New Life Community Choir ftg John P Kee - Not Guilty: The Experience
STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21996-DVD332 LABEL: Verity 01241431399 FORMAT: DVD Music video ITEMS: 1 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
Gospel heavyweight John P Kee and his New Life Community Choir regularly appear during this DVD (originally released on video in 2000) in Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuits! Thankfully, this is the only major drawback to enjoying a very powerful and professional presentation, essentially a concert video interspersed with brief soundbites from Kee himself. New Life were promoting their 'Not Guilty' CD for this gig and (producer and co-editor, as well as frontman) Kee generously ensures that band and choir members, as well as occasional dancers and guests, share substantial screen time with himself, and there's lots of footage of the audience joining in 'The Experience' too. Things don't start well; my heart sank a little as a Star Wars-style opening scroll-up accompanied an OTT voiceover booming an introduction to the gig, but once the band kick into "Thou Art Worthy" and "I'll Bless Your Name" there's no stopping them. Kee and New Life do this sort of thing as well as anyone else on the scene, and having the likes of young buck Tonéx and gospel matriarch Shirley Caesar pop up to join the party only adds to the quality. Highlights include the most animated trombonist ever on the traditional "I Believe" and the Live Aid-style gang vocals ("everyone back onstage for the big finish!") for set closer "Grateful". Great stuff. Less successful are two videos (again, all down to John P Kee - concepts, direction, the whole nine yards) for "Wedding Song" and "Not Guilty", the latter featuring (you guessed it) a jail cell/courtroom concept with lots of singing in handcuffs. But don't let that put you off.
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The ‘Prince Of Gospel’ John P Kee has been at the forefront of contemporary gospel music for over 20 years. Not Guilty: The Experience was originally released as a 2CD set with a companion VHS in 2001.
The concert was recorded live at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina. Highlights from this multiple awardwinning legend include Jesus, Sovereign and the title track Not Guilty.
Running time 90 minutes.