CeCe Winans
VIDEO: Live In Concert

What's great is when you get to 'see' a favorite album by watching the full length video. What's even greater when the video goes even beyond the album to bring you sweetened up oldies and newly minted medlies.

CeCe Live Concert VideoThis is the approach that CeCe Winans takes on her first ever concert video, CeCe Winans: Live from the Lambs.

Taped at the renowned Broadway theatre in New York in the fall of 1999, this 60 minutes of footage brings out the personal warmth of Winans by relying on close shots and audience delight. The intimacy of the theatre only emphasizes this quality.

Winans intrigues from the start, offering a slow, two-song medley that includes "I Am" from her Everlasting Love album, and combining it with her interpretation of The Sounds of Blackness hit from a few years back, "Hold On". Supporting her on the latter is Duawne Starling, who continues to impress wherever he is increasingly turning up.

There's not doubt that the focus here falls squarely on CeCe. Yet she deftly and appropriately shares that spotlight not only with her three backing vocalists (and five-piece band), but also with a couple of other notable guests.

Praise dancer Tobin James enters gracefully on "Blood Medley", where CeCe combines elements of the Crouch classic "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power" with the equally powerful "Lamb of God", (from Twila Paris, but also interpreted by several others).

Select members from The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir take their places on "Comforter", taken from the Alabaster Box project (see album review). They offer up soothing harmonies on the glidingly smooth ballad.

Several other songs from the Alabaster Box CD are included: the title track, "It Wasn't Easy", "Higher Place of Praise" and "King of Kings". Older favorites such as "What About You" and "Everlasting Love" are also tossed in.

Winans changes outfit during the course of the hour. It's a smooth transition; obviously change comes easily to her. That's also reflected in her choice of song styles.

Her presentation of her funkier songs is as successful as her presentation of her more meditative ones. The crowd of 300 or so gets treated to the rousing Staples Singers tune "I'll Take you There" that she and BeBe popularized many years ago, before closing with an equally upbeat "Well, Alright".

It's a fitting end to an enjoyable video. One worthy of making a bee-line for.

Video Producers: Dominque Lasseur & Katherine Tatge
album release date: September 19, 2000

reviewed by
Stan North

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