Follow The Star

Various Artists
T.D. Jakes Presents Follow The Star

New music from a diverse array of popular artists is what makes Follow The Star stand tall this Christmas season.

EMI Gospel and Dexterity Sounds asked Bishop T.D. Jakes to put together a collection of songs, and the result is familiar fare for the most part, but with that glorious Gospel edge imparted to it.

CDDorinda Clark Cole joins with Jakes on the title track, “Follow The Star”, a tender cut that begins with a dramatic exchange between Jakes and his 10-year old son, Dexter. Strings and guitars from Carlos Pennell fill out the background as Clark Cole wraps her pipes around the melody.

“Joy To The World” gets a grand orchestral treatment and big vocals from Beverly Crawford. Darwin Hobbs moves majestically over a heavily produced “O Come All Ye Faithful”.

Jakes joins with Angie Winans on a stylized, jazz-splashed “Away in A Manger” and then blesses the disc with the mostly spoken “From Our House, to Your House”, as Kirk Whalum adds saxophone.

Restoring The Years
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Urban interpretations come from Mary Mary, who more than satisfy on that level with the original song, “Gift of Love”, and Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers who have Sheri Jones-Moffett out front on a boldly-delivered “Go Tell It”.

Latin threesome El Trio De Hoy spin their vocals on a Spanish “Noche De Paz” (“Silent Night”), and Cook, Dixon & Young add their classical touch to “3 Wise Men Medley”, a unique and almost musically undefineable selection that turns on several genres, including funk, Gospel and orchestral.

One of the album’s unforgettable numbers is “Born In Bethlehem”, as Mavis Staples pours into the traditional, uptempo spiritual with gusto as The Blind Boys of Alabama add punch.

More from Smokie Norful (“Oh Holy Night”), Aaron Neville (“The First Noel”), and The Katinas (“O, Little Town of Bethlehem”) complete the album.

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Producers: Various
album release date: October, 2003
EMI Gospel / Dexterity Sounds

— review by Stan North

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