Billboard Bits: Alanis, Talvin Singh, and more

News on new albums from Alanis Morissette and Talvin Singh, the death of pianist Stan Freeman, and the Experience Music Project. ?

Alanis Morissette's next studio album will be an entirely self-produced affair and is due for a June 12 release on Maverick/Warner Bros., according to her official Web site, which describes the set as "harder" and "edgier" than past efforts. In the downtime since the release of 1998's "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie," the artist issued "MTV Unplugged," which peaked at No. 63 on The Billboard 200 in December 1999.

"So Pure," her contribution to the "Woodstock '99" live album, is nominated for the best female rock vocal performance Grammy.

Talvin Singh, whose 1998 album "O.K." won the prestigious Technics Mercury Music Prize (chosen by an industry panel as the U.K.'s unofficial "album of the year") has confirmed the release of the follow-up album, "Ha." Recorded over an 18-month period in London, Bombay, and Madras, it will be released in the U.K. by Universal/Island on March 5.

Produced by Singh, the album features contributions by vocalists Ustad Sultan and Cleveland Watkiss, flautist Rakesh Churasia and others. Singh has also recently completed a new theme for the BBC's long-running science series "Tomorrow's World," which is set to run for the next five years.

"O.K." debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top World Music Albums chart.

-- Paul Sexton, London

Pianist and conductor Stan Freeman died Saturday at his Los Angeles home from emphysema, Billboard Bulletin reports. He was 80. Freeman composed the music for the Broadway shows "I Had A Ball" and "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen." His one-man show "Wits End" ran in the '80s and '90s in Boston, Chicago, L.A., and New York.

The Experience Music Project (EMP) and the Grammy Foundation have formed an educational partnership to create music-inspired courses, teacher workshops, and artist demonstrations for middle and high schools, and colleges. The program will travel the country via the EMP's Electric Bus, a mobile interactive museum and classroom geared to giving teachers access to resources to inspire their students to learn through the arts.

The 2001-02 Electric Bus tour will kick off in conjunction with the week of festivities surrounding the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, Feb. 15-21 in Los Angeles. *


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