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Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

by Sounds of Blackness Sounds of Blackness
Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

by Sounds of Blackness Sounds of Blackness


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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 So, even if the production sounds a little calculated and perhaps even outdated for its time, it made for some amazing songs.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: 04/19/1994
Label: Perspective Records
UPC: 0731454900621
catalogNumber: 549006
Rank: 82593


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

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   Baritone Saxophone
Rev. Joseph Young   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
Rory Bennett   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Steve Hodge   Engineer
Jimmy Jam   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer,drum programming
Terry Lewis   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Ann Nesby   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Levi Seacer   Composer
Billy Steele   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
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
Lewis Allan   Composer
James Quenton Wright   Composer

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