Tony Moore & Jehovah's Chosen
Love Lifted Me

For a departure from the usual, you canít go wrong with Tony Moore & Jehovahís Chosen. Demonstrating that all creativity is sourced from God and that His creativity knows no bounds, this Philly choir plunges into the pool of musicTony Moore & Jehovah's Chosen CD fusion with carefree abandon. While director Tony Moore may a striking physical resemblance to Andrae Crouch, apart from a similar tendancy towards musical ingenuity, the similiarities end there.

Love Lifted Me is first and foremost about inventive mixes, arrangements and instrumental sound composition. Thatís not to say that vocals are lacking, because they certainly are not. In fact, on their own, both mass and solo vocals on this disc deserve glowing praise. But the potency of the Jehovahís Chosen band is so strong, and the musical arrangements so awe-inspiring, that by albumís end, it has become the main impact.

Brass is prominent througout the project, with trombone, baritone horns and the unlikely sousaphone making appearances (the interlude "Heaven Belongs To You" is funky and pure brass worship).

The project is eased in with undeniable praise balladry on "Worship Him". Lead vocalists Rhonda Underwood and Linda Wilson takeTony Moore & Jehovah's Chosen on the lyrics of Psalm 122, with considerable support from Jehovah's Chosen and a never-resting bass line from Harold Lee Robinson.

There are a number of intriguing cuts that are too spoken to be called rap, but too musical to be called spoken poetry. "Hear Our Prayer" (from rapper T-WYSE) and the dramatically delivered, brass-backed "Righteous Delight" (from Lady Danko) are examples of this form.

The renowned Melvin Crispell handles organ duties on the jazzy "The Rock" (penned by James Poyser), which also includes a unique instrumental mix of wah wah clavier, rhodes, trombone and synthesize/steel drums. Laid on top are a few familiar and simple vocal lines ("Jesus is a rock in a weary land, He's a shelter"). Probably not coincidental to Crispellís involvement, the choir handles the song with a style that tributes James Hall and Worship and Praise.

Rock fusion gets a workout on the first half of the remix of "Oh Lord", complete with guitar distortion. The worshipful cut then morphs into an incredible gumbo of rap and synthy computer sounds and future-vibes. Interestingly, the original mix to this song appears four tracks later on the CD, and has a notably more focused vocal and harmonic flair.

The other remix on the project is "King of Glory", which as the album-closing track, adds a classical Jehovah's Chosen - drums prominence (piano and harpsichord effects) along with a strong rhythm track to the familiar lyrics. It's always a cool thing when the remix is so obviously different than the original, which is the case here, as a modern jazz feel is the obvious focus of the first mix.

There's so much more loaded on this album, that thereís barely space to mention the fascinating musical interludes ("Johnís Lude" especially).

If you think your CD collection has hit a musical rut, and are perhaps looking to break the mold, go no further than Tony Moore & Jehovahís Chosen.

Go get your Gospel fusion on.

Producer: Anthony Bell
album release date: October, 2000
Philly-Style Records

ó reviewed by Stan North ó

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