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J Is for Joy

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Album Review

After making his solo recording debut mere months earlier with the instrumental piano album The Sound of Peace, John Fluker returned with a holiday set that, at least in part, is more in keeping with his day job as a background vocalist and vocal coach. J Is for Joy takes a handful of religiously oriented Christmas carols and presents them in R&B/pop arrangements that sound more like the '80s than the 2000s. Starting with "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," Fluker makes like a one-man Boyz II Men, keeping the lyrics but largely forgetting the familiar melody and traditional approach. The same holds true on his original, "Follow the Brightest Star," and four other public domain holiday songs. Then, Fluker reverts to his instrumental self, repeating four of the songs in contemporary jazz/new age versions largely without vocals, concluding with a solo piano on "Silent Night." It's as if he can't help trying to show off all his talents rather than coming up with a Christmas album that's consistent all the way through.


Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active:

Singer and keyboard player John Fluker was born and raised in Lansing, MI. He began taking piano lessons at eight and first encountered vocal music with his church choir. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a B.A. in music theory. After college, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in churches and as a vocal coach. (Eventually, his clients included Jennifer Lopez.) He began finding work as a backup musician to touring acts starting with the Diamonds, and he started to get...
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J Is for Joy, John Fluker
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