Life and Favor
At first listen, the project is reminiscent of attending a JPK concert and standing the entire time (not realizing that you have been on your feet for 45 minutes) as he goes through his entire song catalog. Life and Favor is that. And more.
Some great revelations are unearthed here. Firstly, either John P Kee and Zacardi Cortez are twins or they are the same person. Next to Kee, Cortez has the most vocal leads on the project (following him in song count is LeJeune Thompson). Cortez sings all the riffs and runs from the right side of Kee's brain (the creative side).
Revelation number 2? Kee, Cortez and Tim Rogers (minus the fellas) can all quit their day jobs and go on the quartet circuit with Rance Allen opening for them and Isaac (Carree) and Lowell (Pye) in the middle.
Thirdly, just hearing Rance Allen holler on "Bless The Lord" is worth the price of the entire CD. In case you haven't been paying attention, this project is so "guest appearance rich", it's utter madness. The only guests missing are the writers of GOSPELflava.com (John, can I get a lead???). Everyone else is here.
Here's the short list: Frank McComb, PJ Morton, Lalah Hathaway, Patrick Dobson, Maranda Curtis Willis, Lil' Mo, LeAndria Johnson, Dathan Thigpen, Zacardi Cortez, Kim Burrell, Lowell Pye, Isaac Carree, Glenn Jones, Shelia Lakin, Lisa Knowles, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond, LeJeune Thompson, Rance Allen, and James Fortune.
Revelation number four: the song you have to hear again and again is "I Win", with Pastor Kim Burrell giving a 'wordless' performance on the prelude. Burrell shines and radiates here (note her other recent performances on "Faith" from Andrae Crouch's The Journey, "Try" on the Marvin Winans' solo project, and "Oh Lord" on Kim Burrell's own Everlasting Life album. The backing piano is the perfect companion to Burrell's vocals.
Honorable mentions? There are many. There is no fluff on this CD; the Sunday and other day grooves are "Amazing" (featuring the tag team of Cortez, Pye and Rogers), "Wake Up" (a take on "Rise, Shine and Give God the Glory") and "Made to Worship".
James Fortune sets the story on "Life and Favor" and Kirk Franklin finishes it on the "Life and Favor Remix". The high energy of "Bless His Name" leads Cortez to have an "I feel like singing" moment when paired with Rance Allen (but Allen shuts that all down). Cortez and Kee have their "I REALLY feel like singing" moments on "He's Working It Out".
John P Kee continues to be the channel by which the blessings of Life and Favor flow.
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Kee Music Group
— review by Gregory Gay —
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