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Take 6 is older, wiser, better on 25th anniversary

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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The 25th anniversary of Take 6's self-titled first album this year caught the a capella gospel group from Alabama by surprise.

"You start kind of reminiscing and really thinking about all that time and say to yourself, 'It doesn't feel like it's been 25 years,' but obviously it has," says co-founder and first tenor Claude V. McKnight III, older brother of R&B singer Brian McKnight. "It's strange and surreal, but still a nice thing.

"The cool thing is we've remained pretty true to what it is we set out to do 25 years ago. Obviously we're different as far as who we are on the inside. We've grown and matured and everything, and I think that has hopefully enhanced our sound some. But our mission with the music has not changed during that time."

Take 6 can certainly consider is mission accomplished since that platinum-certified debut. The group has won three Grammy Awards and 10 of gospel's Dove Awards, and over the years it's collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, CeCe Winans, Quincy Jones and many others.

It's not slowing down, either; Take 6 released its last album, "One," in 2012, and McKnight says the group is working on two new projects -- a duets album that is "just formulating and a re-recording of the first album to put those old favorites in a new perspective.

"It's out of print," McKnight explains, "so it's great to go back in and listen to those songs and attempt to re-do them. There's the whole reminiscing process of, 'Wow, I remember this song. I remember that song,' and that's a lot of fun.

"It sounds really cool. We know ourselves better now as a ground, and individually we bring a different flavor to those old songs. Your vocal cords are different. It definitely sounds like we're older -- and hopefully there's a wiser sound, let's say that."

Take 6 and Alexander Zonjic perform at the 4th Annual A Jazzy Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at Ward Presbyterian Church, 40000 Six Mile Road, Northville. Tickets are $25-$70, with proceeds benefiting Grace Centers of Hope. Call 248-374-7400 or visit www.menofgracemusic.com.

Web Site: www.menofgracemusic.com

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