John Mehler And Kenneth Nash - Light The Night/Jazz Praise

Saturday 1st June 1991
John Mehler And Kenneth Nash - Light The Night/Jazz Praise

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Maranatha

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

A smart reissue move this, when these albums first came out in the mid 80s they were rather overlooked. Yet taking two experienced Christian music session men, drummer Mehier and percussionist/synth man Kenneth Nash and allowing them to assemble a crew of hand picked jazzos to perform well known and not-so-well-known praise and worship songs was a brilliant idea. Not every arrangement on 'Light The Night1 works, the mock steel-drum of "It's Time To Praise The Lord" quickly palls, but when they do, like the fluidly haunting "Humble Yourself In The Sight Of The Lord" (catch Paul Cantos' '3AM in the morning' sax) or Donn Thomas' "A Shield Above Me" the effect is stunning. On 'Jazz Praise', the way over-exposed choruses like "Jesus, Name Above All Names" or the classic hymn "Amazing Grace" are given a whole new lease of life by changing a chord here and there, adding some tricky time sequences and setting them off with some cool and tasteful solos is nothing short of masterly. If you don't find this kind of pop-jazz so much yuppie muzak, and you haven't been put off by the whole 'Jazz Praise' concept by the utterly dreadful British cassette bearing that name last year, here is finely played music for background listening or a contemplative aid in your devotions.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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