Billboard Bits: Kamaal, Sarah Shannon, Wyclef Jean
News on Kamaal, Sarah Shannon, Wyclef JeanArista's release of "Kamaal the Abstract" by rapper Kamaal (who as Q-Tip was the former leader of rap act A Tribe Called Quest) has been bumped from Oct. 23 to January. According to a label spokesperson, the artist is in the midst of creating a short film accompaniment to the album, and wanted to be sure it was ready for the set's launch.
As previously reported, the self-produced nine-track set is a melange of hip-hop, jazz, rock, and funk featuring guest appearances by jazz artists Kenny Garrett (saxophone), Gary Thomas (sax, flute), and Kurt Rosenwinkle (guitar).
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Former Velocity Girl frontwoman Sarah Shannon will release her self-titled solo debut in January on Casa, a label she co-founded. According to a spokesperson, Shannon is backed by piano and drums on some tracks and a small orchestra on others. A U.S. tour is in the works for February.
Shannon has kept a low profile since Velocity Girl's 1996 dissolution after four studio albums, the second of which, "Simpatico!," reached No. 26 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart in 1994. She formed the group Starry Eyes with Velocity Girl cohorts Jim Spellman and Brian Nelson the following spring, but the act released a lone EP before disbanding.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Rev. Gesner Jean, father of hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, died after becoming pinned between his garage door and one of his son's cars in what investigators believe was a bizarre accident, South Orange, N.J., police said.
Jean, 60, a Newark minister, suffered severe chest injuries and died at a hospital Monday night. Police believe he may have been sitting in the driver's seat of the 1991 Bentley and that the car moved forward somehow after he got up and stepped in front of it.
Police were still investigating the cause of the accident but said that the car was not malfunctioning and they have found no evidence of foul play.
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