Reviewed by Giles D Morrison
This is the second album of three in which Chris is exploring a more experimental side to his music in anlicipation of the new millennium. In 'Heritage And Hope' Chris has revisited some classic hymns and choruses ("Here Is Love", "Jesus Shall Take The Highest Honour", "How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds", "Be Still") with new arrangements and written new songs ("Greater Grace", "Here I Am", "Don't Be Afraid" among others). What is particularly special about this album is the range of musical influences Chris has drawn upon in its creation. Using orchestra, the Iskra Quartet (strings), cathedral choirs and soloists, gospel choirs and Chris's own incomparable classical piano, an album of unsurpassed richness has resulted. There is jazz, gospel, meditational, contemplative and hymnody weaving together, carrying the listener closer to God. Family influences are also present, with Chris's daughter, Sara, singing solo on "Don't Be Afraid" and Chris" father, to whom the album is dedicated, reading a prayer of the Northumbria Community on the final track, "Celtic Night Prayer". In the album's introduction Chris states that, "Worship ceases when wonder ceases" and invites you to, "...join with all of heaven....dwelling in a place of wonder". Let yourself be guided by one of this country's foremost Christian artists into a growing "right perspective and appreciation of the magnitude of God's grace and mercy."
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