STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 138205-20722 LABEL: RCA 886919612028 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2013-06-04 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by A T Bradford
'Azusa The Next Generation' showcases the big voice and even bigger heart of Hezekiah Walker, founder pastor of New York's East Side Love Tabernacle and bishop prelate of the Pentecostal Churches of Jesus Christ denomination. The music reflects the black American gospel-Pentecostal roots of Walker's formative 1980s years with the Grammy Award-winning Love Fellowship Crusade Choir. Call and response features strongly in "Every Praise" (under-pinned by Jeffery Lesley on drums and Justin Cunningham on bass) and "More Than A Conqueror" (featuring Timiney Figueroa on vocals and Jules Bartholomew on keys and organ). "Breakthrough" has Walker's preaching effectively intersecting with Donnie McClurkin's soaring vocal harmonies - 'You are God, you are greater than anything, you are my breakthrough.' "Grace" introduces a younger vocal feel with Brian Courtney Wilson, supported by Ronald Black on synthesiser and Joeworn Martin on organ. Walker's album majors on announcing spiritual truths in the context of choral worship; as such the lyrics build faith and will be especially popular among believers with a Pentecostal heritage.
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Named after what has been called the origin of the Pentecostal movement, Azusa the Next Generation is a musical representation of what Azusa became. Started in Los Angeles in 1906 as a small Bible Study what became known as the Azusa Street Revival blossomed into an annual event drawing people from all over the world and crossing racial barriers.