STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12548-1788 LABEL: Spectrum 4937212 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
It's taken a goodly while for Cross Rhythms to note the existence of this 2003 compilation but it's still worth noting that this is a gem, pulling together all the best cuts from the 40-strong Minneapolis gospel choir. They are still turning out CDs, of course, but it was in 1996 when they teamed up with hot R&B producers Jam & Lewis that they stopped being skilled but hardly unique purveyors of roaring call-and-response black church and elegant performers of ancient slave-era spirituals and added some serious R&B, dance and funk rhythms to their musical brew. Most fans will want their Jam/Lewis cuts like "Optimistic", "The Pressure" and "Testify" presented here and be less warm to the acapella spirituals sung in Fisk Jubilee Singers-like old style. But with 17 tracks, including a storming Frankie Knuckles mix of "The Pressure", they can easily programme out the stuff that doesn't connect. One final note, we can but hope that truly amazing diva Ann Nesby can recapture the stunning work she did with the choir now she's left Sounds Of Blackness. Her work with them, as this collection demonstrates, was truly breathtaking.
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