Moses Tyson Jr.

As the cousin of Sly Stone, with tour experience with Billy Preston, and on the instrument since the age of 9, organist extraordinaire Moses Tyson Jr. knows how to work the keys.

He's put together an ample project that's simply titled, Music. It's a 17-track effort that’s split in two parts, the latter being an organppella-fest.

There’s no escaping the stellar first half. Consisting of covers of popular Gospel standards, there’s eight songs with full-fledged vocals from Tyson as well as from such high profile names as Edwin Hawkins, Lawrence Matthews, Stephanie Bolton and Lynette Music CDHawkins-Stephens. Cuts such as "Walk In The Light" and Rev. Richard Clean’s very-groovy "House Call" are well done.

Edwin Hawkins’ own vocal redo of "Oh Happy Day" with rearrangment assist from Tyson is notable for the prominence that the funky organ gets.

The second part of the project zeroes in on Tyson’s organ prowess, with a generous helping of nine songs. Filled with shimmering key runs, tremolos and mega-improvs, Tyson pulls out all the stops to paint a ‘king of the instrument’ canvas in song.

Accompanied by rhythms, Tyson makes his mark on cuts such as “Pray For Me” and on short versions of “God Will Take Care of You” and “Battle Hymn Of The Republic”.

On the more lengthy “How Great Thou Art”, he alternates between using a one hand melody line (with gentle chord swells) to inventive chord dissonances (with all hands on deck) resolving into satisfying conclusions. The style flows through each of the other instrumental cuts that round out the project.

From roar to swell to growling effects, this is, indeed, the Music.

Producers: Moses Tyson Jr., Edwin Hawkins, Niko Lyras
album release date: mid 2000
World Class Gospel

— reviewed by Stan North

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