Thursday 12th July
£40.00 - £75.00
There will be 2 performances to 2 separate audiences tonight!
(1st House) Doors 5.30pm, Support Act 6.15-7pm, Take 6: 7.30pm, Doors Close 9pm
(2nd house) Doors 9.30pm, Take 6 10.30pm, The Late Late Show 12 Midnight-3am.
take6.com. While vocal groups surge in popularity, GRAMMY award-winning super group TAKE 6 continues to set the standard for a cappella groups of this generation. The TAKE 6 story began at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1980, when freshman Claude V. McKnight III formed a quartet known as the Gentlemen's Estate Club. When tenor Mark Kibble heard the group rehearsing in - of all places - a campus restroom, he joined in the harmonies and performed onstage with the group that same night.Mervyn Warren joined shortly after, and the group briefly took the name of Alliance. They performed in local churches and on campus for the next few years, with personnel changing frequently as older members graduated and new voices arrived on campus to replace them.After college, the group signed with the Warner Brothers label in 1987 and changed their name to TAKE 6. Their self-titled debut album, released the following year, scored two GRAMMY Awards and landed in the top ten on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz and Contemporary Christian charts.The group's swinging, harmony-rich gospel sound attracted a flurry of attention, and the group went on to record or perform with numerous jazz luminaries, including Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder.The 1990 followup album, So Much 2 Say, was equally successful, climbing to the number 2 spot on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart and scoring a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. Warren left the group a year later to pursue a career as a producer. He was replaced by Joey Kibble, Mark's younger brother.The group added instrumentation to their purely a cappella sound beginning with the 1991 holiday release, He Is Christmas. The album scored yet another GRAMMY, this time for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. A string of finely crafted recordings continued throughout the remainder ofthe decade: Join the Band (1994), Brothers (1996), So Cool (1998) and a second holiday album, We Wish You a Merry Christmas (1999). Join the Band and Brothers were both GRAMMY winners.In 2000, TAKE 6 released a live recording and a best-of collection, followed by Beautiful World in 2002. The group left Warner Brothers after Beautiful World and launched their own TAKE 6 label. Their maiden voyage in the new venture was Feels Good, released in 2006.TAKE 6 joined Heads Up Records with the release of The Standard in August 2008. The album includes guest appearances by R&B luminaries Aaron Neville and Brian McKnight (Claude's brother), as well as veteran jazzmen George Benson, Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks. "While we sing lyrics that always exemplify our spiritual and moral convictions, what we really are at the core is a jazz vocal group," says Dave Thomas, a member of the Take 6 lineup since 1985. The Standard garnered three GRAMMY nominations in 2009 for Best Gospel Performance, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.In 2010, teaming again with Heads Up, TAKE 6 released a third Christmas album featuring holiday favorites and classic Christmas standards titled, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The album climbed to the top 40 spot on Billboard's U.S. Jazz charts.To date, TAKE 6 has won 10 GRAMMY Awards, 10 Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award, received two NAACP Image Award nominations, and holds the distinct honor of being the most GRAMMY nominated vocal group in history.May, 2011, two years before the 25th anniversary of TAKE 6's first commercial release, Cedric Dent announced his departure as a principal member of the group. "It has been perhaps one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my adult life," Cedric shared with fans.While Dr. Dent no longer tours with TAKE 6, he continues to work with the group behind the scenes contributing musical arrangements and offering assistance when needed. Cedric's decreased role allows him to pursue other creative endeavors, including further composing and arranging, music research, teaching, consulting, writing books, and spending time with his family. As a member of the faculty at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Dent takes a leading role raising funds for the TAKE 6 Vocal Jazz Scholarship program, further contributing to the TAKE 6 legacy.Multi-talented music producer, musician, and baritone, Khristian Dentley, replaces Dr. Dent on the road and in the day-to-day operations. Dentley has filled in for Cedric off and on since 2004, developing a strong rapport within the group, as well as TAKE 6 audiences throughout the world! take6.com.
Take 6 - ONE
With the popularity of televised vocal competitions like the explosive a cappella show The Sing Off and the mania over singing driven comedy dramas like Glee, Take 6 is the original torchbearer for the first instrument. The ten-time Grammy and ten-time Dove winners, Take 6, (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) celebrate their 25th Anniversary this year and have a lot to be grateful for. The distinguished Gospel/Jazz vocal group, heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!’ are the quintessential a cappela group and model for what vocal genius is. Through the years they have won praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston. Any singer who aspires for vocal excellence cannot overlook the contributions these men have made to music. The multi-platinum selling sextet says of their longevity, “The glue for Take 6 is that we consider this a Ministry. We are God's group! We are also family in the sense that we care deeply about each other, and that helps keep us together. We have times when it gets tough, but we pull together because of the love we have for one another.”
One is Take 6’s first project without Cedric Dent, who retired from the group last year. “Cedric had taken a position with MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN) which didn’t allow him to go out on the road during the school year and kind of limited him only to the weekends and that’s if it worked for the schedule,” says Kibble. “So we decided it was best to find a person to step in and cover him when he couldn’t be there. We actually had a pool of three people we used over the years. Khristian Dentley was one of those people called on to step in. He did it beautifully and had a lot of energy. In standing in for Cedric, we were able to learn his personality and he was able to learn the music. After 7 years, Cedric decided to go full time into academia and when he did, Khristian was already primed to step in behind him.”
Dentley brings a multitude of skills to the mix. He programmed, co-wrote or co-arranged some of the songs such as “One,” the soulful, block-party styled title song. “Khristian was the visionary behind the music video for that song,” says McKnight. It was shot at a private home outside of Los Angeles with about 40 Take 6 friends and family members. Stevie Wonder; Claude McKnight’s little brother, crooner Brian McKnight; Lalah Hathaway, Lil Fizz from B2K and former pro football player Greg Gunther all make appearances in the video. “The video was all about getting together at a family styled barbecue and hanging out and just having fun,” says Claude McKnight. “We invited some of our friends, we had some cameos. It was just a lot of fun.”
The group also had fun recording One and considers it a return to their spiritual heritage. “We’re pretty excited because this album is one of our first completely gospel-influenced albums,” says McKnight. “It kind of takes us back to when we first started out. The touring that we’re planning on doing will include a lot of churches and gospel-flavored venues… interestingly enough, we’ve always toured internationally because were basically a jazz group and we still have those elements on this album but lyrically it’s a lot more gospel based. We really wanted to go back to our roots and to be a part of that and uplift people from that standpoint.”
While they have dabbled with straight jazz and even adult R&B rhythms over the last decade, Take 6 dusts off Korean War-era gospel songs and injects them with a modern flair while maintaining their traditional quartet style of singing. Handclaps and a little percussion enliven The Selah Singers’ 1952 tune, “Down Here I’ve Done My Best.”
The hymn “Glorious Day” and the Jackie Verdell & Brother Joe May’s 1962 cut, “You’re Gonna Need Him,” both get Pentecostal workouts but with a sophisticated polish. The ballads “Alleluia” and “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” are given tender arrangements that show off the group’s layered harmonies. On “Noah,” their voices simulate instruments to create the signature Take 6 sound. The mid-tempo tracks “In My Heart” and “Farther Along” boast minimal instrumentation and a lot of funky swagger.
Rounding out the set is the wistful tune, “Can’t Imagine Love Without You,” that includes a harmonica solo and lead vocals by Stevie Wonder. Take 6 first performed the song with Wonder on a BET Honors television special in 2010. “We just liked the way the song flowed and we liked how it felt,” says Kibble. “We needed one more song for the CD and somebody made the suggestion that we should sing that song. ”
Take 6 has come a long way from their days at Huntsville, Alabama’s Oakwood College where McKnight formed the group as The Gentleman’s Estates Quartet in 1980. The group eventually became known as Alliance but when they signed to Reprise Records in 1987 they found that there was another group with the same name, so they became Take 6. Their self-titled debut CD won over jazz and pop critics and they’ve never slowed down.
A part of what has allowed the group to stay together as what has allowed the group to stay together as One is the group’s willingness to let members do side projects. “It adds to the brand,” Joey Kibble says. “You have six individuals that are interested in six different combinations of activities.” Kibble is a motivational speaker and Alvin Chea does Voiceover & Session-singing on dozens of TV and Feature films as well as commercials. Two of the members have solo projects in the works, others produce outside acts and McKnight is working on a documentary. “It adds even more credibility to the group as a whole,” Kibble adds. “That based on each individual further developing what they were called to do, then when you look at those entities making up this entire unit which is Take 6 the group is stronger because the individuals continue with their contributions and development of their own gifts.
So, what’s next for Take 6 as a unit? “The next project we’re going to work on I believe is going to be an orchestral project,” says McKnight. “We’ve performed with orchestras but we’ve never done a fully orchestrated album so that’s what we’re working on to try and get the logistics for that. One of the key things we’re really looking at is almost reintroducing in a way Take 6 to our domestic audience. We’ve done so much international touring that I think there are core fans of ours who may in fact not know that we’re still around so that will be kind of a cool thing to be like, `Hey, we’re here! Check us out.’”
RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM TAKE 6
ON YOUR LAST REGULAR STUDIO PROJECT, THE STANDARD, YOU ALL DID A DUET WITH ELLA FITZGERALD ON “TISKET A TASKET.” HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
JOEY: Mark was responsible for that arrangement... We were trying to look for standards to do for that standards CD and we thought about that song that she had done. She’s just, bar none, one of the best singers of all time. The logistics of actually getting that song recorded were going to be a challenge because we had to find a recording that was in a tempo that we were able to follow that worked for our arrangement. Also, you know the band was playing behind her at the time, so we had to find a way that we could cover it with our vocals, without clashing with the band that was behind her. And then of course, getting permission from whomever owns that track was all quite a process. I think the greater lion’s share of the genius behind it came with Mark, who did the arrangement on when to come in and when to stay out of her way. How to make it kind of like a good duet between the two of us but still cause her to stand out… The logistics of getting that done was an involved situation but I think it came out beautifully.
WHAT INSPIRES THE GROUP’S VARIOUS ENTREPRENEURIAL INITIATIVES SUCH AS RECORDING YOUR OWN MATERIAL WITHOUT A LABEL?
CLAUDE: One of the great things about music, especially as technology moves forward, is that you’re able now to do things on your own with the same kind of quality and the same kind of confidence that you would have done years ago with a lot more money and a lot more being people involved. It’s been a good process for us to try and stay ahead of the curve and take the reins of our own career when we’re able to. I encourage other artists to do the same thing because it’s your talent. It’s your creativity and I think, who is going to work as hard for you than yourself?
HAS ANYONE EVER BEEN REALLY SICK YET CONTINUED ON WITH THE SHOW?
JOEY: That has happened with all the members at some point. One of the most notable times was when we were somewhere in South America. Alvin got food poisoning and rather than cancelling the show, he was standing on the side of the stage with a bucket. He was really going through it. The promoter stood there with him and the bucket. When we didn’t hear the bass singing we knew he was working it out [laughter]. He just kept going and set the bar high for the rest of us. There have been times when we have been hoarse or sick but the show always went on.
HOW DID TAKE 6 GET ITS NAME?
CLAUDE: Take 6 was all about a democratic process of sitting in a room together and throwing a couple of hundred names at each other and Take 6 was the one that got the most yay votes [laughing.] It pretty much was a play on the Take 5 jazz standard and the fact that there are six of us in the group, so it became Take 6.
Tell us what you think of TAKE 6, Support: The Ronnie Scotts All Stars below..