News on Pearl Jam, Stone Gossard, Matt Chamberlain, Pete Droge, Brad, Satchel, Sean Smith, Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Rocco, Moe Koffman

Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard has completed what will be the first solo album from a member of the veteran Seattle rock outfit. The album, titled "Bay Leaf," is due later this year on Epic, and features Gossard backed by former Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain and guitarist Pete Droge.

"It sounds like songs that Stone has brought in for [Pearl Jam] demos over the last few years," Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament tells Billboard.com. "Some of the songs are three or four years old. I'm pretty excited about it."

Gossard previously released two Epic albums with the band Brad, which featured Satchel singer/keyboardist Sean Smith.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.





A man who secretly filmed the baptism of Madonna's baby was fined $1,440 today (March 29) in Dornoch, Scotland. Robert Podesta, 51, had hidden in the organ at Dornoch Cathedral and got 24 minutes of video of the private baptism of Rocco Ritchie, son of the singer and film director Guy Ritchie, on Dec. 21.

Podesta wasn't detected until he tried to leave the cathedral sometime later. At an earlier hearing, Podesta, of Orcop in western England, admitted conducting himself in a disorderly manner likely to cause concern. Sheriff Ian Cameron previously ordered the videotape destroyed.

Defense lawyer Craig Wood said Podesta hadn't expected to succeed. ''Having some knowledge of the security business, while he came up here with the intention of secreting himself in the cathedral, he also expected to be found. Had a search been properly carried out by those employed there he would have been found,'' Wood said. ''Had they done it properly he would not have got away with it.''





Canada's leading jazz figure, Moe Koffman, died of cancer yesterday (March 28) in Orangeville, Ontario. He was 73. Koffman, who played flute, saxophone, and clarinet, released 30 albums in his 50-year career. He is best known for his 1958 hit "Swinging Shepherd Blues."

-- Larry LeBlanc, Toronto





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