Monday, March 31, 2014

Michael Jackson New Album XSCAPE

Epic Records announced this morning that a new Michael Jackson album will see release this spring. Titled XSCAPE, the record will be comprised of eight previously-unreleased tracks from the King of Pop's archives, which have all been "contemporized" by Timbaland and other producers to make for a more modern sound.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jonathan Moffett speaks on how difficult Michael Jackson's death was for him

American drummer Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett has a contacts list that includes Madonna and Elton John, but there’s one artist above all others who has defined the renowned session muso’s career – Michael Jackson.
Moffett, an in-demand drummer since the late 1970s, performed in Australia with the king of pop on his HIStory tour in 1997 and was in rehearsals with the band for Michael’s This Is It comeback just before Michael’s death in 2009. Now Moffett, 59, is back in Australia to pay tribute to the man he calls “one of the greatest human beings”, as part of Cirque de Soleil’s show The Immortal World Tour, a musical circus salute to the star’s career.
“He’s the most popular entertainer in the history of the world.” says Moffett. “When you reach that many people you are more than an entertainer. It becomes a culture. What we’re doing on this tour is reaching the people in that culture.”
The Immortal, which began its Australian tour in Perth last night, features acrobats, contortionists and dancers performing to Michael’s biggest hits, such as Thriller and Billie Jean. Moffett is part of a live band that features five musicians who toured with Michael Jackson at different times in his career. The singer is present too, on video and on the original tracks.
“It’s true to Michael and it has a lot to do with Michael’s dance work,” Moffett says.
Moffett, from New Orleans, got his first big break after moving to Los Angeles in 1979. Within five weeks of arriving he was signed up to tour with The Jacksons, which included 20-year-old Michael. Thus began a 30-year working relationship with the King of Pop. Moffett says Michael’s level of professionalism was what made him such a success, and he expected the same from all of his employees.
“If you were there then he expected you to know what he wanted and what he needed for his level of professionalism,” Moffett says. The singer expected the performances “to be exactly like the record, but he’d want you to add to it in a minimal way that made it more exciting live … to have a stage presence. That was very important. He was very much a man of image and he wanted his band to reflect that. We were all hand picked by him, but you had to operate on his level.”
Moffett describes Michael’s death at the age of 50 as “a great shock”.
“The This Is It rehearsals were wonderful because we hadn’t toured together since 97. We were really excited about it and he was really excited about it. Everything was shaping up fantastically well. I had no clue of anything that was going on so it was a total shock to me. “It was the most difficult thing I have experienced in my life.”
The Immortal is in Perth until Sunday, then travels to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.