Tagged with "road"
Jazz Legend - Ethel Waters
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: Black Swan; Broadway; Columbia Records; Cotton Club; His Eye is on the Sparrow; On

Abstract: Born in Chester on October 31 1900, Ethel Waters was an African American singer and actress famous for her style of “blues” as well as for leading the way for black entertainers of her time. Her career peaked during the roaring 1920s and continued throughout the 1930s during which time she completed the majority of her 259 recordings. Waters is best known for her performance of “Stormy Weather” at the Cotton Club in New York City, as well as her role of Hagar in On with the Show. She is also known for writing two critically acclaimed autobiographies, His Eye is on the Sparrow, which focuses on her beginnings and achievements as an entertainer, and To Me It’s Wonderful, which describes her participation in the Billy Graham Crusades that she toured with in her later years. Waters died in 1977 of heart disease.

Biography:

Ethel Waters was born the daughter of Louise Howard, on October 31 1900, at her great-aunt Ida’s home in Chester, Pennsylvania. Waters was a product of rape. At the age of 13, Waters’ mother was raped by John Waters (pianist). Waters said about her childhood, “I never was a child. I never was coddled, or liked, or understood by my family. I never felt I belonged. I was always an outsider.” Waters’ never had a relationship with her mother. Louise Howard moved away when Waters was a child, leaving her to the care of her grandmother, Sally Anderson. However, Waters’ spent most of her time with her aunts, Vi and Ching, because her grandmother worked long hours.

Though both alcoholic with terrible lifestyles, Waters’ aunts loved to sing. Waters wrote in her autobiography, Eye is on the Sparrow: “Vi had a sweet, soft voice. Ching’s was bell-like and resonant…One of the first pieces I remember Vi singing was ‘I Don’t Want to Play in Your Yard.’ Ching’s favorites were ‘There’ll Come a Time’ and ‘Volunteer Organist.’ But in the beginning it was always the story in the song that enchanted me.” These last few words explain Waters’ style of singing more than anything else. Waters was always able to tell a story with her music, though she would not figure this out until later in life.

As a young girl, Waters was exposed to a lot of negative things. She befriended a prostitute and witnessed the sexual relationships of her older sisters (they all shared a room). She grew up fast. Though she was exposed to these things, she didn’t allow them to influence her. Waters’ first steady job was at the Harrod Apartments in Philadelphia. She was a maid—a very humble job compared to what she would soon land. On October 17 1917, Waters’ seventeenth birthday, her friends convinced her to perform at a Halloween party. She sang a blues ballad which the crowd and a black vaudeville team (a group who would perform variety shows), Braxton and Nugent, loved. They approached her after the show and offered her $10 a week to join their team. Waters then began her steady ascent to fame.

Her first performance was in 1917 at the Lincoln Theater in Baltimore. She sang solos and was known as Sweet Mama Stringbean because, “I was so scrawny and tall.” Though the crowd was tough, and often louder than the performances, Waters’ voice would always capture the audience. One night Waters decided to add a new song to her show. She took the song, “St. Louis Blues” and sang it more slowly, with more pathos. She says, “You could have heard a pin drop in that rough, rowdy audience.” Her version of the song is now a classic and known to be the greatest blues song every written.

However, she was not involved with the most honest people. Waters soon found out that Braxton and Nugent were pocketing extra money from her act. At the time two other females were performing with Braxton and Nugent, as the Hill Sisters. After finding out about the scam Waters immediately left and the Hill Sisters followed. They decided to travel together as their own act.

They performed the same songs they did in Baltimore. One of them was Waters’ famous song, “St. Louis Blues.” They moved from theater to theater, performing for a different crowd every time. Though the Hill Sisters had good times, the trio did not last. The original Hill Sisters, Jo and Maggie, were jealous. There was backstage rivalry which stemmed from Waters’ success. Though they were a trio, Waters soon felt singled out and unwanted.

The trio turned into a duo, with just Jo and Ethel Waters. Though they traveled and sang together, Waters often took the spotlight. Once, Waters landed a job at 91 Decauter Street in Atlanta. That same night, Bessie Smith was on the bill. Smith had a lot of say with the managers, and forbid Waters to sing any blues while Smith was there. However, during Waters’ performance, the crowd began to shout, “Blues! Blues! Blues! Come on, Stringbean, we want your blues!” The manager was forced to revoke the ban placed on Waters. Bessie Smith personally gave Waters permission to sing “St. Louis Blues” and said to Waters after the show, “Come here long goody. You ain’t so bad. It’s only that I never dreamed that anyone would be able to do this to me in my own territory and with my own people. And you know damn well that you can’t sing worth a--” Waters had come into her own. She was a one-woman act.

“I still had no feelings of having roots. I was still alone and an outcast,” Waters says about her time with the Hill Sisters. After being injured in a car accident in 1918, Waters went back to Philadelphia. She placed her singing career on hold and began washing dishes at an automat. She did this until Joe Bright, a black actor-producer from New York, persuaded her to go back on stage. Wearily, in 1919, Waters accepted Bright’s offer and performed at Lincoln Theater in Harlem. It was during her second week at Lincoln Theater that her acquaintance, Alice Ramsey—a dancer—invited her to sing at Edmund’s Cellar. Waters began working there for $2 a night.

Her salary came from the audience in the form of tips. There were no set hours for work. Waters said, “There was no set closing time…I used to work from nine until unconscious.” Again, she changed her style of singing. Andrea Barnett writes in All-Night Party, “A pianist, Lou Henley, challenged Ethel to expand her repertoire, urging her to tackle more complex, ‘cultural’ numbers. But to Ethel’s surprise, she found that she could characterize and act out the songs just as she did with her blues. Audiences were enthusiastic.” More and more people would come to Edmond’s Cellar to watch Waters perform and tips became so good that musicians all around Harlem began looking for a chance to perform there. Waters’ finally began making a name for herself. Waters even went to Chicago at the request of Al Capone, who wanted her to sing at his bar. In 1929, with James P. Johnson as her accompanist, Ethel was singing songs like, “Am I Blue?” in On with the Show, where she was now making $1250 per week!

In All-Night Party, Andrea Barnet says, “Ethel’s versatility and inventiveness were beginning to serve her well. She had the sexual swagger of singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, yet her voice was softer. Ethel’s style was crisp and urbane, more northern.” She soon was noticed by Black Swan Records. She began recording with them and released a record with two sides. “Oh Daddy” and “Down Home Blues” were on that record, which sold 500, 000 copies in 6 months. Waters had recorded with pianist, Fletcher Henderson. The duo was so successful that they toured through the South and became the first black musicians to broadcast on the radio. Ethel continued to perform with various artists: female pianist, Pearl Wright, dancer, Ethel Williams (suspected to be her lover). She was living a lavish lifestyle, but her music never reflected her extravagant lifestyle. Instead, they reflected a more negative side of Waters’ adult life.

Ethel Waters held a few rocky relationships in her lifetime. She once dated a drug addict and thief. She married and divorced three times, though she rarely talks about two of her marriages. There are also rumors that Waters was bisexual. Though she tried to keep this private, she was often seen fighting in public with whichever girlfriend she was with at the time. The nature of her relationships was often reflected in her music; her songs are full of heartbreak. There was also another aspect of Waters music that must be noted. According to Barnet, “…besides the sweeter quality of her voice, she was just as likely to take a more droll, comedic view of male-female relations, making mischievous sport of both sexes.” Though singing was a great part of Waters career, she also became an actress.

Waters acted in a number of films and Broadway plays. In Waters’ opinion, her greatest role was that of Hagar in Mamba’s Daughters on Broadway in 1939 where she gave 17 curtain calls on opening night. In Mamba’s Daughters Waters plays a woman sent to exile after committing a minor crime. Consequently, she has to leave her daughter, Lissa, to the care of her mother, Mamba. Years later, Hagar must make one more sacrifice for her daughter, who is on her way to fame and fortune. She felt that Hagar paralleled her own mother’s life, and she put all of the emotion that she had into each performance. She was also the first black woman to ever star in a dramatic play on Broadway. In 1950, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Pinky. In the movie, she plays the grandmother of Pinky, a young light-skinned woman, who passes for white while attending school in the North. In that same year she won the New York Drama Critics Award for her role in the play, The Member of the Wedding. Her co-star was the actress Julie Harris. Waters continued to land a number of roles in films and plays. She performed in Cairo (1942), Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Member of the Wedding (1952) and was even a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1972.

Ethel Waters also wrote two autobiographies. In 1951, His Eye is on the Sparrow was published. Her second autobiography, To Me it’s Wonderful, was published in 1977.

Ethel Waters’ career began to slow as the blues began to fade out of pop culture, but she was able to continue her career largely because of her ability to identify with the characters she played and the songs that she sang. Waters died on September 2, 1977, in Chatsworth, California. She will always be remembered for her incredible vocal and theatrical performances, and for being a woman who broke racial boundaries by playing in black and white vaudeville companies and earning equal praise in both.

Decades after her death, three of Waters’ singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Dinah” in 1998 for Traditional Pop, “Stormy Weather” in 2003 for Jazz, and “Am I Blue?” in 2007 for Traditional Pop.

Works:

  • His Eye Is on the Sparrow. (with Charles Samuels) New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1951.
  • To Me It’s Wonderful. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1972.

Sources:

  • Barnet, Andrea. All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem 1913-1930. New York, New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.
  • Carr, Larry. “Ethel Waters.” Jazzateria.com. 2004. 15 Oct. 2004. .
  • Gourse, Leslie. Sophisticated Ladies. New York, New York: The Penguin Group, 2007.
  • Marks, Peter. “A Familiar Tale of Sacrifice, traversing Today and ’39.” New York Times 25 Feb. 1998 .

This biography was written by Julia J. Spiering, Fall 2004; revised and extended by Joanne A. Gedeon, Spring 2010.

 

Heart - The Road Home (1995) Full concert Tags: heart the road home full concert video month word life production new quality entertainment

Bones, Thugs, and Harmony has a unique style that proved to be a hit during the Golden Era
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: Bones thug harmony mid ninties crossroad first month word life production golden era hip

Graced with a quick and sometimes sung delivery, along with a unique sense of melody, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony burst out of Cleveland, Ohio in the mid-'90s with a pair of massive hits ("Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Tha Crossroads") along with a great first album, as well as a successful follow-up, and then quickly unraveled. Mainstream interest dropped off toward the tail end of the '90s, but the group, which underwent a series of lineup changes, continued to release new material via mixtapes and albums throughout the 2000s.

N.W.A's Eazy-E signed the group -- initially comprised of Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone -- to Ruthless Records. The debut release from Bone was an EP, Creepin on ah Come Up (1994). The EP boasted "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," a conventional G-funk song with an unconventional array of Bone Thug rappers that became an overnight summer anthem, especially throughout the Midwest. The single crossed into the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 22.

Amid the fervor, the group immediately reentered the studio and emerged with a remarkable album, E 1999 Eternal (1995). The album topped the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and spawned a pair of popular singles, "1st of the Month" and "Tha Crossroads," the latter a dedication to the deceased Eazy-E and a Grammy Award recipient. As was in vogue at the time, the group members subsequently pursued respective solo careers and also a Mo Thugs Family spinoff group; none of these ventures rivaled the proper Bone projects.

At this point, the onetime cohesive group, which specialized in interwoven, harmonious singing as well as rapping, became conflicted and the group members failed to collaborate well. However, their second album, Art of War (1997) -- an ambitious double-disc package -- was very successful. Not only did it top the same Billboard charts as E 1999 Eternal, but lead single "Look into My Eyes" went Top Five on the Hot 100. Within a year of release, it was certified quadruple platinum for over four million units sold in the U.S.

A second round of solo albums sold poorly, and Bone quickly slid off the mainstream radar. Occasional reunions, such as 2000's BTNHResurrection and 2002's Thug World Order, produced some moments of glory, but these were few and far between. Thug Stories, released in 2006 on Koch, placed the group -- at the time, a trio minus Bizzy -- in the Top 30 of the Billboard 200. Bone then signed to Swizz Beatz's Interscope-affiliated Full Surface boutique label, where they issued 2007's Strength & Loyalty. A major-label budget allowed for guest spots from the Game, Mariah Carey, Akon, Bow Wow, and Twista, and the set eventually sold over 500,000 copies, earning gold certification. Bizzy returned for 2010's Uni5: The World's Enemy. The album debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200. A handful of dates excepted, Bizzy was absent from the album's promotional tour. He returned for the 2013 release Art of War: WWIII, but this time Krayzie and Wish Bone were out of the group, with both working on solo careers. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

Source: MTV

IN LIGHT OF THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY-WE WOULD LIKE TO CELEBRATE THE LATE LEGENDARY LUTHER VANDROSS Tags: luther vandross christmas feature word life production underground railroad


Luther Ronzoni Vandross was born on April 20, 1951 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, United States.[4] He was the fourth child and second son to Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross, Sr.

Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City in the NYCHA Alfred E. Smith Houses public housing development, Vandross began playing the piano at the age of three. He grew up in a musical family that moved to the Bronx when he was thirteen. His sister, Patricia, sang with the vocal group The Crests, who had a number two hit in 1958 with "16 Candles", though she left the group before the recording. Vandross's father died of diabetes when Vandross was eight years old. Luther Vandross was in a high school group, Shades of Jade that once played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He was also a member of a theater workshop, "Listen My Brother" who released the singles "Only Love Can Make a Better World" and "Listen My Brother", and appeared on the second and fifth episodes of Sesame Street in November 1969.

Vandross attended Western Michigan University for a year before dropping out to continue pursuing a career in music.

His next hit credit was on an album by Roberta Flack in 1972. He was the founder of the first-ever Patti LaBelle fan club. Luther also sang on Delores Hall's Hall-Mark album from 1973. He sang with her on the song "Who's Gonna Make It Easier for Me", which he wrote. He also contributed another song, "In This Lonely Hour." Having co-written "Fascination" for David Bowie's Young Americans, he went on to tour with him as a back-up vocalist in September 1974. Vandross wrote "Everybody Rejoice" for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz and appeared as a choir member in the movie.

Vandross also sang backing vocals for Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Gary Glitter, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, and Barbra Streisand.

Before his breakthrough, Vandross was part of a singing quintet in the late '70s named Luther, consisting of former Shades of Jade members Anthony Hinton and Diane Sumler, Theresa V. Reed, and Christine Wiltshire, signed to Cotillion Records. Although the singles "It's Good for the Soul", "Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)", and "The Second Time Around" were relatively successful, their two albums, the self-titled Luther (1976) and This Close to You (1977), didn't sell enough to make the charts. Vandross bought back the rights to these albums after Cotillion dropped the group, preventing their later re-release.

Vandross also wrote and sang commercial jingles during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and continued his successful career as a popular session singer during the late 1970s.

In 1978, Luther sang lead vocals for a disco band called Greg Diamond's Bionic Boogie on the song titled "Hot Butterfly." Luther also sang with the band Soirée, where he was the lead vocalist on the track "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", and contributed background vocals to the album along with Jocelyn Brown and Sharon Redd, each of whom also saw solo success. He also sang the lead vocals on the group Mascara LP title song "See You in L.A." released in 1979. Luther shines with his impeccable singing supported by his group's co-members David Lasley and Ula Hedwig. Luther also appeared on the group Charme's 1979 album Let It In, most notably on a remake of Toto's hit single Georgy Porgy.

1980–2003: Career successLuther Vandross finally made his long desired career breakthrough as a featured singer with the vaunted pop-dance act Change, a studio concept created by French-Italian businessman Jacques Fred Petrus. Their 1980 hits, "A Lover's Holiday" (by Romani and Willoughby), "The Glow of Love" (by Romani, Malavasi and Garfield) and "Searching" (by Malavasi), of which Vandross sang on all three, opened up the world for Vandross. And there was no doubt about whether Vandross liked the song "The Glow of Love". In an interview that Vibe Magazine did with him in 2001 Vandross said, "This is the most beautiful song I've ever sung in my life." Vandross was also originally intended to perform on the second and highly successful Change album "Miracles" in 1981, but declined the offer as Petrus didn't pay enough money. Vandross' decision rapidly led to a recording contract with Epic Records that same year but didn't stop him from doing some background vocals on "Miracles" and on the new Petrus created act, The B. B. & Q. band in 1981. During that hectic year Vandross jump-started his second attempt at a solo career with his debut album, Never Too Much. In addition to the hit title track it contained a version of the Burt Bacharach / Hal David song "A House Is Not a Home". The song "Never Too Much", written by himself, reached number-one on the R&B charts. This period also marked the beginning of frequent songwriting collaboration with bassist Marcus Miller, who played on many of the tracks and would also produce or co-produce a number of tracks for Vandross. The Never Too Much album was arranged by high school classmate Nat Adderley, Jr., a collaboration that would last through Vandross's career.[6]

Vandross released a series of successful R&B albums during the 1980s and continued his session work with guest vocals on groups like Charme in 1982. Many of his earlier albums made a bigger impact on the R&B charts than on the pop charts. During the 1980s, Vandross had two singles that reached #1 on the Billboard R&B charts: "Stop to Love", in 1986, and a duet with Gregory Hines—"There's Nothing Better Than Love."[7] Vandross was at the helm as producer for Aretha Franklin's Gold-certified, award-winning comeback album Jump to It. He also produced the disappointing follow-up album, 1983's Get It Right. In 1983, the opportunity to work with his main music influence, Dionne Warwick, came about with Vandross producing, writing songs, and singing on How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, her fourth album for Arista Records. The title track duet reached #27 on the Hot 100 chart (#7 R&B/#4 Adult Contemporary),[8] while the second single, "Got a Date" was only a moderate hit (#45 R&B/#15 Club Play).

In 1985, Luther Vandross first spotted the talent of Jimmy Salvemini, 15 at the time, on Star Search. He thought Salvemini had the perfect voice for some of his songs. He contacted Salvemini, who was managed by his brother Larry. A contract was negotiated with Elektra records for $250,000 and Luther agreed to produce the album. Luther even contacted old friends to appear on the album, Cheryl Lynn, Alfa Anderson (Chic), Phoebe Snow and Irene Cara. After the album was completed, Luther, Jimmy, and Larry decided to celebrate. On January 12, 1986, they were riding in Luther's convertible Mercedes when it crossed the yellow lines of the two lane street and smashed into two vehicles. All three men were rushed to the hospital. Larry Salvemini died during surgery, and Vandross and Jimmy Salvemini survived. At first, the Salvemini family was supportive of Luther. In 1986, Luther faced vehicular manslaughter charges as a result of Larry's death. Vandross pled no contest to reckless driving. The Salvemini family filed a wrongful death suit against Vandross. The case was quietly settled out of court with a payment to the Salvemini family for $700,000. The album called "Roll With It" was released later that year.

In 1986, Vandross voiced a cartoon character named Zack for three Saturday morning animated PSA spots for ABC Television called 'Zack of All Trades'.

The 1989 compilation The Best of Luther Vandross... The Best of Love included the ballad "Here and Now", his first single to chart in the Billboard pop chart top ten, peaking at number six. He won his first Grammy award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991.

More albums followed in the 1990s, beginning with 1991's Power of Love which spawned two top ten pop hits. He won his second Best Male R&B Vocal in the Grammy Awards of 1992 with the track "Power of Love/Love Power" winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in the same year. In 1992, "The Best Things in Life Are Free", a duet with Janet Jackson from the movie Mo' Money became a hit.

In 1993, Vandross had a brief non-speaking role in the Robert Townsend movie The Meteor Man. He played a hit man who plotted to stop Townsend's title character.

Vandross hit the top ten again in 1994, teaming with Mariah Carey on a cover version of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's duet "Endless Love". It was included on the album Songs (Luther Vandross album), a collection of songs which had inspired Vandross over the years. He also appears on Frank Sinatra's posthumous Duets album. At the Grammy Awards of 1997, he won his third Best Male R&B Vocal for the track "Your Secret Love". A second greatest hits album, released in 1997, compiled most of his 1990s hits and was his final album released through Epic Records. After releasing I Know on Virgin Records, he signed with J Records. His first album on Clive Davis's new label, entitled Luther Vandross, was released in 2001, and it produced the hits "Take You Out" (#7 R&B/#26 Pop), and "I'd Rather" (#17 Adult Contemporary/#40 R&B/#83 Pop) Vandross scored at least one top 10 R&B hit every year from 1981-1994.

In 1997, Luther Vandross sang the American national anthem during Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana.

In September 2001, Luther Vandross performed a rendition of Michael Jackson's hit song "Man in the Mirror" at Jackson's 30th Anniversary special, alongside Usher.

In 2002, he gave some of his final concerts during his last tour, The BK Got Soul Tour starring Luther Vandross featuring Angie Stone and Gerald Levert.

In 2003, Vandross released the album Dance With My Father. The title track, which was dedicated to Vandross' memory childhood dances with his father, won Luther and his co-writer, Richard Marx, the 2004 Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The song also won Vandross his fourth and final award in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance category. The album was his first to reach number one on the Billboard album chart. The video for the title track features various celebrities alongside their fathers and other family members. The 2nd single released from that album, "Think About You" was the Number One Urban Adult Contemporary Song of 2004 according to Radio & Records.

In 2003, after the televised NCAA Men's Basketball championship, CBS Sports gave "One Shining Moment" a new look. Luther, who had been to only one basketball game in his life, was the new singer, and the video didn't have any special effects like glowing basketballs and star trails like it did in previous years. This song version is in use today.[9]

2003–2005: Vandross suffered from diabetes and hypertension, both of which ran in his family.

On April 16, 2003, Vandross suffered a stroke at his home in Manhattan, New York. At the time of his stroke, he had just finished the final vocals for the album Dance With My Father. His collaborator on the album was pop star Richard Marx, whom Vandross had met in 1989 and been friendly with since. The two worked together on numerous projects over the years, with Vandross appearing on three of Marx's albums. Upon its release, Dance With My Father became the first and only Luther Vandross record to hit #1. It was also his biggest-selling studio album ever, selling nearly 3 million copies in the United States alone. The title track was also a hit, and won the 2004 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

He appeared briefly on videotape at the 2004 Grammy Awards to accept his Song of the Year Award, where he said, "Whenever I say goodbye it's never for long because I believe in the power of love". Other than an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he was never seen in public again.

Vandross died on July 1, 2005 at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey at the age of 54. The apparent cause of his death was a heart attack.

His funeral was in New York City on July 8, 2005. After two days of viewing, Vandross was entombed at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. Much of his estate was left to friends and his godson Mark West.

 

THIS WEEK'S CELEBRITY PICK-J LIVE Tags: j live new york hip hop artist word life production underground railroad hot real


 

J-Live Biography; Timeless

As an emcee, dee-jay, producer and CEO of his aptly named company Triple Threat Productions, J-Live's music has been a staple of inspiration for listeners of hip hop from New York to Cali and around the world. His discography spans over 10 years and includes four full-length albums, two EPs, a collection of earlier singles, as well as countless guest appearances and features. His last two projects “Reveal the Secret EP” and the full length “Then What Happened” were released by BBE in May 2008.

While J-Live is all but a household name to those who collect their knowledge of hip hop music via mainstream radio, he has worked with his share of icons in the industry. Producers such as DJ Premiere, Pete Rock, DJ Spinna, Prince Paul, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spooky, Numark, Da Beatminerz, Dan the Automater to name a few. Recording artists the likes of Mos Def, El Da Sensei, Wordsworth, Talib Kweli, Chali Tuna and several others have all shared song credits with JLive. World renown for a stage show that lives up to his name, J has toured around the country as well as Canada, the UK, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. J-Live shared stages with artists such as The Roots, Wyclef Jean, Fabolous, Soulive, Ozomatli, Soundtribe Sector 9, Blackalicious, Sister Nancy, Wu Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, MF Doom, KRS One, and many others.

Born Jean-Jacques Cadet (Jon Joc Ka-Day) and raised by his Mother in Spanish Harlem on the east side of Manhattan off First Ave, J-Live reps NY in more ways than one. While working towards his bachelors degree in English from State University of New York at Albany, J-live was already touring the world and learning the ropes of the industry. Introduced to the 5% Nation (or Nation of Gods & Earths) during his college years, Jean-Jacques would eventually change his name to Justice Allah.

Before graduating, with the help of Raw Shack Productions, he signed a deal with Payday / London / PolyGram. Shortly after graduating, J learned that the best laid plans o’ mice and rappers oft go awry. Especially when corporate take-overs dissolve labels and separate artists from distributors. In 1999, the highly anticipated, often illegally duplicated debut album “The Best Part” would go down in history as one of the best records never heard. That is at least until the many bootleg versions were followed by the official release in 2001. By then, J was living in Brooklyn, teaching 7th Grade Language Arts in some of New York’s toughest school districts. J would find himself at a crossroads in 2002. With the opportunity to release what would be his “second first album” All of the Above”. J decided to suspend his teaching career and pursue music full time. All of the Above was released on independent label Coup D E’tat / Caroline’s. After severing ties with CDE, J put out his first totally self produced project in 2003, Always Will Be. The 8 song EP released on Fat Beats Records showed fans that Triple Threat was more than just a corporate identity as J took on the task of all verses, beats and scratches himself. In 2005, with Penalty Ryko’s release of The Hear After, it became clear that as labels come and go, J-Live would continue to find a way to release quality music to his ever growing fan base. People have come to expect a certain standard of quality with every J-Live record. Whether self produced or working with others, J’s beats are typically bass heavy consistent boom-bap instrumentals that incorporate and infuse various genres of music from afro beat, latin, jazz, reggae, rock, and funk into his own distinct timeless hip hop sound.

For better or worse, J-Live has developed a reputation for going against the grain of an industry dominated by flavor of the month pigeon holed made up characters. J’s subject matter is as eclectic as his taste in music. His most popular tracks show that he is more than just a boastful wordsmith that can rock a party. Often times an introspective philosopher of life, love, music, and people, J delivers hard hitting well thought out social commentary on issues ranging from US Foreign policy to the environment, black on black crime to police brutality. However, he is very deliberate in maintaining balance on each of his albums. Humorous, sometimes hilarious narratives like One for the Griot or Car Trouble are filled with vivid imagery. There are the traditionally devastating battle verses on songs like Whoever and Always Will Be. Party and show anthems like Adda Cipher, Harder, and Don’t Play. As his reputation and following continue to grow with his catalogue, the one common and constant theme in J-Live’s ever evolving style of music, is the use of original styles, and imaginative concepts, to stay fresh relevant and timeless. 

http://www.j-livemusic.com/about.php 

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