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A Gospel Experience: Live in Italy

  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jan
A Gospel Experience: Live in Italy
Sounds like … a diverse blend of gospel music, both traditional and nureau (futurisic gospel).At a glance … Live in Italy offers a variety of sounds that will appeal to music lovers, but some of the songs tend to meander.Track ListingPraise HimIntimate RelationshipPeople Get ReadyGod Will DeliverI Love JesusSince JesusAmazing GraceO Happy DaySpoken Word InterludeWhat the World Needs Now

The Umbria Jazz Festival is one of the most significant jazz events in Europe. For more than 30 years, the 10-day Festival has brought together many of music's most influential voices across genres. A Gospel Experience: Live in Italy features recordings from last year's series of performances by Dr. Bobby Jones & The Nashville Super Choir. It also includes appearances by James Grear & Company, Tonéx and wife Ms. Tonéx. Liquid 8 Records is also releasing a DVD of the performance.

The album includes a variety of sounds—from traditional to nureau (i.e., futuristic gospel), appropriate for a showcase setting designed to appeal to music lovers and introduce others to the diversity within the genre. Most songs are distinctively Christian. Highlights include the old-school call-and-response of "Praise Him," toe-tapper "God Will Deliver on Time," the calypso-tinged "I Love Jesus, " and "O Happy Day," brisk and clean.

Some songs drag and meander a bit—not unusual for a live album—and leads are occasionally overblown. Also, it's hard to get a sense of what's going on in the crowd. It'd be interesting to have an aural feel for how a crowd of Italian jazz-lovers responds to traditional and contemporary gospel music. Do they sing along? Applaud? There's a sense of warmth in Jones' comments near the end of the CD—and a rush of applause when he asks the audience to pray for more love and less war. Still, it would be cool to hear how they responded to the rest.

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