*Jazz saxophonist/flutist Tia Fuller takes a break from Beyonce’s all female band to release a third CD titled ‘Decisive Steps’ and tour with her own all female quartet Girl Power. The tour arrives in Harrisburg, PA Saturday June 12, 2010 at Central PA Friends of Jazz.

“People have a misconception of what Jazz is,” said alto/soprano saxophonist/flutist Tia Fuller.

Tia Fuller

Fuller’s influences were John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn, and Charlie Parker and it shows on this new project which starts off with a crazy Jazz number, the title track, “Decisive Steps.” My lips got tired just listening to it and I didn’t blow a note!

Not new to the Jazz scene, this CD is Tia’s second project on the Mack Avenue Records imprint.

“I love all kinds of music, of course I love Jazz,” Fuller pointed out. “This album is a combination of all that. I don’t want an album with everything sounding the same…only 2% (of the market) purchases Jazz. I really want to integrate and reach beyond the Jazz audience.”

Tia fuses Jazz with Pop and Jazz with R&B. “Decisive Steps” features the members of her quartet Kim Thompson on drums, Mirian Sullivan on bass, and Fuller’s sister Shamie Royston on piano. Also featured on the CD are Sean Jones on trumpet and Christian McBride on bass (both label mates); Warren Wolf, vibraphonist, and Maurice Chestnut, tap dancer.

“You have to brand yourself,” Tia said about the entertainment business. “I really learned that on the road with Beyonce’. Her success is not by chance she works really hard.”

My favorite cuts on the “Decisive Steps” CD include “Clear Mind” because it reminds me of Miles Davis; “Night Glow” because I love the string support and the piano solo is so hot; “My Shining Hour” because it gets a little crazy like Thelonious Monk; “Shades of McBridge” gives a fresh change; “Kiss by the Sun” is a nice club number that you can dance and groove to, and “I Can’t Get Started” because though there are no words it’s a very deep selection that gets you in the mood for deep contemplation.

To learn more about Tia Fuller and her newest project “Decisive Steps” log onto www.myspace.com/tiafuller or www.mackavenue.com.

The 2010 Female Hip-Hop Honors solute underground artists from back-in-the-day and today

Michel'le

Recently the 2010 Female Hip-Hop Honors were held in Los Angeles where they acknowledged the achievements of underground artists from back-in-the-day and showcased those up-coming underground artists of today. Comedienne/actress Luenell, the “Bad Girl” of comedy, was host of the event.

“Sometimes things may not be going as scheduled and it can get kind of frustrating,” Luenell said when asked how she keeps it light (in stressful situations). “I’ve done it for so long…you look around the room and find something to make a joke about.”

Well Luenell’s comedy always has the audience laughing “with her” and I’ve never seen her get her laughs “off” people and situations. Her jokes are always trying to build people up (such as when she flirts with the guys and when she compliments what girls are wearing) and not tearing them down – as some comedians do in order to get a laugh.

As Luenell takes time out for the red carpet walk while waiting for the event to start, others who arrived included Academy Award nominee Kimberly River Robertson (Trouble the Water), known on stage as Black Kold Madina; The Lady of Raged (“Afro Puffs”); Ms Toi (“You Can Do It”); The Rangers; Draft (“Kiss My Black Amex”); Pink Dollaz, Asia Lynn, known on stage as Ms. Betsyville Herself; Hea-Von (“Getting in the Game”), and the legendary Hip-Hop songstress Michel’le (“Nicety” and “Something in My Heart”).

“Congratulations to everybody who is (getting honored),” former platinum selling Ruthless Records artist Michel’le said with sincerity.

There were many performances to honor those who paved the way for female underground artists, in fact, legendary Sparky D performed her own material such as her “Sparky D’s World” released on B-Boy Records in 1988. Queen Pen was honored, along with Humanitarian and Academy Award nominee Kimberly Rivers Roberts.

For more on the Female Hip-Hop Honors log onto www.UndergroundGirlsofHipHop.com and for more on the events’ host Luenell log onto www.HeyLuenell.com.