Reportedly, Dennis Edwards is reunited with the Temptations — but he will also pursue his solo career with Motown. Meanwhile, the position and status within the group of Ollie Woodson who sang lead on the Temps’ “Treat Her Like A Lady” is unclear.
Former jazz bassist Larry Smith now one of the undisputed masters of hip hop production having guided Run DMC to their first two Gold albums and Whodini's Platinum “Escape” and near Platinum “Back In Black” album is currently in London where he is working with Whodini on their third set for Jive.
Despite these impressive production credits, Smith claims frustration at his inability to find a home for his self-financed solo album or for recording companies to provide him with production opportunities on more mainstream black artists. His latest project is Grandmaster Flash’s “Ba-Dop-Boom Bang” for Elektra.
Smith’s interest in rap occured as a result of an involvement by high-schoolfriend Robert Ford with a young, aspiring rapper named Kurils Blow. He contributed the bass lines on Blow’s first recordings, “Christmas Rappin” and “The Breaks”. He later formed Funk Groove Music and teamed up with Russell Simmons to produce the group Orange Krush whose “Action” single on Mercury introduced the rap beat that would later surface via Run DMC’s “Sucker M.C’s” and in doing so influence scores of subsequent rap releases.
The comeback of the once mighty Earth Wind & Fire would appear to be definitely ON although Maurice White will not retain total production control. Word is that former member Philip Bailey is likely to contribute vocal and productional input into the much anticipated project.
Another renowned writer/producer/perform'er, Smokey Robinson, is also receiving a little production aid with his new outing on Motown. ‘Oust To See Her” is credited to Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta in the production stakes.
Amongst the current batch of releases from Malaco is The Rose Brothers’ “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” which is currently making impressive strides in the American R&B charts. The new album from the Brothers — Bobby, Greg, Larry and Kenny, includes their live show highlight anti-drug song “Fast Lane”.
“Love Ain’t No Toy" is the new single by Amii Stewart who scored a major pop crossover hit in 1985 with “Friends”. The single, a Norman Whitfield song, was previously recorded by Yvonne Fair as an album track.
Mel & Kim follow up their “Showing Out” debut hit single with “Respectable” which is another Stock/Altken/Walrrman composition and production. The duo’s upcoming album, tentatively entitled “Fun, Love And Momey” is due for release in April.
Aretha Franklin follows her number 1 pop single duet with perhaps the best cut on her “Aretha" album, “Jimmy Lee". The single is backed with "An Angel Cries” also from the album. The 12" version comprises an extended version of S the title track and a dub mix.
Robert Cray, currently engages in a major U.S. lour, releases his new single “Smoking Gun" on Mercury. The single is taken from Cray's critically acclaimed album “Strong Persuader”.
Al Jarreau new single is "Moonlighting" which, as all astute tele addicts will know, is the theme song from the current television series. The song is written by Jarreau and Lee Holdridge and produced by Nile's Rodgers.