Richard Smallwood, Vision - Journey: Live In New York

Published Saturday 29th September 2007
Richard Smallwood, Vision - Journey: Live In New York
Richard Smallwood, Vision - Journey: Live In New York

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 25508-12138
LABEL: 828766222623
RELEASE DATE: 2007-07-31
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

Richard is very much a legend in gospel music, having formed the Smallwood Singers way back in the late '70s and having had a string of releases since then, many of them, like this one, recorded live. I could give you plenty of details about his childhood and early music career, for the first track features something of a This Is Your Life - a spoken tribute but with musical snippets. To us Brits it seems to be a bit of an ego-trip, although musically the rest of this double-album has much to offer and interest the listener. Indeed this concept has been several years in the planning, during which time Smallwood's much beloved mother made the "transition to glory" - and this volume is proudly dedicated to her, with a short solo piece rendered in her memory. Otherwise, it's gospel all the way and there's some fairly soul stirring songs - both upbeat and more reflective - all delivered with passion by Smallwood's seasoned Singers. There are some orchestral arrangements (one of Richard's specialties) on some tracks, and, in line with this, "We Worship You" is rendered in fine classical tones care of Janice Chandler-Eteme. Janice is in fact just one of a whole array of high profile guests who spring up throughout the recording. Kim Burrell, Kelly Price, Chaka Khan and the groundbreaking Hawkins Family all make appearances, ensuring there's never a dull moment - although the several "reprises" do seem unnecessary. If you're a Smallwood fan you will love this.

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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Sample Track Listing:
1. Introduction (His-Story) [Listen]
2. Morning's Breaking (featuring Kelly Price) [Listen]
3. Morning's Breaking (Reprise) [Listen]
4. We've Come Too Far (featuring The Hawkins Family) [Listen]
5. Praise Break [Listen]
6. We Worship You (featuring Janice Chandler-Eteme) [Listen]
7. Precious Is Your Name (Reprise) [Listen]
8. Journey's End [Listen]
9. Dedication To Mom- I'd Rather Have Jesus [Listen]
10. I'll Trust You (Performance Track) [Listen]
11. I'll Trust You (Instrumental Track) [Listen]
12. Holy Holy (Instrumental Track) [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
After six years since his last release and two years since this auspicious and landmark recording event, the wait is finally over. Verity Records is pleased to present 'Journey: Live In New York', the brand new recording from gospel’s premier maestro, Richard Smallwood.
Richard Smallwood fans are certain to be delighted by this thrilling aural testament to a magical evening in New York City. Filled with promising new material, this release is a soon-to-be classic with the signature Richard Smallwood melodies, harmonies and orchestral arrangements that listeners have come to expect and adore. Richard’s musical genius blurs the lines between live audience and taped recording, transporting the listener to the actual event, rather than leaving them sitting in a spectator’s position. And, just as always, Vision, the rich and vibrant choir, backs Smallwood to bring his songs to life. Any witness to the power of this recording will be hard-pressed to stay in their chair and maintain a dry eye.
'Journey: Live In New York' also boasts guest appearances by the crème de la crème of a wide range of musical genres. Chaka Khan takes the microphone on 'Oh How Precious' while Kelly Price encourages the soul with 'Morning Is Breaking'. The Hawkins family reunite on 'Come Too Far', Kim Burrell escorts us along the Journey and in a moment steeped in nostalgia, The Original Richard Smallwood Singers render 'Holy Holy' and 'He Won’t Leave You'.

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