GOSPELFLAVA.COM Review: (TAKE SOME TIME Album)
CT Records may not be a label on the tip of your tongue. In fact, you may have never heard of them. Nevertheless, this Santa Ana-based, church-rooted label isn’t playing around with small stuff.
Take Some Time marks the sophomore project for West Coast Christian Tabernacle. Known for their bilingual prowess (English, Spanish), the choir brings soulful expression and some hefty doses of flava that tells you the mostly Hispanic members know their Gospel.
This is a combo studio/live project that comes with contributions from known names, and infused with superb efforts from relative unknowns.
Leading off are several selections that feature solo leads from the resonant and familiar warm pipes of Chris Bolton. Known for his lead role in the hit Gospel play from David Talbert, Mr. Right Now, Bolton makes his presence known on "Get My Reward" and "When I Think". This is one of those artists who excels in audience give-and-take, so one can only wonder at the impact if these songs were cut outside the studio.
Co-producer (and keys man) Byron Williams brings with him a wealth of experience to the CT table, (CLC Youth Choir, Lawrence Matthews, Karen Clark, Kim Burrell), and excels in collaboration with label execs Jason Aguilar and Saul Renteria in capturing the praise essence of the strong slow balladry on this project. Especially so when the recording is live.
The buttery soul of Jamie Hernandez and Elgin Johnson on "Lord You’re Everything" stands out. Voices well suited for each other, this duo moves from gentle ad lib with some nicely turned phrasing, to fist-clenched, hands-raised praised in front of the choir.
Both Hernandez and Johnson reprise their roles elsewhere on Take Some Time, but in solo fashion. On "Holy Worthy", Hernandez pours herself into the delicate melody of the piece, which she penned herself.
On "Lord You’re Worthy", Johnson switches it up, and wraps his tenor, grit-flecked pipes around the quick-tempo flares of the swirling B3-anchored band and the drive of the choir chorus. Matt Quezeda tosses in a nicely meshed rap mid way through. Jointly written by Quezeda and Aguilar, this song goes deserves plenty repeat action, with its east coast choir flava and infectious elements.
The natural pairing of Joy and Jon Moran in duet on "We’ve Come To Worship" is another balladic success. A nice interplay of guitar and bass sets the relentless groove and synth meanderings with duet and mass vocals declaring 'Alleluia' sets it off.
There’s plenty to soak up here. Sit back, Take Some Time, you’ll be glad you did.
Reviewed by Stan North www.GospelFlava.com