Monday’s Mixed Bag

Hello on Monday morning, Music-Fans,

The lead music news of the weekend was, quite naturally, Whitney Houston’s funeral. The ceremony was the final act in a relatively brief and turbulent, but spectacular career in singing.  Regardless of its brevity, the quality of her recorded work assures her legacy as a pop music legend.  Though most great singers have two or three songs forever associated with them, precious few ever record what is termed an ‘anthem’.  Whitney was one of the rare ones who managed to lay down such an anthem – I Will Always Love You.

In some news that got drowned out during the sad events of last week is the announcement of the 34th Playboy Jazz Festival scheduled for June at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A.  Whoa – now hold on.  No, playmates and centrefolds won’t be doing the singing, think again.  Established and upcoming jazz performers are on the roster!  The headline star is Quincy Jones.  QJ started off as an arranger, released a succession of Big Band fusion albums, became a music producer, and set up his own network of music companies.  And he still leads bands!  Bill Cosby, the long-time presenter at Playboy Jazz Festivals, will do the honours again.  Instantly recognizable names who will perform include Ramsey Lewis and Eddie Henderson.

We’ve had a rerun of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis except that this time the alleged money-grubbing manager has got sued.  Michael Jackson’s estate has filed a legal action against a former manager, Tohme R. Tohme, alleging lack of fiduciary duty.  The lawsuit pleads: “After being hired by Michael Jackson . . . Tohme took control of virtually all of Jackson’s personal and professional affairs, then did as he pleased.”  Allegedly, he not only took the standard fifteen percent commission from MJ’s gross, he made on-the-side deals with an equity and capital firm in 2008 when he arranged refinancing for MJ’s Neverland ranch.  The suit claims that Tohme skimmed ten percent from the deal without proper disclosure and had an insider agreement to get a further ten percent from a potential sale of the ranch.  The way that prizefighters and boxers get skimmed and ripped by promoters, agents, managers, whatnot, one wishes that MJ’s Estate were looking after their interests!

That’s all for now,

Shane