Spiritual Rhythms Volume Two
The striking thing about Spiritual Rhythms Volume Two is how accurately the title portrays what you hear on disc.Producers: Various
album release date: February 2001
Thatís a rarity for a compilation project. With seven different artists involved, the groove is consistently on the quiet storm front, sometimes stormier at certain points, but never out of synch.
Two well-crafted songs kick the project off, as industry veteran Gloster Williams brings Salt of the Earth back to the scene. "I Wanta Be Like God" is a powerfully-crafted ode of pure Gospel sound that expresses our desire to be Ďholy and right, giving and loving, loving and giving, just like Godí. Soloist Eric King pours his all into the song, beginning with a quiet smolder, moving to a soulful outpouring, with the intensity of the ensemble chorus entering mid-track to maximize impact. "All Right (Donít Worry ĎBout Nothiní)" is on much the same tip.
From there, new vocalist Andrea Love delivers "Iíll Praise Him" (with Salt of the Earth sticking around for backing support). On "In His Arms", Love expresses the joy and comfort of knowing that weíre in the arms of God. Keyboards from Brigg Sterns and a gentle drum track from M. Doc (the two co-writers on the song) support the Loveís pleasing alto delivery. Both songs find an easy, soulful pocket.
Thereís also a few choice instrumental jazz selections included on the project. Pennal Johnson brings his bass into the picture on a kickiní "Lord Help Me to Hold Out", and also on the infectious "I Didnít Mean To Fall In Love" both of which include soothing vocals from a female trio. The latter cut almost lulls until Johnson suddenly powers down near track-end with some intricate fingerwork and a fluid and deep groove.
Continuing on with the instrumentals, LA jazz pianist Jackie Johnson contributes "Itís Not You, Itís Me", with some great sax, trombone and trumpet fills from her side crew. Johnson stays around to embellish "Look Within", as spoken word artist Priscilla Jones expresses the truth of racial equality.
Advance Records Showcase
Advance Records showcased many of the artists on the Spiritual Rhythms Volume Two album at the Stellar Awards in January 2001. Click on above image for a recap.
Topping the project off are two songs from contemporary group, Grace in Motion. With noted songwriter, radio host and author Hallerin Hill at the groupís helm, and with Chris Marion and Devins Prather also delivering vocals, the vibe is smooth, grooved, refined and closely harmonized. To say that both cuts, ("Face to Face" and "Somehow") make the grade would be an understatement. Grace in Motion is in the same class as Virtue, taking a similar approach to their music.
Chicago-based Advance Records has more of the Spiritual Rhythms series in the works. Until then, you can put a star beside Volume Two.
reviewed by Stan North ó
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