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March 25, 2006

Take 6 takes matters into their own hands

Nashville City Paper (TN):

No vocal group in gospel, pop, rock, soul or jazz has earned more awards nor enjoyed as much recognition over the past two decades as Take 6. Not only have they earned 10 Grammy and 10 Dove awards, but also a Soul Train Award plus 18 Grammy nominations and two more NAACP Image award nominations.

Now with their new release Feels Good, which hit the streets March 21, they’ve taken the next step in their artistic evolution. They’ve used the occasion to launch their own Take 6 label, and they also served as session producers for the first time.

“We just felt that it was time for us to take full control of our music,” Claude McKnight said. “The funny thing about this is that we’ve really been acting as de facto producers for a long time on our projects, but we finally decided as a group to organize and arrange things so that now we were fully responsible for everything. Rather than getting into situations where we would be answering to other people for things, we’re now the ones who are responsible for everything, including the business aspects.”

Feels Good continues the sextet’s tradition of amazingly multi-faceted works. It is predominantly a Capella material, with the various voices in perfect pitch and harmony accord on material ranging from spiritual/gospel items like “Family of God” and “Lamb of God” to a splendid, jazz-tinged cover of “Just In Time” and the Brazilian-flavored “Set U Free.”

McKnight says there’s one main factor that influences the group’s choices of songs to record.

“The first thing is that lyrically whatever we sing must be something that doesn’t compromise our ideals or our faith, and has some type of positive message. Then we look for things with some element of swing, be it uptempo or lighter and more implied.”

Besides McKnight, one of the founding members, the other Take 6 vocalists include Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, David Thomas, Joel Kibble and Mark Kibble.

While several other vocal ensembles have faltered or disbanded during Take 6’s tenure, they’ve maintained a steady track record of excellence and had only one personnel change in 20 years.

“There have been times when we’ve had problems and even periods when we thought maybe we should call it a day,” McKnight acknowledged. “But we’ve always been able to get through those times, and now we’re really enjoying each other and are very encouraged about the new direction.”

Posted by acapnews at March 25, 2006 12:09 AM