Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
John P Kee's has been prolific since the late '80s, pretty much clocking up one release per year. Most of these have been with the New Life Community Choir he formed in the '80s, but 'The Legacy Project' is something rather different to all of these. It's a tribute to a swathe of traditional gospel acts. As Kee states, "In this season of high energy praise and the changing climate of this musical genre, I felt the need to stand up and be counted as a lover and admirer of this historic style of music. . . travel back in time with me to honour traditional gospel and its great contributors." Rather oddly, not all the "great contributors" are well known, even to gospel music devotees (Joe Joe Wallace, Mother Mabel Powell), others can hardly be described as "traditional" (Ronald Winans) while someone like Rickey Smiley is best known as a comedian! But what of the music here? The majority of tracks feature John's gravelly voice dueting with other well known gospel artists, such as Fred Hammond, Joe Ligon, Anthony Hamilton and the always wonderful Rance Allen. In true John Kee style, uplifting is the word that sums up the CD; declaring God's goodness in all things as in the opening "Blessings" and the reminder of how intimately God knows us in "I Know You," firmly declaring action in "I'll Serve Him" and looking to the future in "He'll Welcome Me." The musicianship is flawless, although about halfway through it all starts to sound a tad samey.
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With a stellar career spanning well over 20 years, John P Kee is going back to his roots with the new release, The Legacy Project.
His latest recording hearkens back to some of the days of incredible quartet music. Pastor Kee has assembled some of the most recognisable and incomparable voices from Gospel and R&B with guest appearances from Anthony Hamilton, Fred Hammond, Joe Ligon (The Mighty Clouds Of Joy), Elder Rance Allen (The Rance Allen Group) and Harvey Watkins (The Canton Spirituals).