Chris Jones & Word of Praise
Like A Rock
Chris Jones is a busy man.Producers: Michael Harlan, Gerald Haddon
album re-release date: February 25, 2003
If you haven’t heard the Detroit singer on last year’s How U Gonna Live debut from The Wordd an old-school meets soul/folk collabo with Tony Rich (see review), or in his cameo on Ernest Lee and Spirit of David’s Encourage Yourself project (see review), then here is another opportunity.
Like A Rock is the debut project for Jones’ choir, Word of Praise. Produced by Michael Harlan, it’s fourteen tracks of choir celebration, with some interesting Detroit artist cameos to boot.
The choir’s band is mighty, distinguished by a group that includes D’Aundre Thomas as musical director (and on bass), and also Marcus Abernathy on keys and Dana Davis on drums, plus plenty of juicy horn and string arrangements throughout.
The title track appears three times on the disc, including two remixes. The original brings Jones’ flair for raspy, back-in-the-day vocal delivery the fore, with a searing guitar vibe and near-chant choir toss ins. The “Rock Love” remix rests on a tasty synth track and producer ad libs from Gerald Haddon. Then the clock is turned back to the 70’s on the funky “His Love Is Like A Rock (Old School)” remix.
“Fly Away” brings in a marvelous vocal performance from Maurice Jackson, with a syncopated reggae take by the band. Also worthy is Derrick Milan’s “Everything You Need” and “Paving The Way”, written by Jones along with Larry Nix and Darius Tywman.
And that's just a sampling of what this group has to offer. You can check it out.
reviewed by Stan North —
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