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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Reunion

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Dec
  • COMMENTS
The Reunion
Sounds like … classic John P. Kee, which means smooth choir-based contemporary gospel with strong accents of '80s-informed R&B and soulAt a glance … The Reunion is a lot of music to take in all at once, but it's still an irresistible treat for longtime Kee fans and those who would like a sampling of his best. Track ListingDisc 1: Mother Bernice Jenkins Intro We Glorify Wave It Away I'm Covered We're Back The Lord Is Able Survive Wait on Him Rhema Word Wash Me Walk by Faith/Rain on Us/Sweeter/Oh How Wondrous I Shall Do/The Anointing It's Possible GratefulDisc 2: Mother Bernice Jenkins Show Up/Right Here Standing in the Need/New Life High Praise (feat. Tye Tribbett) More Than Anything Jesus Is Real He'll Welcome Me/Thank You Lord/It Will Be Alright We Made It/Greater Me Out Lily in the Valley/Clap Your Hands I Must Tell Jesus I Worship Thee/I Want to Love You Changed Me You Can Make It

Though John P. Kee is as much a solo artist as the mastermind behind the New Life Community Choir, it's the latter where his artistic heart now truly lies. In over 15 years of music ministry, his efforts as choirmaster have spawned his most inspired output, evidenced in such key Kee efforts as Wash Me, Show Up!, Strength, and Not Guilty: The Experience. All of these are massive, distinctive recordings that demonstrate Kee is not only one of the most important artists in contemporary gospel, but also one of the most prolific musicians in the genre.

Consider it a byproduct of his prodigious musical ability—he was enlisted in a school for the gifted at an early age—but Kee writes all of his material, and The Reunion is a testament to that. An enormous, two-hour-plus gospel extravaganza, this double-disc collection wraps some of Kee's most memorable songs into a dense yet delightful concert experience, one that will take you right back to Kee's humble beginnings on Tyscot Records. From those years, nostalgic hits such as "Wave Your Troubles Away," "Wait on Him" and "It Will Be Alright" are all included, but they're contemporized for a new generation, with Kee's trademark old-school R&B flavor still intact.

When not serving single nuggets from the past, Kee weaves his extensive repertoire into a series of medleys, which are so deftly put together you'll think you're listening to one seamless, uninterrupted jam session. But this homogeneity can in turn be a detriment, as songs tend to overstay their welcome and blend together, losing some of their character and distinction in the process.

Ultimately, though, this is much more than simply a gathering of songs. It's a place where friends of the New Life Community Choir—both old and new—meet up and reminisce about the days of old, all the while singing the tunes Kee once gave them to sing. In that respect, The Reunion succeeds.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.


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