Baltimore’s Simmons Memorial Ministries was the happening place to be Friday night, December 7th. This decades old church was where Baltimore gospel artist Freedom Imani chose to release his new CD entitled, The NewFree Christmas. The church was packed with family, friends and other well-wishers.
This event was hosted by New York’s WKPS radio personality Nigeria Anderson, producer and publisher of Urban Buzz magazine.
As Imani took the stage, he started with an announcement that he and his wife, Cassandra, of five months were expectant parents in July of next year.
As the music began, you could hear a mixture of gospel with a splash of jazz backed by a funky groove produced by the band members and vocal artists behind him.The band members consisted of: Travis Higgins on piano, Kyle Foster on organ, Kentrel Harris on keyboards, Marcus England on drums and Michael Saunders on bass guitar. They were accompanied by saxophonists Corinthia Cromwell and Sam King.
Background singers included Brenda Carberry, Lia Songbird, Taneesha Thomas, Jessica Garcia and James Brooks.
Freedom Imani sang and danced as he gave testimony to how he has been blessed throughout his life. At several points during the concert, he had the crowd on their feet as they shouted praises to God.
The name NewFree comes from a combination of he and his wife’s experiences in moving closer to God. She was ‘new in Christ’ and he was ‘free from binds’ when they met. They combined the names to form the company. Imani says he is wild and crazy for the Lord and that everybody should be free.
Although Imani finds it difficult to ‘classify’ his sound, one could hear bits of southern gospel, jazz, hip-hop, doo-wop and scatting influences as he sang his original arrangements of familiar Christmas carols. The repertoire included: New Free, This Christmas, O Holy Night,and O Come Let Us Adore Him.
The NewFree Christmas CD contains nine cuts and is not your traditional gospel CD, but no matter what your taste or style of music is, there is something on it for you. The vocals that Imani performs have to be somewhat unnatural in that he has a seven-octave range which was evident at any given point during his performance.
Imani says his unique sound is due to the anointing, but that this CD is different because it is anointed and blessed and will not return void. The CD was produced and recorded by Jay Nova of JamNova Entertainment.
The Newfree Christmas CD is available at www.reverbnation.com/freedomimani or www.soundcloud.com, where it can be downloaded at no cost.