A Date With A Song

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It’s been described as an album without borders. It reaches into Urban AC and R&B, tips into Smooth Jazz, dives into the classic & straight ahead jazz arena and flirts with every listener who enjoys a teasing lyric, a haunting melody and relevant music that speaks to the reality of life.

In 2003 LaRita Shelby and Willie Daniels partnered to write and produce a jazz project. Soon after, they began performing at the Lucy Florence Coffee house. Two years prior to that LaRita started her affiliation with The Starlight Jazz Serenade in Los Angeles. After a season with RHM Management, Rita (her jazz name) was left with a wonderful, completed project but no record home. At the encouragement of Jay King and with the blessing of Mr. Charles Wright, Shall Be Music is now on the map and at the tip of a jazz journey that is reaching the world.

Ultimately, Shall Be Music would like to create and produce more music that is record breaking and history making!

Listening to A Date With A Song is like spending an evening with a beautiful woman who sings only for and to you. Rita Shelby's warmth and charm along with a fabulous styling technique makes the listener feel immediately fulfilled while listening to these original compositions. I listen to it in my car. That's a 5 star recommendation right there!

--David Wasserman- President Latin Cool Recordings
LaRita (Rita) Shelby is a veteran performer in radio, TV and film.

Most know her from having worked with Lee Bailey (RadioScope), Tom Joyner (Its Your World) and Tavis Smiley (NPR & PRI) or the Worldspace Digital Network. A deeper probe reveals early days at WDIA, KGFJ and The Armed Forces Radio and TV Services worldwide. Shelby has appeared on TV and in film in such productions as A Different World, Martin, Walk By Faith, Kings Of The Evening and the classic South Central. Rita Shelby is also a vibrant song stylist with a life long passion for music. Her mother (the late Florence Hawkins) was a gospel musician who taught her to sing and play while at her side. Rita has further developed her skills over the past several years. The result is her debut album A Date With A Song which features ten songs written by Rita Shelby and her long time musical comrade Willie Daniels. Miss Rita has been praised for her slick and catchy lyrics & melodies that are enveloped by infectious chords constructed by Mr. Daniels. Of course Rita counts among her many influences Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Angela Bofill, Sarah Vaughn, Billy Holiday, Vanessa Rubin and Abby Lincoln.

The single Holding Down This Forty is a contemporary ode to the working class driven by a bass line from Smitty Smith. On keys is co-composer Willie Daniels who enlisted newcomer Arthur Washington on drums. Meanwhile producer Michael Wells supplies the rhythm guitar and Warren Conner puts in the rich baritone vocals on the hook.

Also on the A Date With A Song album is production by Willie Daniels, Stafford Floyd, Michael Wells and the Grammy Award winning Andre' Fischer. Bobby Watson from Rufus sat in on the tunes Old Man's Girl and Sour Citrus along with John Kiodini on guitar and the legendary Mike Melvoin, who is a former chairman of NARAS. Sax man Aaron Fletcher also adds flavor to the title track while Gene Van Buren (who worked with Luther Vandrosss) on background vocal arrangements in Cherish The Moment is stellar. For nine years Rita has hosted the Starlight Jazz Serenade benefit concert at the Los Angeles Academy of TV Arts & Sciences where she performed on the same venue with Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Dave Koz, Boney James, Everett Harp, Brian Culbertson, and more. It was there that L. A. Times Jazz critic Don Heckman predicted that Rita had star potential!

A Date With A Song reveals Rita's sultry, warm & witty notations like those in Sour Citrus, Holding Down This Forty, Old Man's Girl and Drink U Some Act Right. Then there's the heart felt and poignant Cherish The Moment and This Is Where I Draw The Line. The classic appeal of the title track A Date With A Song is one is sure to stand the test of time.

Rita Live at the Friar's Club Beverly Hills, Ca honoring Radioscopes Lee Bailey (Song by L. Shelby and Willie Daniels, Produced by Michael Wells)

Fair Game - Walk By Faith - Kings of the Evening
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