Tunesha Crispell
Just As I Am

After years as a lead vocalist with James Hall and Worship and Praise, Tunesha Crispell steps out with her solo debut, Just As I Am.

The Brooklyn-based vocalist has made waves with her jazz-infused vocal stylings, and has been the featured voice on James Hall tracks including “Heaven”, “God Specializes”, and “Whiter Than Snow”. With Worship and Praise music director and husband Melvin Crispell handling production duties, her solo project is a joy.

CDFans of the James Hall trademark style will immediately fall in love with the album, and will quickly realize that Crispell has brought his signature sound to the mix.

Crispell pens five of the thirteen tracks on this project, while arranging the remaining tracks. He also serves as music director of this effort.

Tunesha Crispell holds absolutely nothing back, her passion and love for God and quality music are vividly displayed. Several hymns get a Brooklyn-style facelift and, well, will never be the same when you hear them done her way.

The “COGIC/Apostolic Medley” features the hymns “God Can Do Anything” and “There Shall Be Light”. The arrangements for “Saved” and “Just As I Am” are instant vintage and could easily become the new standard for hymns of this nature. Both arrangements add a twist to the original, accentuating and protecting the integrity and aura of the hymns in their original format. It’s simply amazing.

For the serious bump factor, check out “Victory In Jesus” and the head-noddin’, body-groovin’ twist on “Open My Mouth”. The sheer musicianship on these songs is worth the ‘price of admission’ alone as Melvin Crispell (organ) handles the groove along with fellow band members Dwayne Wright (bass), Kevin Stancil (bass), Eddie Heyward (drums), Lonnie Christian (drums), Benjamin Love (keyboards) and Willie Brown, Jr. (lead guitar).

Tunesha Crispell’s versatility is evident as she flows on the gutsy “Holy” to the classical stylings of “The Lord’s Prayer” and the calypso-infused “Worth it All”.

Just As I Am could easily be the sleeper project of the year and is certain to be one generating spins in your CD player for years to come.

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Producer: Melvin Crispell
album release date: 2005
PotBelly Music

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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