J Moss

J Moss
The J Moss Project

This is one of those projects that has been on the radar screen of Gospel enthusiasts for it seems like forever. Ever since his work on the Finally Karen album —both in his role as producer within the PAJAM crew and as a vocalist, J Moss has garnered attention.

CDYou probably already know of J Moss' impeccable Gospel pedigree. Son of Bill Moss, of Bill Moss & The Celestials, nephew of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark and cousin to The Clark Sisters, this Detroit artist has heritage in spades. But all that aside, J Moss is his own man. He has an inate ability to harness the music in his genes, and propel to the furthest reaches, into uncharted waters, so to speak.

On The J Moss Project, we finally get to hear J Moss, on his own —The Voice, as he has been called.

And if you've heard anything from PAJAM (and you have —Ramiyah, Hezekiah Walker, Kelly Price, Boyz II Men, Pam & Dodi, Lamar Campbell, Virtue, Dru Hill, Michelle Williams), you know that the urban jam is their strong suit.

So it's absolutely no surprise that the album's first single, and album crackerjack is a slammin', neck-fracturing, street ride. "I Wanna Be" is a massive jam wired with a pounding bass line and Moss' creatively stacked vocals. Moss sings " Bless me to walk in the light of You, Lord, I wanna be personal, I wanna be inseparable".

The ride continues with "Psalm 150", an an edgy, street-fashioned version of the very familiar Psalm of David. A sparse instrumental backdrop, (fashioned after the track from Trin-I-tee 5:7's "Holla" —also by PAJAM) rides underneath Moss' fresh lyrical interpretation:

"I'll praise Him in the sanctuary
Iıll praise Him with the timbrel and dance
Iıll praise Him with the trumpet and cymbals
Since I'm breathing Iım gonna praise Him again

"Don't Pray & Worry" is a song inspired by a discussion that Moss had with PAJAM partner, Paul D. Allen. "You can’t pray about something and as soon as you stop praying, start worrying about it", says Moss. "We have to take our burdens to the Lord and leave them there." With organ supplement from his brother, Bill Moss, Jr., as well as strings and an unpredictable rhythm line, the song rests on J Moss' vocals, with alternates between tender and gritty.

The J Moss Project
Click for review Click on the J Moss image above, to take you to the JMossMusic.com site, with flashcard and bio and links to purchase the album.

Read the interview with J Moss by clicking here.

As strong as the urban offerings are on the album, there's equal power in the tender balladry.

"We Must Praise" falls into this camp, a piano-accompanied new hymn that features the sweeter elements of the vocal colors that Moss has at his disposal.

Likewise, "Unto Thee", with its reliance on acoustic guitar and an uncluttered keyboard accompaniment, is a purely vocal gem. After an opening solo from Moss, the chorus enters (Moss' stacked vocals) with lush harmonies.

Also on The J Moss Project is "Don't Let", with a composition with traditional flair subtly embedded into some unmistakeable PAJAM overall vibe. "Keep your mind stayed on God", ministers J Moss. "Donıt let your joy be taken away".

With his ability to weave together fibres of hip hop, traditional, praise, pop and soul into his Gospel sound, on The J Moss Project, J Moss reinforces the point that he is one of Gospel's upper echelon artists.

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Producers: Various
album release date: October 12, 2004
GospoCentric Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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