Ted Winn - Stand in Awe (featuring Balance)

Ted Winn
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Many gospel music loyalists fondly remember Ted Winn and Sheri Jones-Moffett (AKA Ted and Sheri), who joined forces from Kevin Davidson & The Voices and blossomed into a major presence on the charts with “Come Ye Disconsolate,” “Thank You” and “Celebrate.”  But even the best of collaborations sometimes come to an end for artistic and ministry purposes.  Since their breakup, they have managed to remain relevant in the industry.  While Moffett signed with EMI Gospel and was a member of Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers, Winn financed his first solo single, “God Believes in You.”  Eventually he signed on the dotted line with Shanachie in conjunction with his Teddy Jamz’s moniker that produced his solo bow, Balance (“The Lifter,” “God Believes in You”), anchored by veteran gospel messengers Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Myron Butler, and others.  Much of the music focused in on Winn’s articulate phrasing and masterful way around slow gems such as The Lif

Many gospel music loyalists fondly remember Ted Winn and Sheri Jones-Moffett (AKA Ted and Sheri), who joined forces from Kevin Davidson & The Voices and blossomed into a major presence on the charts with “Come Ye Disconsolate,” “Thank You” and “Celebrate.”  But even the best of collaborations sometimes come to an end for artistic and ministry purposes.  Since their breakup, they have managed to remain relevant in the industry.  While Moffett signed with EMI Gospel and was a member of Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers, Winn financed his first solo single, “God Believes in You.”  Eventually he signed on the dotted line with Shanachie in conjunction with his Teddy Jamz’s moniker that produced his solo bow, Balance (“The Lifter,” “God Believes in You”), anchored by veteran gospel messengers Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Myron Butler, and others.  Much of the music focused in on Winn’s articulate phrasing and masterful way around slow gems such as The Lifter. 

While not always front and center for several years, Winn was active behind the scenes with publishing and songwriting (Tamela Mann, Marvin Sapp, etc.).  But the long absence, sans a few singles in-between, by no means hindered Winn as a gifted gospel artist.  For his sophomore contribution, Stand in Awe Winn displays his trademark passionate power worship and his choir expertise with The Voices, and tosses in the kind of old-school elements that sparked Andrae Crouch and The Winans to gospel greatness throughout the eighties.  Aided by the very competent vocal ensemble (why not?), Balance, Stand in Awe features several radio-friendly tracks.

“The Greatest Power” opens Stand in Awe with joyous call and response from Balance and Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling and an extra praise boost from Hezekiah Walker:  “Haven’t always been easy but we stand assured/Our God will give us the victory, if we endure.”  Another magnetic up-tempo piece, “I’m Changed,” is accented with some funky patches; however, I’m Changed” falls somewhat short in comparison. 

Slowing the pace down a bit, the title track provides a sophisticated orchestration and engaging interaction between Winn and Balance.   And there are plenty of other highlights where Winn’s rich tenor excels.  A riveting piece in the elegant “Grateful,” ably assisted by Maranda Curtis, lists Winn’s gratitude for his family and for gospel legend, Walter Hawkins, where the vamp recalls Hawkins’ 1978 classic, “Be Grateful.”  In the first of two covers on Stand in Awe, “More” easily crosses into urban and pop with a soft acoustic arrangement though never lacking Balance’s spirited voices.  David Walker & High Praise then join Winn and Balance for the moving waltz, “Be Healed,” feeding off the story of the blind man in the gospel of John. 

On the other end of the spectrum, “Safety” digs into a take your time, old school quartet/ vibe leading into a snappy bluesy exchange between Winn and Lisa Knowles (The Brown Singers).  As for the second of two covers, Winn renders a reasonable perspective of “Fill Me Up,” yet it is impossible to top Tasha Cobbs’ tremendous, fiery version.   

Overall, Winn and Balance generate a praise and worship atmosphere that is very easy to swallow without the combative approach a few choirs ocassionally choose.  Stand in Awe also stands highly with those eighties gospel embellishments for a genuine, classy listening experience.  The wait for Winn’s return may be longer than usual, but unquestionably he has not lost a step, vocally or musically.  Recommended.  

By Peggy Oliver

 

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