Gospel Music

CD Single Review — Bishop Nathaniel Bond and The Ensemble

“Over In Zion”Bishop Nathaniel Bond & The EnsembleFrom the CD A Message of Faith4 Life Miracle Records 2006 From Joe Horn’s quartet-centric 4 Life Miracle Records and produced by the Christianaires’ Paul Porter with Terrell “Midge” Gatlin, “Over In Zion” is one hundred percent uptempo, hand-clapping quartet sound from a subset of Bishop Bond’s DHP Mass Choir, aptly dubbed The Ensemble, despite a perplexing but age-old avoidance of that particular term in gospel music. The lyrics, which interpolate lines from traditional hymns, communicate the joyful anticipation of going to the other side of the river. If dying is this joyful, ...

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TBGB Reviews…Jerard Woods

I WaitedJerard WoodsFound Sound Music 2007 www.jerardwoods.com No doubt about it: Jerard Woods can sang! A coloratura gospel tenor in the style of Smokie Norful, Nashville-based Jerard Woods is a gifted vocalist who can worry notes without simultaneously distracting the listener from the song’s message. After singing behind many of today’s top-shelf gospel artists, Woods has finally come front and center. On I Waited, Woods’ debut project and the first release on his and brother Terry’s Found Sound Music, the singer is accompanied by a polished vocal group and musicians who give some cuts an urban contemporary feeling and others ...

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TBGB Reviews…Marvin Winans

Alone But Not AloneMarvin WinansPure Springs Gospel 2007www.purespringsgospel.com One of the smoothest male voices in gospel today, Marvin Winans recently released Alone But Not Alone, a collection of what sound like personal testimonies tinted with cool RnB. The project is among the first to be released on sister CeCe’s Pure Springs Gospel label. The dozen songs deal with the struggle of maintaining one’s faith in the wake of life’s various vicissitudes, such as divorce, disease, and war (without and within). The soundtrack to this inner tension is constructed on melodies and arrangements that borrow liberally from smooth jazz and brassy-sweet ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 8, 2007

“Brand New Day”Jonathan ButlerFrom the album Brand New DayMaranatha! Music 2007www.maranathamusic.com Cape Town, South Africa-raised Jonathan Butler doesn’t need much help from TBGB, as “Brand New Day” is already in the top ten of Billboard’s gospel singles chart. Not surprising. It’s bouncy, confident, and reassuring. Truth is, it is downright hard to sit still when the single is spinning in the CD player, both because of its beat and its optimistic lyrics. “Brand New Day” is very definitely the product of an artist with creative fingers in pop, jazz, RnB, and now gospel.

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Beverly Crawford Lends her Voice to Obama Campaign

Gospel music has been recruited to further political campaigns since the early 1930s, when Chicago candidates tapped Mahalia Jackson to sing for their meetings. Back then, Jackson’s performances — reminiscent of old-time Southern religion in sound and physical movement — were a way for urban politicians to speak the language of, and thereby curry favor with, new Southern migrants who moved to the North in part to gain the opportunity to vote. Recognizing the continued power of gospel music to stir the souls of the populace, Senator Barack Obama has asked Beverly Crawford — a singer not unlike the famed ...

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TBGB Reviews…Analisa

AnalisaJesus…He Brings Me JoySpiritual City Musicwww.spiritualcitymusic.com A bevy of beautiful Latinas have burst onto the gospel and Christian music scenes in the past few years, most notably Jaci Velasquez, Joann Rosario, and Analisa. The latter cut her musical teeth on Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, and earned a scholarship to the University of North Texas School of Music, where she received jazz and classical training. Loaded with such an eclectic background, Analisa would not be the first who comes to mind when considering new artists in the inspirational music field, but this summer she released her first sacred ...

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Ricky Dillard preserving old-time sound while appealing to younger audience

From the Chicago Tribune: By Kelley L. Carter | Tribune staff reporter October 5, 2007 Ricky Dillard delivers commands to the group behind him like a melodic drill sergeant. Dillard and his troops, the New Generation Chorale, are shaking, bouncing and snapping in a retail music shop at Ford City Mall on Chicago’s South Side, and the minute his baritone vocals pour over the microphone, mallgoers take notice of the weekday afternoon gospel concert. He’s bringing choir music back. “It seems like everything is so microwaved now,” says Robin Covington, a lead singer in the Chicago-based choir. “Church choirs need ...

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TBGB Reviews…Israel & New Breed

Israel & New BreedA Deeper Level – LiveIntegrity/Columbia 2007www.newbreedmusic.com With A Deeper Level, Israel Houghton is on his way to becoming America’s top Praise & Worship leader. The latest installment in Israel & New Breed’s oeuvre stays true to the pacing of a live performance than many gospel CDs recorded on-site. For one, there is little, if any, silence between tracks. Second, the songs themselves have the feeling of being a connected collection of chapters comprising a project-long work. Such sensitivity to pacing gives the album a thematic quality. This likely has a great deal to do with Israel’s personal ...

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Eveready’s Aaron Beasley Dies in Detroit

The Gospel Announcers Guild’s Second Vice Chairman, Lady Donna Creer, informed me today that Aaron Beasley, a member of the Evereadys (For Life Miracle Records), passed away today in a Detroit hospital. As more information is forthcoming to TBGB, we’ll post it. For those of you wondering whether this iteration of the Evereadys has any connection with the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers who recorded killer quartet tracks for the Sittin’ In With, Capitol, Abbott, and other labels back in the 50s, the answer is yes. Same group, different personnel. Here is what the For Life Miracle Records press corps says about ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 1, 2007

“If You Don’t Have Jesus”Miami’s Blessedfrom Gospel USA Magazine’s Artists Favorites, Vol. 2 Artist Information: 305-302-9002 On “If You Don’t Have Jesus,” Miami’s Blessed offers up wonderful falsetto singing and high harmonies reminiscent of the 1970s Stylistics and Spinners. The quartet’s seemingly effortless delivery is so cool it could send all of South Florida into a deep freeze. It’s the kind of recording that you just have to hear it once to have it echo in your mind for days.

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