Fred Hammond - Uncle Fred - Textures of a Man -Collector’s Edition

Fred Hammond
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No matter what genre of music, somehow relationship issues always remain a very popular topic for artists.  Naturally, a gospel artist’s primary focus is communicating how a relationship with God is vital for strengthening one’s faith.  And truth be told, even those of faith deal with relationship adversities on several levels.  Fred Hammond continues to be one of urban praise and worship’s most respected artists, with a voice that resonates from the mountain tops when giving glory to God.  On the other hand, Hammond never hesitates to embrace the dynamics of day-by-day relationships, as evidenced by his new soul jazz project, Grandad Turner, and God Love and Romance, surrounding themes of romantic and unconditional love through song backed by mini theatrical messages and scriptures.

No matter what genre of music, somehow relationship issues always remain a very popular topic for artists.  Naturally, a gospel artist’s primary focus is communicating how a relationship with God is vital for strengthening one’s faith.  And truth be told, even those of faith deal with relationship adversities on several levels.  Fred Hammond continues to be one of urban praise and worship’s most respected artists, with a voice that resonates from the mountain tops when giving glory to God.  On the other hand, Hammond never hesitates to embrace the dynamics of day-by-day relationships, as evidenced by his new soul jazz project, Grandad Turner, and God Love and Romance, surrounding themes of romantic and unconditional love through song backed by mini theatrical messages and scriptures.

So, based upon portions of Hammond’s body of work, it comes as no surprise that he would stage The Texture of A Man for the 2018 edition of his annual Festival of Praise event.  Utilizing comedy and dramatic skits bridged by gospel music enhancing Hammond's vision of musical theater, the production examines the world of relationships through a man’s perspective. Coincidentally, or maybe not, in conjunction with the live performance, Hammond releases his latest CD, Uncle Fred - Textures of a Man - Collector's Edition (Face to Face Productions.)

And how does The Texture of a Man the recording work out?  Whether it is the mirror of the touring stage production really does not matter.  Hammond does not forgo opportunities to stretch outside the gospel parameters as in the past with two selections about relationships with family and with our fellow man.  But the real artistic treat evolves when Hammond extends a bit more musically, shaping Texture into an interesting semi-musical theater format. The hip-hop edged "If We Ever Needed The Lord" blends fundamental DJ cutting and scratching with old school mass choirs. "I Know The Lord Will Make A Way" is sprinkled with a sweet Latin flair.  Hammond’s quartet influence bleeds on the choruses of "Push Me Lord - I Wanna Be Better."  Even though variety may be the spice sometimes, expect some emphatically stamped Hammond’s productions throughout, especially on "Child of the King," a back in the day reminder contagious praise and worship exchanges between Hammond and Radical For Christ.

In addressing the relationship issues, the R&B ode, "I’ll Always Love My Mamma" demonstrates an unwavering mother’s love from his son while she supports their journey to greatness.  And the first single from Texture, “What’s Going On,” is Hammond’s semi-electro coated, yet quite passionate arrangement of Marvin Gaye’s epic plea on breaking the barriers of love and hate.   While Texture of A Man may not exactly belong as a collector’s edition stated on the CD title, Hammond consistently brings the praise, joyful exuberance and needed lessons about how relationships are important to all mankind.   Solidly Recommended.

By Peggy Oliver

 
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