by Chris Toenes
Record label Light in the Attic will soon add to the in-print catalog of Durham-born funk diva Betty Davis this fall with the release of Is It Love or Desire?, her last studio album, which was canned before release and hasn't even been bootlegged. The album was recorded in Louisiana with Funk House, Davis' backing band with deep roots in the Reidsville and Greensboro areas. It included her cousins, drummer Nicky Neal and bassist Larry Johnson, and their friends, Fred "Funki" Mills and guitarist Carlos Morales. For those who heard it at the time, the record was a breakthrough for the band and a new direction for Davis. Nasty Gal, her third album, will also receive reissue with extensive notes from researcher John Ballon and other rich detail. It's another overt, raunchy stab outward from Davis. Originally released in 1975, it includes an arrangement by Miles Davis of "You and I," in which she wrote and sang of their relationship. October 6 can't come fast enough for some of us. Stay tuned.
Fred "Funki" Mills will host a benefit in honor of his sister, Janice L. Mills, at N.C Central Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Mills was the dean of N.C. Central University's law school before her death in 2007. For more on that, jump beyond the break for our 8 Days a Week selection on the concert.
Janice L. Mills Foundation Rising Stars Benefit Concert
Hayti Heritage Center—As former dean of the N.C. Central University Law School, Janice L. Mills heavily influenced the school and community before she died in 2007. The foundation established in her name and the law school present this concert as a benefit for scholarships awarded to aspiring law school students. Expect smooth jazz and neo-soul from this slate of performing artists, including the Jayy Music Group, Tanya Ross Project and North Carolina R&B mainstay Sweet Dreams, now in its 25th year. Fred "Funki" Mills, who started the foundation, is Ms. Mills' brother and might be known to Indy readers for his part in the career of funk diva Betty Davis. "Big E" from WNAA 90.1 FM hosts the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m. and costs $20. —Chris Toenes