February 19, 2011  

Yolanda Adams at the Palladium By David Lindquist, Indystar.com & Metromix

Exuberant messages of spirituality filled the Palladium on Saturday night, and big voices were on hand to guarantee no listeners missed the point. Yolanda Adams (pictured) relied on free- form rambling as headliner of the "Jazz Meets Gospel" program, while the members of Take 6 proved to be engaging showmen during their time onstage.

Adams, who began the week toasting Aretha Franklin at the Grammy Awards, conveyed her signature optimism within the lyrics of "It's Gon be Nice." "Someone Watching Over You," from 2005 album "Day by Day," followed a format that Adams frequently repeated: The tune began toothless and mid-tempo, then rallied to an emotional peak and finally gave way evangelical vamping during its reprise.

Surely some prayers in the sold-out audience were answered when a deafening snare drum was replaced by a more subtle instrument two songs into Adams' performance. Delivery of sound is no problem in the new concert hall. But too much sound is painful.

All was forgiven when Adams sang "Amazing Grace," defined by such efficient breathing and liquid phrasing that almost no pauses between lyrics could be discerned.

Listening to Take 6 was a consistent pleasure, as the a cappella group derived strength through complimentary parts. "Wade in the Water" featured David Thomas singing lead against Claude McKnight's high harmonies, and the song later made room for McKnight's soulful scatting.

Brothers Mark (pictured) and Joey Kibble opened wide the parameters of gymnastic vocals, much to the delight of dozens of students seated at the back of the stage. Larry Rosen, co- founder of GRP Records, offered opening remarks for "Jazz Meets Gospel," the first show in a "JAZZ ROOTS" series he's curating for the Palladium as well as venues in Miami and Dallas.