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L.J. Reynolds

From Soul Express 3/2000

L.J. released his eponymous gospel project for Bellmark Records in '91. Larry: "As a matter of fact, the album is still growing. It's like a snowball running down the hill. The album is getting a lot of attention right now from a lot of people all over the country. Gospel music never fades away, really."

Produced by F.L.Pittman and Tony Camillo, the album can boast of real horns and strings and an eight-piece background choir. L.J.Reynolds really is a fantastic inspirational record with rich background and great, spirited, big-voiced singing. It cut its way through to my top-three albums in '91. It has three magnificent, abundant ballads to start with - Through The Storm, I Love The Lord and Miracle Of Love - of which I Love The Lord was originally recorded by Huriah Boynton for Vision.

An aching, slow version of Jesus Is My Kind Of People has Gladys Knight visiting on it. She had done the song already on her Christmas album, Bless This House, on Buddah in '75 as a part of a medley - only then it was uptempo. Larry: "Bellmark stems from back, when we were with Stax. Al Bell used to be the president of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Al started his own company, Bellmark. I had known Al from over at Stax. We got together, and Al was into gospel mode back then and I had always wanted to do a gospel album. Opportunity knocked. We had people around us like Tony Camillo, who had produced Midnight Train To Georgia on Gladys Knight, and that's how Gladys got onto the album." Fred Pittman: "Actually Phil Jones of Fantasy called Al Bell for me. We got together with Tony Camillo, who had done a lot of Gladys Knight stuff, and did the L.J.Reynolds gospel album."

A touching version of Wind Beneath My Wings - on a par with Gladys Knight, the Mighty Clouds Of Joy and the Leverts - is followed by a peppy cover of Ashford & Simpson's Ain't No Mountain High Enough. After The Tears is a melodic, even poppy mid-pacer.
-Heikki Suosalo

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