Gospel Music

CD Review: Bishop Larry D. Trotter and the Sweet Holy Spirit Choir

Already Looking Bettah!Bishop Larry D. Trotter and the Sweet Holy Spirit ChoirTyscot 2005www.tyscot.com Larry Darnell Trotter, International Presiding Bishop of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ is one of the reasons Chicago remains the Mecca of gospel music. His Sweet Holy Spirit church is one of the go-to places to hear good gospel music in the city, and the church choir honors the tradition of gospel choruses that started more than seventy years ago on Chicago’s south side, not terribly far from Trotter’s pulpit. Already Looking Bettah!, the ensemble’s most recent release on Tyscot Records, features an all-star cast of ...

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CD Reviews: The Zion Jubilees

Zion Jubilees:In the Precious Name of JesusPrivate Recording One More River to CrossJubu Records 2004 In today’s perpetual search for The Next New Thing in music, we can overlook the value of experience and longevity. When we pay homage to grand old men of popular music – for example, the Rolling Stones or the classic Motown groups – we’re typically referring to ensembles that have been in existence between 40 and 50 years. In the gospel quartet world, however, a group with some 40 to 50 years under its belt is considered a relative newcomer. To prove this point, one ...

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Former music professor pens book about choral conductor and composer Hall Johnson

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 By ROBERT BAXTERCourier-Post Staff Eugene Thamon Simpson confronted a career choice 50 years ago. Would it be medicine or music? “I decided music was a hell of a lot more fun than medicine,” explains Simpson, an emeritus professor at Rowan University. Six years after he retired as professor of voice and choral literature, Simpson is still having fun. Earlier this month, he shipped off a 639-page manuscript to Scarecrow Press. Set to be published later this year, Black Genius: The Life, Spirit and Music of Hall Johnson provides the definitive biography of the renowned African-American choral ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: February 20, 2006

“How, Why, When” KhristianFrom the Nahor Music CD This Year2005www.KhristianMusic.com I had the same sensation listening to This Year by Christian Dentley (aka Khristian) that I had the first time I heard Israel Houghton: the sound is different, edgy, well-produced, muscle-twitching, joyful, and smart. It is as much an indicator of the direction of gospel music as any top ten gospel CD. Given Khristian’s experience in a rock band, as a substitute singer in Take 6 and a student at a performing arts school, it’s no surprise his first album is an amalgam of many different musical styles. In other, ...

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R.I.P. Reverend Charlie Jackson

From Kevin Nutt of CaseQuarter Records: It is with great sadness that we here at CaseQuarter Records must convey the news that Bishop Charlie Jackson of Baker, Louisiana has passed away. Bishop Jackson, known to many blues, gospel and music lovers in the wider world as the Reverend Charlie Jackson, died in his sleep at a local Baker, Louisiana nursing home early Monday morning Febuary 13th. Reverend Jackson had been confined to the 24 hour care facility since the spring of 2005 after suffering the latest in a series of lifelong strokes. His wife, Laura Davis Jackson, said that Reverend ...

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MISSISSIPPI MASS HONORS BLACK HISTORY MONTH

From Media Jenny (February 14, 2006): Jackson, MS– On February 7, in Jackson, Mississippi, the Mississippi Mass Choir joined with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Girlchoir and the Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex (APAC) Dancers in a tribute concert to renowned civil rights’ leader and martyr Medgar Evers. Evers was a native of Jackson, Mississippi. The concert spectacular was narrated by CBS Evening News Correspondent Randall Pinkston, also a native of Mississippi who grew up during the height of the civil rights movement, graduating from Lanier High School in 1968. Sponsored by Bank Plus, the event volunteers included ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 131

“Try Me Father”Rev. Willingham and His SwaneesFederal 125421966 “Try Me Father” is an obvious variation on James Brown’s classic 1958 proto-soul “Try Me” (also on Federal Records). But turnaround is fair play, because The Godfather of Soul – who produced this recording – owed much of his early stage histrionics from the sound and style of gospel music performance. After the introduction – a Famous Flames-esque flourish of instruments and voices that combine to deliver a tidal wave of sound – the incomparable Johnny Jones emotes “Try Me Father” in his best JB voice as his fellow Swanee Quintet members ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: February 13, 2006

“You Held On Even When I Let Go” Eddie Ruth BradfordFrom her forthcoming CD Saved by GraceJuana Records 2006www.malaco.com Eddie Ruth Bradford, with her resonant, relaxed alto voice, sounds like a cross between Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples. Bradford’s latest single, “You Held On Even When I Let Go,” is as soulful, bluesy, and down-home as it gets. You can almost feel the oppressive mid-day heat of Bradford’s native Mississippi thickening the air and cascading its weight down upon the music and vocals like a steam iron. This American roots single is sure to make noise at radio stations south ...

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CD Review: Jerry Warren – Never Let You Go

Jerry WarrenNever Let You GoNivla Records 2005 Jerry Warren sounds like the lead singer in a traditional gospel quartet. His husky voice travels the vocal spectrum from Al Green’s pinched tenor to the rough growl of the finest, earthiest singing ministers. On Never Let You Go, however, Warren doesn’t front a quartet but sings with fine backup from the West Tennessee Southern Mass and Detroit Family and Friends Choirs. These two ensembles steal the show. Their rendition of “Canaan Land” is brilliantly executed and is the album’s highlight, though it suffers from tinny production; it’s a magnificent piece of rich ...

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CD Review: Ami Rushes – Covering

Ami RushesCoveringAmi Rushes Ministries 2005www.amirushes.com At the 2005 GMWA, where she performed on an artist showcase, Ami Rushes described the concept – and hence the title – of Covering as her “cover” versions of traditional, or traditional-influenced, gospel songs she loves. Indeed, Ami flexes her muscular, rock-star tough voice around a veritable hymnbook of gospel chestnuts on this Kurt Carr-produced album. Think Bonnie Raitt singing gospel and you have a good sense of Ami Rushes’ sound. The songs are mostly in the Pentecostal mode, but given Ami’s membership in West Angeles COGIC, this makes perfect sense. The standout performances on ...

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