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Artist: Tony Terry
Label: Studio 25 Records
Length: 17 Tracks / 78 minutes
From the silky smooth vocals of R&B/Jazz artist Tony Terry comes the soulful mural Changed. Like a lot of artists Terry got his start singing in church as a child growing up in North Carolina and wanted to return to those musical roots. Despite being flat out told by people in his former management team that he was making a big mistake to create a Gospel CD the singer/actor felt he could not ignore God's leading and introduced a world class funky praise tune album. 
The former Capitol Records artist collaborated with good friend Denver Wright to produce a seventeen track marvel that features Wright, Joey Holloway, Jermaine Freeman, and Ivan Powell all taking turns on the keys. Johnavon "Bo Peep" Sauls and Sean Holloway provide guitar accompaniment for the emotive lyrics. 
The album opens with 5:17 of hallelujahs as "Praise Him" rolls out. The backup vocalists who are too numerous to mention are amazing. Terry says, "Praise Him is really a praise party. It just speaks of going out and telling the world that I love Christ." The song is the first single to be released from the CD and has been warmly received in both the general market and by Christian radio stations.  A remix of "Praise Him" appears as the eleventh track and it seems a little redundant.
The number two track is a Smooth Jazz/R&B number, "Look to the Hills." Fans of Anita Baker, James Ingram and the late Luther Van Dross are going to love this song. The song can best be described as one of questions posed by the singer and answers that flow from the Lord.  The singer knows not how to pray and yet like the Psalmist turns to God. The title is a direct reference to David's metaphor of his help (God) coming from the hills.
Terry has accomplished something with this album that few Christian artists have managed to date. He has created a world class CD with Christian lyrics and set them to beautifully orchestrated Jazz instrumentals, R&B vibes and rich soulful vocals. Terry has toured and performed with some of the music industry's most prolific Jazz and R&B artists over the years (Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack). He delivers Changed with the same excellence.
The only burning question I have concerning this album is, Tony why did you give away so many great songs on one record? It is great for the listener but Terry would have been better served if he had saved some of the seventeen tracks for his next CD.
"Yours Completely" sounds like a song my favorite Smooth Jazz radio station would add to its play list. "If You're Gonna Worry Don't Pray" has that Jazz lounge ambience. Although it doesn't list a Hammond B3 in the credits one is being used to create texture. 
It's good old southern revival time when we arrive at "Nobody Like Jesus." This is a hand clapping, body swaying song that will have you on your feet singing along. I know I was! We get to enjoy the mood for 5:29 while drummer Orlandus Perry maintains the rhythm with his hi-hats and snare drum. 
If you are browsing this CD online or in a local music store don't go away without listening to the marvelous duet of Coco McMillan and Terry singing "Come Child." During my recent conversation with Terry he enthused about the work of McMillan. After listening to "Come Child" it is easy to hear why. Keep your eye on this young woman because you are going to hear her voice for many years to come.
If you are a connoisseur of good Jazz and R&B music add this one to your collection.

By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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