Zacardi Cortez

The Introduction

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Kicking off with an intro that's entirely jazz fusion, gospel singer Zacardi Cortez brings a '70s and '80s feel to his debut album, The Introduction, bringing reminders of Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, the Time, and Washington, D.C.'s go-go music scene throughout this exciting release. Then there's the voice, a natural powerhouse that still stands out in a genre that has plenty. Add a top-notch set of tunes, from the hit single "One More Time" to the church organ classic run-through called "Hymn Medley," plus an all-star guest list -- John P. Kee, Lalah Hathaway, Fred Hammond, and James Fortune are practically the lineup of That's What I Call Gospel 2012 -- and this is an easy-to-recommend debut that keeps rewarding return visits.

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