Jody Watley Weekend Rewind. Celebration at Giorgio’s. Father’s Day. Pioneers.

It was a week of major losses in the entertainment world, actress civil rights activist Ruby Dee, unsung jazz great Little Jimmy Scott and radio and voice legend Casey Kasem. One of the biggest thrills when I became a solo artist and making a mark on Commercial Top 40 was to listen to Casey Kasem’s Countdown anticipating hearing Kasems announce my music – it always felt like a “you really have made it” moment. Not every artist got to hear their name amidst the American Top 40 Countdown – what an honor. Who can’t forget his voice on Scooby-Doo?! It was sad to hear his end of days turned so tragic, but he is in a peaceful place now as his children said in their statement to the media.  The music of Little Jimmy Scott always soothes, having discovered him from my Mom as I have done with a lot of jazz and my affinity for it. When recording “After You Who” for Red, Hot and Blue, his music was on my playlist to capture and evoke the essence of emotion and elegance as my foray into jazz. I join in the voices of what an inspiration and positive Ruby Dee was. These were lives well lived having touched so many of us in a positive way. I enjoyed this in depth article with video on Ruby Dee on OkayPlayer which was shared on my Facebook page: Here One of my favorites from Little Jimmy Scott: Casey Kasem New York Times: Here   Father’s Day posts on my Facebook were tributes to my father and brother John. Because our family lost possessions in storage when I was a little girl, there are any photo’s of he and I, however I do have a few cherished photo’s of him. As well, his memory lives on in my mind, memory and heart. He passed away in 1981 at 49 years young.

Before Tiger Woods there was my Dad John Watley Jr.

Before Tiger Woods there was my Dad John Watley Jr.  who was also a pioneer in golf. JET Magazine, 1952

© 2014 Jody Watley and big brother John Earl Watley III in 1981

© 2014 Jody Watley and big brother John Earl Watley III in 1981

My brother and I like most siblings have had our ups and downs – but we’re cool! I paid tribute in a surprise post for him on Saturday June 14, as he lives in Japan. The first anniversary of Giorgio’s was Saturday night – and it was truly a night to remember, complete with an impromptu performance by yours truly!  Read a fabulous article and check out the photo gallery on BlackBook: Here

© 2014 Tony Kanal of No Doubt and Jody Watley at Giorgio's Anniversary bash.

© 2014 Tony Kanal of No Doubt and Jody Watley at Giorgio’s Anniversary bash.

© 2014 Jody Watley at The Standard Hotel Pre-Disco Cocktail Party Photo Room in Vivienne Westwood World's End

© 2014 Jody Watley at The Standard Hotel Pre-Disco Cocktail Party Photo Room in Vivienne Westwood World’s End

 

Read More at WWD (Women’s Wear Daily): Here

A Night To Remember. theLIFT Presents CHURCH.

It went down April 27, 2013 at a very secret location in downtown Los Angeles. You needed to RSVP before being given the address. This is an ultra groovy music affair. If you’re not hip to internationally renowned DJ/Producer/Jazz Musician/Classically trained pianist/ Mark de Clive-Lowe you need to update your musical palette. His event CHURCH is a must attend night on the town if it ever pops up in your city – anywhere in the world. The framework and atmosphere were laid by an eclectic range of DJ’s including Jeremy Sole and KCRW’s Aaron Byrd mixing tunes on a stellar sound system inside the warehouse. I’m not talking the glut of the same Top 40 songs being spun in clubs around the world now. If you’re old enough to remember what it was like going out to dance and you heard songs that made you go “Whoa..what’s that?!”

This was handpicked music ranging from jazz, soul and house all woven together amidst a first class lighting designer to create the right type of ambience. Mark de Clive Lowe’s set is a combination of DJ and musicianship – with vocal pieces and musical bits being created on the fly accompanied by a tight knit band that included an esteemed cast including Freddy Washington (Herbie Hancock,Patrice Rushen on bass; Derf Reklaw (The Pharoahs, Ramsey Lewis) percussion, Dexter Story (Kindred Spirits, Lifeforce Trio), drums Bob Reynolds (John Mayer) on saxophone, , as well the gifted Nia Andrews (Common, Janelle Monae) on vocals.

Food trucks, full bar and a packed house of music devotees not worried about trend or popularity – rather the type of night of music and dancing that’s all about substance. Legacy artist/songwriter producer Leon Ware (Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Maxwell) did a memorable brief set that included Minnie Ripperton’s classic “Inside My Love” to which I joined him on a sublime and sexy rendition of one of his classic penned tunes “I Want You.” I felt as if I were in a dream. It wasn’t one of those generic ‘old school’ moments – this was born of the moment to a packed house of primarily 20 and 30 somethings that appreciate the music and vibes enough to be in the ‘know’ about an evening like this. They also seem to know the history not as nostalgia (like some older fans tend to do) but true modern appreciation  rather than what’s force-fed ad nauseam in today’s commercial scene. After coming onstage to join Mr. Ware, I returned in the second set of De Clive-Lowe to perform “Tonight’s The Night” one of our club gems as well as the new “The Dawn” – it was the first time he and I had performed that one. My guys Rosero McCoy and John “Havic” Gregory went in with me on both.

It’s a pleasure to be a legacy artist with history myself while continuing to be a part of something fresh to those who really understand – as an alternative to some of the more straight up shows and events I do with my own band. It’s a continued evolution which is an element and one of the many unique things about what I do and the variety of ways I choose to do it. Being an artist for 3 decades in this crazy business, it’s always important for me to find ways to remain authentic though never staying the the ‘box.’ The vibe of ‘CHURCH’ is one of the elements of the underground that I’ve loved since I discovered and began to embrace back in 1999; a quality mixture of soul, jazz, dance, electronic – just happens to be ‘club.’ There is a wealth of great music and artistry – you may have to work harder to find it, but it’s there for the open-minded. I had so much fun – it was another night to remember for all involved.

Mark De Clive-Lowe and Jody Watley (c) 2013

Backstage. Mark De Clive-Lowe and Jody Watley Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jody Watley, Leon Ware. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Backstage. Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jody Watley, Leon Ware. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Jody Watley "LIVE" theLIFT presents CHURCH Spring 2013 Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Jody Watley “LIVE” theLIFT presents CHURCH Spring 2013 Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Backstage. Limited edition Jody Watley T-shirts!

Backstage VIP Lounge. Limited edition Jody Watley T-shirts!

Pre-Show - Always staying "in the light!" Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Pre-Show – Always staying “in the light!” Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Meeting Leon Ware backstage for first time. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

Meeting Leon Ware backstage for first time. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)

UPCOMING CONCERTS:

CHENGDU NIGHT OF GLOBAL FORTUNE AND GRAMMY WINNING ARTISTS; CHENGDU, CHINA SPORTS CENTRE JUNE 8, 2013. 

ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, NEW ORLEANS, LA MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME SUPERLOUNGE, JULY 6, 2013

NEW MUSIC COMING:

“NIGHTLIFE” PRODUCED BY COUNT DE MONEY 

 “THE DAWN” PRODUCED BY MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE – Coming Summer 2013!

Jody Watley. Song of the Day. “More.”

Written by Jody Watley (Jody Watley Music, BMI), Rodney Lee (Dream Planet Music, BMI) Produced by Jody Watley and Rodney Lee for Innocent Bystander Productions. “More” from the 2003 critically acclaimed full length “Midnight Lounge”. – “Best album of her career..” – Blues and Soul, UK

Another Musical Pivot.

jodywatley_plum3_web_blog3“I enjoy the diversity of my musical range and feel comfortable in various genres. I can go with ease from R&B/Pop, dance/disco, funk, ambient electronica to a more smooth out jazz vibe – finding total joy and passion in all of it. The versatility is something that also separates me from a lot of artists and songwriters and defies the box that some have tried to put me in over the years.” – Jody Watley

Christmas Time Is Here. Jody Watley

Another unreleased holiday treat from Jody Watley, taking on Vince Guaraldi’s ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ classic. Recorded initially several years ago for friends and fun without commercial intent and produced with longtime collaborator and band member Rodney Lee.