Maysa

Maysa

*“It was very therapeutic,” said Smooth Jazz vocalist Maysa about her ninth album, “Motions of Love,” on the Shanachie imprint. “This project is an R&B album. At the time I broke up with my long time boy friend. I think it’s going to be my biggest record yet. It started at #1 on Jazz (charts) and #7 on R&B.”

Those motions of love that the former Incognito lead singer went through is evident in this 14 song project. The album has co-writing support from Stevie Wonder, primary production by Chris “Big Dog”Davis and vocal support from Dwele.

The Baltimore native is best known for her lead vocals in the British Jazz group Incognito of musician/producer/bandleader Bluey – who was looking for an American singer. With Maysa’s silky smooth vocals the group reach new levels of fame by reaching the American Urban charts and radio with their 1992 release “Tribes Vibes and Scribes.” Their 1994 album, “Positivity,” is noted as their biggest selling project to date.

In1995 Maysa started on her solo journey when she signed to GRP Records and released her debut. Through the years she has released also on the N2K Records and Encoded Music imprints before landing at Shanachie Entertainment. Her journey has securely established Maysa as one of the best Smooth Jazz vocals of this generation.

With her new project “Motions of Love” Maysa starts a new journey in securing a place in the R&B genre. My favorite songs on the project include the title track “Motions of Love” for its emotional R&B delivery; “Have Sweet Dreams” co-written by Stevie Wonder, a heavenly sweet song; “Get Wit Me” a funky R&B selection; the cover “I Try” finds her scatting with vocals delivered the “Maysa way” – clear and precise; “Love Sweet Love (LSL),” a hot dance number, and “Your Name’s Not on the List,” another hot funky offering.

“I want them to know that whatever they’re going through, I’m going through it too,” Maysa said when asked what she wanted the listeners of “Motions of Love” to get from the album. “…To feel better.”

Visit Maysa at www.Shanachie.com for more on her new album, “Motions of Love.”

Former NBA star Walter McCarty releases sophomore R&B album, ‘Emotionally’

Walter McCarty

Walter McCarty

*The tall and alluring former NBA star Walter McCarty releases his sophomore album, “Emotionally,” on Hit Boys Entertainment. McCarty started as a songwriter, co-writing for such artists as Tyrese

“I’ve always had a passion for music,” Walter said when questioned about which – basketball and singing – skills give him the most passion. “It’s (music) been a big part of my life. Basketball…opened the door for music.”

Raised singing in the church, Walter said while playing in the NBA people would admire his voice. The 6’10” performer played basketball for such teams as The New York Knicks, Boston Celtics,PhoenixSun and the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Trust in yourself and your ability,” he said when ask to give advice to others in sports who wanted to get into music. “When you get the opportunity, go for it.”

McCarthy’s vocals are smooth and a bit Urban R&B sounding with Soul influences. In fact, Walter notes his influences as Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson and Jodeci.

My favorite cuts on the album include “Waiting For Your Love,” a heartfelt R&B selection, “Mr. DJ,” a nice club track and “Oooh Wee” also a club offering.

For more information on Walter McCarty’s newest album release log onto his website at www.WalterMcCarty.com.

Charlottes’ Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir wins Verizon’s ‘How Sweet The Sound’ national finale’

Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir

The 2011 Verizon 'How Sweet the Sound" winner, the Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir from Charlotte

*“We vote on how they can connect…,” said Pastor Shirley Caesar, a judge of the 2011 Verizon “How Sweet The Sound” American church choir national competition, when asked what the judges were looking for.

Along with Shirley other judges included Stellar and Dove Award winner Marvin Sapp and Grammy Award winning Israel Houghton.

“We look for choirs with charisma and energy,” said Israel Houghton. “You can feel it sought of. They can be electrifying, but the pitch and tone is monotone. You have to feel it, they have to feel it and the crowd has to feels it. You sought of know.”

Hosted by Grammy Award winning CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence the “How Sweet The Sound” finale was held at theStapleCenterinLos Angeles. The event was supported by Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, who also came to promote their upcoming movie release, Joyful Noise. Both performed during the event. Legendary Andrae’ Crouch was honored with a performance by Chaka Khan.

Nine church choirs from nine different cities made it to the finale and they gave it their all. The voices, the moves, the choice of song and what they were wearing had the audience in awe and on the edge of their seats – I know, I was one. The judges seemed to enjoy themselves as well and at times seem to be speechless.

“I have never seen or heard anything like what I’ve seen tonight,” said Shirley Caesar, sincerely. after one of the performances.

Competing church choirs included St. John Church Music Ministry fromDallas; All Nations Life and Praise Church Choir fromAtlanta; Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir inCharlotte; James E. Jordan, Jr. Adult Choir from Washington, DC; The Anointed Voices of Higher Ground Youth Adult Choir from Detroit; Metropolitan Community Church from St. Louis; All Nations Choir from Chicago; Family Life Sanctuary Choir of Los Angeles, and the Christian Life Center Mass Choir from Oakland. The winning choir will receive $25,000 and a long list of other prizes.

At the end of the night it was the Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir in Charlotte that won with their version of Handel’s “Hallelujah.” The winning choir prizes also included performing at this year’s Stellar Awards and at the Super Bowl Celebration.

The African-American Film Critics Awards announced, Tree of Life gets top honors

African-American Film Critics Awards founder Gil Robertson and actress/director Salli Richardson-Whitfield

*The African-American Film Critics Awards (AAFCA) was recently announced by President and Founder Gil Robertson IV and actress/director Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend). Ten films will be awarded along with eleven other categories, such as Best Actor – which went to Woody Harrelson for Rampart, Best Actress to Viola Davis for The Help and Ava DuVernay for I Will Follow – just to name a few.

The ten films to be honored include the top winner Tree of Life,” as well as Drive, Pariah, Rampart, Shame, Money Ball, The Descendants, A Better Life, My Week With Marilyn and The Help. Special honors will be presented to George Lucas with the Cinema Vanguard honor, Richard Roundtree with the AAFCA Legacy honor, Hattie Winston with the AAFCA Horizon honor, and Sony Pictures Entertainment with the Special Achievement Award.

AAFCA was established in 2003 with members a collection of individuals in various media, which covers CNN, ET, Ebony/Jet, and EURweb.com.

“There is strength in numbers when we come together to make a bigger difference,” said Gil about why he formed the African-American Film Critics Association.

For more information on AAFCA and its awards show, which will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2011 at the Light Space Studio in Culver City, California, log onto www.AAFCA.com.

(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)