ALBUM REVIEW: TAKE UP THE CROSS VOL.3

TakeUpTheCross:vol.3

The last volume in Joe Fraser Records’ “Take Up The Cross” series was released in 2005. Eight years has gone by, and just when I thought there would be no subsequent volumes, here comes the third volume. The format of this album is consistent with the first two volumes, blending traditional gospel standards with originals by established reggae and inspirational artists and bonafide, well produced reggae rhythms.

Some of the rhythms here are also standards in the reggae market and recognizable by knowledgeable listeners of reggae. This project also features former hit makers in secular reggae who now records only gospel material as well as current reggae hit makers.

Marlon Burrell
Review by Marlon Burrell
Judy Mowatt
Judy Mowatt

The albums kicks off with Audley Rollen’s “Ten Commandment” on which Mr. Rollen expertly recites the ten commandments over Joe Fraser’s top notch remake of the “Have A Little Faith” rhythm, which was first graced by the late Nicky Thomas in 1972. It then goes up a notch with Judy Mowatt’s original song “Praise” which was written by her daughter (and Freddie McGregor’s) Yeshemabeth McGregor. The song finds Ms. Mowatt in fine form and deserves some attention from reggae radio programs. Other highlights from this album include Lukie D’s heartfelt “Jesus” in which he smoothly croons on the “Holiday Inn” rhythm. Pam Hall’s original “Praise You” is a thumping song of praise over an expertly made cut of the “Small Axe” rhythm.

Pam Hall
Pam Hall

Donna Marie’s “Bless His Holy Name” from 2002 is a sweet, smooth, and welcome addition to this compilation. It deserved more attention than it got then, hopefully it gets some now. Dr. Norris Weir of the rocksteady trio The Jamaicans, contributes a long overdue update of Rev. V B & Soul Inspirators 1958 classic spoken word piece “A Mother And Her Son (God Is Moving)” here simply retitled “Mother & Son.” Another welcome spoken word piece is Lloyd Brown’s take on the classic “Deck Of Cards” on the “Frenzy” rhythm. Stevie Face’s “I Run To You” on a cut of another classic rhythm “Feeling Soul,” is another song that is deserving of some airplay. These are just some of the high points.

Stevie Face
Stevie Face

Every song on this album is a winner. The excellent song selection and expertly produced music inspires and soothes the soul, which I believe was the intention. The blend of gospel and secular artists and varying styles and rhythms as well as the variation of new material and previously released tracks makes it a great listen through and through. It was well worth the wait. My eight year itch has been scratched. I just hope we won’t have to wait another eight years for the next volume.

%d bloggers like this: