*”Rejoice and Shout” is probably the first documentary to look comprehensively at the 200-year musical history of African-American Christianity — which is to say gospel music — and may well be the last.
Reuters reports that it doesn’t look like director Don McGlynn or his producer, Joe Lauro, who owns a vast collection of old records and music film footage, missed anything significant.
The documentary is exhaustive in its compilation of the major acts and personalities in gospel music — to the point the narrative thread almost gets buried under the weight of names, dates, musical styles and vintage performances.
For anyone with a keen interest in this unique American musical form, “Rejoice and Shout” is a must-see and see-again. It’s also a must-have for the home libraries of gospel-music enthusiast.
*Dr. Dre, the legendary producer and West Coast rap representative, shared with Vibe that he has finally let go of his collection of 80,000 vinyl discs.
He took a photo way back when with his stacked collection, where he is pictured sitting in a room filled with old vinyl and scattered on the floor. The photo appeared on the cover of Chronic 2001. Now, that coveted piece of art, history, and music will be played in someone else’s record player.
“The record collection is gone now,” he told Vibe, elaborating that most of pieces were sold off. “What I did was just went through and jotted down everything I was in love with so I could order it [later].”
Dre of course is a music lover with a keen appreciation for some good sounds. Among those he kept in his close grip were Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” soundtrack, Nirvana’s 1989 “Bleach” and Barry White’s Greatest Hits.
Nirvana? Grunge rock? Who knew?
“That’s one of my favorite albums ever made,” the doctor shared. “I still listen to the sh** to work out.”
Jonah Hill and Sean 'Diddy' Combs in 'Get Him to the Greek'
*Get Him to the Greek reunites Jonah Hill and Russell Brand with Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller in the story of a young record company executive with three days to drag an uncooperative rock legend to Hollywood for a comeback concert.
The comedy is the latest film from hit producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People).
Aaron Green (Hill) gets things done. The ambitious 24-year-old has been given a career-making assignment. His mission: Fly to London and escort a rock god to the world famous Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for a huge comeback concert.
His record mogul boss, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs of Monster’s Ball, television’s A Raisin in the Sun), gives him one warning:
“The artist is the worst person on Earth. Turn your back on him at your own peril.”
British rocker Aldous Snow (Brand) is a brilliant musician and certifiable rock-n’-roll legend, but due to a bad break-up and nose-diving career, has fallen off the wagon and is now a walking disaster. Weary of yes men and scared he’s entered the “greatest hits” twilight of his career, Snow’s in the midst of a nihilistic downward spiral. When he learns his true love, model/pop star Jackie Q (ROSE BYRNE of television’s Damages, Knowing), is in Los Angeles, Aldous makes it his quest to win her back…right before kick-starting his return to world domination.
As the countdown to the concert begins, one innocent young man must navigate a minefield of London drug smuggles, Manhattan mayhem and Vegas debauchery to deliver his charge safe and, sort of, sound…all while trying to remain faithful to his girlfriend, Daphne (ELISABETH MOSS of television’s Mad Men, Did You Hear About the Morgans?). He may have to coax, lie to, enable and party with Aldous, and Aaron may get inebriated, titillated, violated, humiliated, incapacitated, irritated, evacuated, medicated and rejuvenated on the way … but Aaron will get him to the Greek.
Just as Aaron and girlfriend Daphne are stumbling through a difficult patch in their relationship, Aaron is given the plum assignment to travel to London and escort Aldous to New York City for a publicity stint at the Today show…and then on to the Greek Theatre for the 10-year anniversary concert of his breakthrough American debut. In essence, he is being sent to babysit a madman. Doling out that task to Aaron is the head of Pinnacle Records, Aaron’s boss Sergio Roma, played by Sean Combs.
When the casting director advised the filmmakers that Combs was willing to fly himself out to audition for the part, they knew he was serious about the job. It was an unusual move for such a well-known performer, but Combs had a plan. The performer offers:
“When I first found out there was a chance to be in a movie with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand that was directed by Nick Stoller and produced by Judd Apatow, I would’ve given one of my arms to get the role. I prepared all of the dialogue, worked with my acting coach, walked into the audition, and they said, ‘You’re not going to need the script. We’re just going to improv.’ I thought, ‘If I really want the role…I just have to go for it.’”
Casting Combs had an unexpected benefit. Explains Apatow:
“Nick wrote Sergio as an amazing part, and then Sean was even better than what we had. We would go to him and say, ‘What would a crazy record company executive say here?’ He turned into one of the important partners of the movie because he told us about the record industry, and he knew a lot of insane points of view that people might have.”
Sergio Roma, he’s the owner of Pinnacle Records. He’s an eccentric, over-the-top type of record executive” says Combs about his character.
“I know it sounds similar to me in my real life, but it’s really different. Sergio is much crazier than what I am. I’m more of a very serious businessman when it comes to taking care of business. I can’t wait for people to meet Sergio, it’s not me playing myself. I definitely draw on some real-life experiences of the music industry. You know, at the end of the day this is a comedy, so there, there are some things that, that are very true and some things that are made to be funny, you know, and, you know, the music industry is a crazy place to work.”
SEAN COMBS (Sergio Roma) made his Broadway debut as Walter Lee Younger in the classic Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun. In 2008, Combs reprised the role (and served as an executive producer) for ABC’s televised adaptation, which went on to be nominated for three Emmy Awards. For his role in the telefilm, Combs won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.
Combs made his professional acting debut in the feature film Made. He then starred as Lawrence Musgrove, opposite Halle Berry, in Monster’s Ball, for which he received much critical acclaim.
Combs is the CEO and founder of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, a multifaceted entertainment powerhouse. He is also a Grammy Award-winning music producer who counts Aretha Franklin, Sting, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson among the many artists with whom he has worked. Combs has also released four multiplatinum albums and won his third Grammy Award for the No. 1 song “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” from the Bad Boys II soundtrack. This summer, Combs will debut his sixth studio album, “Last Train to Paris,” with his new group Diddy-Dirty Money.
Since the inception of his clothing line Sean John, Combs has been praised for his innovative and sexy approach to fashion. His efforts were recognized in 2004 when he received the prestigious Perry Ellis Menswear Designer of the Year Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
Additionally, Combs launched his first fragrance, Unforgivable, in 2006 with cosmetics giant Estée Lauder, which quickly became the No. 1-selling fragrance across America. He then launched the fragrances Unforgivable Woman in 2007 and I Am King in 2008, which garnered him a Fragrance Foundation FiFi Award.