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Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Nothing on Africa to America tops the shining moments -- "Optimistic" and "Testify" -- on Sounds of Blackness' debut, Evolution of Gospel. However, all things considered, Africa to America is probably the better album. And if it's not the better album, it's surely the more consistent of the two. Where Jimmy Jam's and Terry Lewis' efforts were somewhat limited on Evolution of Gospel, with the exception of the album's highlights, the producers devoted themselves to this 1994 follow-up, producing not just a few great songs but rather numerous great songs: "I Believe," "I'm Going All the Way," "Black Butterfly," "Everything Is Going to Be Alright," and "The Harder They ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Nothing on Africa to America tops the shining moments -- "Optimistic" and "Testify" -- on Sounds of Blackness' debut, Evolution of Gospel. However, all things considered, Africa to America is probably the better album. And if it's not the better album, it's surely the more consistent of the two. Where Jimmy Jam's and Terry Lewis' efforts were somewhat limited on Evolution of Gospel, with the exception of the album's highlights, the producers devoted themselves to this 1994 follow-up, producing not just a few great songs but rather numerous great songs: "I Believe," "I'm Going All the Way," "Black Butterfly," "Everything Is Going to Be Alright," and "The Harder They Are, the Bigger They Fall," in particular. And while these songs don't depart too far from the potent new jack swing-meets-gospel sound of "Optimistic," that's a good thing -- Jam and Lewis were on top of their game at the time and brought no shortage of their trademark dense percussive rhythms to Africa to America. So, even if the production sounds a little calculated and perhaps even outdated for its time, it made for some amazing songs. It wasn't until subsequent albums that it became evident just how integral Jam and Lewis were to Sounds of Blackness' success. Along with Evolution of Gospel, Africa to America remains the group's pinnacle. With Jam and Lewis, Sounds of Blackness sounded fresh and relevant; without the duo, they sounded like any other gospel group.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/1994
  • Label: Perspective Records
  • UPC: 731454900621
  • Catalog Number: 549006
  • Sales rank: 22,774

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hold on, Pt. 1 (1:06)
  2. 2 I'm Going All the Way (4:52)
  3. 3 Ah Been Buked, Pt. 1 (0:41)
  4. 4 I Believe (4:39)
  5. 5 Hold on, Pt. 2 (1:19)
  6. 6 Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (4:48)
  7. 7 Sun-Up to Sundown (0:41)
  8. 8 The Lord Will Make a Way (5:09)
  9. 9 He Took Away All My Pain (4:46)
  10. 10 A Place in My Heart (6:09)
  11. 11 The Harder They Are the Bigger They Fall (4:01)
  12. 12 The Drum (Africa to America) (2:55)
  13. 13 African Medley: Royal Kingdom/Rise/My Native Land (5:55)
  14. 14 A Very Special Love (5:21)
  15. 15 Strange Fruit (2:43)
  16. 16 Black Butterfly (3:59)
  17. 17 You've Taken My Blues and Gone (0:26)
  18. 18 Livin' the Blues (4:13)
  19. 19 Ah Been Buked, Pt. 2 (0:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sounds of Blackness Primary Artist, Instrumental, Vocals, Background Vocals
Robert Anderson Vocals
Jamecia Bennett Background Vocals
Core Cotton Vocals
LaSalle Gabriel Guitar
Jimmy Jam Synthesizer, Keyboards
Ann Nesby Bass, Vocals
Larry Sims Trumpet
James Smith Vocals
Billy Steele Keyboards, Vocals
Marcus Wise Tabla
Jimmy Wright Organ, Synthesizer, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Vocals
Gary Hines Piano, Keyboards
Kevin Pierce Guitar
Kevin Whitlock Percussion
Shirley Marie Graham Vocals
Libby Turner Vocals, Background Vocals
Franklin Wharton Alto Saxophone
Louis J. Wilson Tenor Saxophone
Stokely Percussion, Drums
Trenon Graham Percussion, Drums
Carrie Harrington Vocals, Background Vocals
Dexter Conyers Vocals
Patricia Lacy Vocals
David Wright III Baritone Saxophone
Rev. Joseph Young Jr. Rap
Eunique Mack Vocals
Nate Sabin Guitar
Geoffrey Jones Vocals
Renee McCall Vocals, Background Vocals
Alecia Russell Vocals
Robin Berry Harp
Technical Credits
Burt Bacharach Composer
Bill Champlin Composer
Rory Bennett Composer
Hal David Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Brian Gardner Mastering
Irvin Graham Composer
Steve Hodge Engineer
Jimmy Jam Arranger, Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, drum programming
Terry Lewis Arranger, Composer, Producer, Executive Producer
Ann Nesby Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Levi Seacer Jr. Composer
Jimmy Shirl Composer
Billy Steele Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Al Stillman Composer
Larry Troutman Composer
Roger Composer
Jimmy Wright Arranger, Composer
Gary Hines Arranger, Composer, Producer, drum programming
James Harris Composer
Clarence Reid Composer
Brent Rollins Artwork
Willie Clarke Composer
Jeff Taylor drum programming
Erica Wright Composer
Lewis Allan Composer
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