(Ronnie Scott’s, July 12th 2012, Review by Sarah Ellen Hughes)
Rooted in gospel, and passionate about Christian music, Take 6 is a formidable vocal force, with 16 albums and 10 Grammy Awards under its collective belt
Each vocalist took a turn on lead and background vocals, showcasing the fact that here were six singers at the top of their game. The current Take 6 members are Khristian Dentley, founder Claude V. McKinght, Mark Kibble, Joey Kibble, Alvin Chea and David Thomas. Their relationship as singers, friends and colleagues made for a terrific show.
Opening with an up-beat version of Straighten Up and Fly Right, it was clear what Take 6 could do: entertain with immaculate vocal harmonies, slick choreography and impressive melodic lines.
This visit to Ronnie’s was part of a worldwide tour to promote the new album One (Shanachie), which is their first collection of entirely Christian music but by no means did the group exclusively sing from their gospel repertoire; they sang a melange of songs from Stevie Wonder to Prince, to Michel Legrand and Charlie Chaplin. Fast swing morphed seamlessly into energetic funk and back again, with vocal percussion creating a setting for the musical scene to change.
Take 6 produced almost the entire show using their bare voices – with the occasional use of shakers and the piano – aided by some sophisticated and clever microphone techniques. Other instruments – trombones, trumpets, a cajón – were created impressively by voice. Such was their skill in this, that my companion and I can be forgiven for thinking that the backing track used when performing their album’s new single It Only Takes One, was human voices!
The group immediately made the audience feel at ease, asking the audience to participate in only the second number of the set. Their obvious appreciation and devotion to fans was apparent, as they dedicated a lush “Happy anniversary to you,” by name to a young couple at the front.
Despite only performing for less than 90 minutes, they managed to cram so much entertainment in, that the audience didn’t feel short-changed. The show ended with a rip-roaring medley of 70s tunes including a Michael Jackson feature, and a beat-box competition between two members.
On Thursday, they crammed two shows into a packed Ronnie Scott’s to an expectant audience who did not leave disappointed. Next time I hope they’ll entertain their English fans for more than just one night.