According to drummer and vocalist Tony Addison, the debut release, He Is Love, “is a testimony to my love of the Lord through my music. The title track fully describes the power, mercy and faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”
The ten original songs on this dynamic recording combine the messages of faith with funky, Latin, rock and soulful grooves masterfully executed by a talented array of musicians. Every song maintains its unique identity through the spiritual statements conveyed by each vocalist, the arrangements and the instrumentation. The recording remains true to the essence of each song, allowing the music to breathe, develop and grow by trusting the guidance of the lyrics and at the same time respecting the spontaneity of each moment.
The musicians on the CD are all top notch performers and include, William Knowles (piano and horn arrangements), Russell Sledge (bass), Tony Cotherine (electric and acoustic guitars), Melvin Bryant Jr. (organ and strings), Matt Miller (percussion), Frankie Addison (tenor saxophone), Alvin Trask (trumpet), Ron Oshima (flute, tenor and alto saxophone), and vocalists Lori Williams, William Hubbard (vocal arrangements), Rosalind Roz White, Anthony Manough and of course Tony Addison (drums, vocals, rap, narration and composer).
A native of Washington, D.C., Tony always thought drums were “cool” and increased his knowledge and skills by studying music at Washington Music Conservatory, Lettum Play Summer Jazz Organization and the University of the District of Columbia. His love for jazz put him on the bandstand with great jazz artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turentine and Webster Young. However, Tony is clearly at home with a variety of styles of music which allowed him to write the compositions of praise for this recording and to follow his passion for the Lord by doing a gospel debut instead of a jazz recording. “I always thought that my first CD would be jazz because of my love of that art form, but one night, while I was in my studio composing, I just stopped and I was hit by the Holy Spirit. I started praising the Lord, counting my blessings for my beautiful and God loving wife, a new home, healthy, loving children and a good job. And although I realize that whatever music I am performing comes from the spirit, there is no greater feeling for me than when I’m playing praise and worship music.”
That’s why all of the ten tracks on, He Is Love, distributed by That Other Label (TOL), are a true testament to Addison’s faith in God. Each song is an expression of his life’s story and he passionately wants to share his journey with those who are struggling in their lives. “God has brought me a long way on my journey, shared Addison. “Life hasn’t always been so good. I used to be a boxer, artist and a dancer, but the problem was I didn’t have Jesus. I was on top of the world and then I started living in the fast lane: money, women and drugs. The streets got the best of me, but God was always there for me. So the Lord took those things from me because I didn’t use them for His glory, only for myself. But He spared my music so I could share my message with others in order to help them avoid some of my own pitfalls.”
Besides serving in the music ministry at his church, Tony performs various styles of music as part of his own trio or with other artists in the D.C. area in venues like the National Black Caucus Convention, Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, HR 57, Studio Theater, and Metro Stage. “I made a promise to God,” said Tony, “that my first CD will be for His glory. No matter how long it takes, I will not record any music in my studio until I finish. It has been an amazing journey for me as I watched God moving in my life while preparing this recording. He has been faithful to me and I give Him all that I have because He is love.”