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Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Chris Tomlin on latest Keith & Kristyn Getty album
INTERNATIONALLY renowned music artists Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci and Chris Tomlin all appear as special
guests on 'Facing A Task Unfinished', the upcoming album by modern
hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty. The
project, issued on 17th June, marks the first major release of new material since 2012 for Keith and Kristyn, the world renowned modern hymn writers whose songs are sung by an estimated 100 million people each year in churches and concert halls.
The album was inspired by the hymn "Facing A Task Unfinished", originally written in 1931 by China Inland Mission (now OMF International) worker Frank Houghton as a call for missionaries to go into the heart of China amid harrowing persecution, international political unrest and global uncertainty. Moved by the powerful hymn, more than 200 missionaries soon set sail to plant the seeds of the Gospel in that country, resulting in what mission experts believe to be the greatest growth of Christianity in the history of the world - estimated to be between 80-130 million people over the last three-quarters of a century. Said Keith Getty, "Frank Houghton believed that God's people singing together fuels mission. It is in that same spirit that Kristyn and I have created this new recording - to encourage congregational singing, urgent conversation and expanded global evangelism today."
Continued Keith, "We are so grateful to the esteemed artists who have joined us to make this a truly international collaboration." Ladysmith Black Mambazo's signature vocals are featured on the track "O Children Come", written by the Gettys as a call for believers to "go with the good news of Christ in words and in deeds of mercy to a needy world." Bassist extraordinaire John Patitucci has performed and recorded with Wayne Shorter, B B King, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Sting, Bon Jovi, Carole King and many more. Patitucci, who performed with the Gettys on their sold-out Christmas tour at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall in December, is featured on three tracks: "Beyond These Shores", "We Believe (Apostle's Creed)" and a bonus track, "Consider The Stars", a lullaby the Gettys wrote for their three young daughters that is also dedicated to astronauts Colonel Jeffrey Williams and Captain Barry "Butch" Wilmore.
Noted New Mexican Christian singer/songwriter Fernando Ortega adds a warm and elegant vocal on "My Worth Is Not In What I Own", which calls believers to refocus their lives for a greater joy while Grammy-winning contemporary Christian worship singer, songwriter and recording artist Chris Tomlin joins the Gettys on "Oh Church Arise", written in commemoration of the hymns of Martin Luther. In addition to singing on the new recording, Tomlin lent his songwriting skills to the song to celebrate the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Also guesting on the project is guzheng (Chinese zither) virtuoso We Fei, who played with the Getty's Irish American band on "Beyond These Shores", an instrumental that unites traditional musical themes from the American South, Eastern Europe, Africa, China and Ireland.
Recorded in Nashville's historic Ocean Way Recording studio, 'Facing A Task Unfinished' features the Gettys' band of musicians from Ireland and America and an international congregation of choir singers. It was produced by Nathan Nockels (Passion, Matt Redman) and the Getty's Musical Director, Fionan de Barra (the New York City production of Riverdance, Moya Brennan). The recording sessions were also filmed by noted filmmaker Andy Hutch (Van Morrison, Chris Tomlin) who also directed the Getty's 2015 Joy - An Irish Christmas public television special that aired to 45+ million households last holiday season. A two-year international tour of the album will begin in September.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.