Otis Battles and the High Point Community Choir
Okay. You might first want to know where High Point
is.Producers: Otis Battles, Hezekiah Walker
album release date: summer 1999
Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina,
this city of 80,000 is home to Otis Battles and
the High Point Community Choir. So then you might
not be expecting much, but that would just show that
you don’t know much about Battles or the city of High
That would just show you are not aware that
good things can be found in unfamiliar places. If
you weren’t familiar, you wouldn’t know that High
Point is considered to be the "Furniture
Capital of the World".
And if you weren’t familiar you might not know that
Battles holds his own with help from some heavy hitters,
compliments of his travels outside the state of North
In a journey that began with Battles’ first
eleven years in Philadelphia, he gathered some
treasures along the way. Stopping next in High
Point, he stayed there until venturing back to
Philly for music school and some other things up
north, which included some time with Hezekiah
Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir.
Walker co-produces this first project from Battles,
so it is safe to assume he made quite an impression.
This project covers the spectrum from “Caught Up”, a
contemporary groove jotted down by none other than
Rodney Jerkins, to “Pick up Your Cross” a shout-tempo
round by Wendell Crawford and Donovan Jackson.
Though a lot of the project has heavily jazz-influenced
instrumentation (particularly the tracks by Jackson),
the alternation between contemporary and traditional
choral parts makes it anything but redundant.
On “Give me a Clean Heart”, Bad Boy Records’
Evans hits the lead before passing the mic to Battles himself.
Other pleasant surprises are “I’ll Wait” a mid-stride
tune, written by Jackson and
Kevin Stancil and “He Cares” also
by Jackson with a lovely lead by Becky White.
A nice touch is a countering sax lead from Jim Reid.
Aseelah Battles on
the sweet “He’s Coming Back” which ends the project on a
So in his various travels Battles has picked up some
interesting stuff. Happily for the High Point Community
Choir, and also for us, he’s remembered that there’s no
place like home.
reviewed by Melanie Clark —
in GospelFlava © copyright 1999. Any information reprinted
or broadcast from this site
must be credited to GospelFlava.com