With You I'm Born Again," Rene & Angela's "You Don't Have to Cry"), it also features two new songs by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis: the title track and "Loveable." Among the standout tracks are two classics by another famed duo, husband-and-wife team Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson: "You're All I Need to Get By" and the pair's own 1978 hit "Is It Still Good to Ya." Besides Jam & Lewis, producers include Daryl Simmons, Jamey Jaz, Jamie Hawkins, and James Poyser.
The duo is also considering a Christmas album together and preparing material for future solo projects.
Excerpted from the Feb. 15, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.
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