Gospel Music

Chicago Gospel History with Radio Great Milt Rosenberg

Journal of Gospel Music Editor-in-Chief Bob Marovich (pictured, left), discussed his book, A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music (University of Illinois Press), with radio legend Milt Rosenberg (center) on The Milt Rosenberg Show.  The program aired live Friday, November 6, 2015, on WCGO 1590 AM, Chicago. Iconic gospel choir conductor, arranger, and Mahalia Jackson accompanist Dr. Charles Clency (right) joined us for a lively and informative discussion of gospel music as it was birthed from, and prospered in, Chicago.  Musical highlights included selections from many of Chicago’s golden greats! So grateful for the opportunity to be a guest of Milt Rosenberg, ...

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Deitrick Haddon – Masterpiece

Deitrick Haddon Masterpiece eOne/DH Visions/Releve’ Entertainment (release date: November 6, 2015) www.eonemusic.com By Bob Marovich We are blank canvasses that God, the ultimate artist, fashions into beautiful works of art, declares Deitrick Haddon on the title track of his new album, Masterpiece, released yesterday. But it’s the blank canvas or, more accurately, the damaged canvas, not the finished painting, which captures Haddon’s interest. Observing from the rarefied air of a man “who ain’t got nothing to prove or lose,” he warns humanity to clean its canvas by getting right with itself and with God. Why? Because this is his story, too, ...

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Derrick “Doc” Pearson – No Greater Love (CD/DVD)

Derrick “Doc” Pearson No Greater Love IAM Music (2015) By Bob Marovich No Greater Love, a CD/DVD retrospective of the IAM Music Company of Clinton, Maryland, is a celebration of the company’s ten years of existence and a greatest hits package for IAM Music’s co-founder, Derrick “Doc” Pearson, who participates in one way or another on all of the Scripture-based music selections. A versatile bass player, singer, songwriter, and producer, Pearson (“Doc” stands for Disciple of Christ), cut his musical teeth on 1970s and 1980s soft soul and funk while working with the likes of the O’Jays and Whispers. The songs ...

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Bridgett Kern – No One Greater

Bridgett Kern No One Greater Dream Label Group (release date: August 7, 2015) www.bridgettkern.com By Bob Marovich Although not advertised explicitly as such, Bridgett Kern’s new Praise & Worship project, No One Greater, is a live recording. That’s a good thing, as P&W comes off best live. After all, the style was created to enliven the live worship experience. I would argue that almost all gospel music sounds better live, but that’s a discussion for another time. Back to No One Greater. The first portion of Kern’s CD features the energetic and effusive P&W singing and hard-hitting musicianship heard in ...

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Deitrick Haddon: “We Are All God’s Masterpieces”

Last week, Deitrick Haddon spoke with Bob Marovich of the Journal of Gospel Music about his new album, Masterpiece, which Entertainment One will release this Friday, November 6. JGM: Masterpiece, the album, is being described as sort of a musical maturation on your part. Is that a fair assumption? DH: Absolutely. It definitely reflects where I am in my life right now. That’s how I create records: I’m inspired by my life. What I have experienced in my life tends to show up in my music. JGM: On Preachers of LA and in performance, you come across as very real, ...

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Howard Ziwa – Dawn

Howard Ziwa Dawn – Volume 1 www.ziwamusic.com By Bob Marovich Howard Ziwa’s Dawn—I’m tempted to call it an EP because it has eight tracks and weighs in at under thirty minutes—has its high points and low points. Let’s start with the high points. The EP’s finest selections, “Alele” and “Let It Be,” are fueled by the brisk polyrhythms, vertical praise lyrics, and instrumental sensibilities of the gospel music from Ziwa’s native Africa (he was born in Kampala, Uganda). Those familiar with African gospel music know that it is often ignited by insistent drums and an ostinato riff on keyboard or ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 26, 2015

“The Lord Will Make a Way” The Bishops Quartet From I Know What Prayer Can Do (2015) www.thebishopsquartet.net The unapologetically old school Bishops Quartet tackles The Lord Will Make a Way,” Thomas A. Dorsey’s classic gospel of hope. The group’s bluesy, deliberate approach conjures the way gospel quartets covered the song in the 1950s and 1960s, but with the full-bodied organ-piano-guitar-bass music backdrop popular in the 1970s. “Lord” is consistent in sound and style with the group’s previous material. From Richmond, Virginia, the Bishops Quartet was founded in 2009 and consists of Bishops Alvin Palmer (manager), Thurman Hargrove, James Coleman, ...

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Bishop Samuel R. Blakes – I Survived

Bishop Samuel R. Blakes I Survived Top Music Group/Fountain of Life Records/ Central South Distribution (release date: July 31, 2015) By Bob Marovich The African American church is blessed with many pastors who can sing. I mean really sing. Bishop Samuel R. Blakes is one of them. Senior Pastor of New Orleans- and Baton Rouge-based New Home Ministries, Bishop Blakes possesses those classic gravelly, pulpit-worn gospel pipes that communicate an I’ve-been-there-so-I-know honesty. His voice, which runs the gamut from shout to meaty croon, is ideal for the material on his album, I Survived, a selection of neo-traditional songs filled with wooden-church ...

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Apostle Richard D. Henton, Noted Chicago Pastor, Passes

The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Apostle Richard D. Henton, Pastor of the Monument of Faith Evangelistic Church, has transitioned from labor to reward today, October 22, 2015. Among the Chicago gospel singers who were faithful congregants of Monument of Faith were Delores “Honey” Sykes and Claude Timmons. Here is a brief bio from Apostle Henton’s website: Called into the ministry in 1948 on December 14th, Apostle Richard D. Henton has become one of the most prolific speakers of our day. He has been in ministry for sixty-six (66) years and has been a pastor for fifty (50) of those ...

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Stryper – Fallen

Stryper Fallen Frontiers Music srl (release date: October 16, 2015) www.stryper.com By Bob Marovich For Christians about to rock, we salute you. Immediately following the Gothic a cappella harmonies that open Fallen, Stryper’s eleventh full-length original album, the four-man Christian metal band rock relentlessly until the CD screeches to a stop some fifty minutes later.  Guitars thrash, gnash, and gnarl, drums and bass craft complex rhythmic shapes, and Michael Sweet lofts soaring cries and glass-shattering high notes into the heavens. The godfathers of Christian metal deliver the goods on every track of Fallen. “Yahweh,” written with Clint Lowery of Sevendust and ...

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