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Beverly Crawford and JDI Christmas
Churchy Christmas / Joy to the World
JDI Records (2012)

By Libra Boyd

You need not hear anything beyond this CD's opening track to understand exactly why it's called Churchy Christmas.

If your spirits need uplift this holiday season, Beverly Crawford and her labelmates at JDI Records have just what you need. Crawford herself kicks off Churchy Christmas with "Joy to the World," a traditional Christmas carol recorded live in Dallas that she transforms into a high energy fire-starter. She's backed by the 200-voice Antioch Fellowship Voices of Praise. (GMF recently shared the official video.)  The scorcher is followed by Shanika Bereal's "Precious Lamb of God" and Gary Mayes and Nu Era's "Don't 4get the Baby," featuring the sensational Nakitta Clegg Foxx (of the Kurt Carr Singers).  Both selections stand out beautifully for tenderly rendered vocals.

But it's not just the ladies who deliver on this project.  Professor James Roberson ministers a flawless interpretation of the BeBe Winans ballad "I Wanna Be More," and Patrick Lundy and The Ministers of Music sprinkle in some Yuletide funk with the bouncy "Emmanuel" (written by Cedric Thompson).  Earnest Pugh comes along and serenades the Savior on the jazzy "Hosanna" (which hints ever so slightly to Kool & the Gang's "Joanna"), elevating the chorus after announcing, "I feel a key change in the house right here!" There's still room for one more drive though, and that belongs to Chester D.T. Baldwin on "Go Tell It On the Mountain," backed by a jubilant choir and band as he takes us on modulation after modulation.
Genita Pugh ("Holy to the Lamb") and saxophonist Donald Hayes ("What Child Is This") round out Churchy Christmas, making this CD one of the nicest and churchiest I've heard this season.

Favorites
"Joy to the World" - "Don't 4get the Baby" - "Holy to the Lamb"

Fever Meter

SMOKIN' (4 of 5 Stars)

About Libra Boyd, PhD

Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.
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