Gospel Music

TBGB Reviews…Mississippi Mass Choir Christmas

We Have Seen His StarMississippi Mass ChoirMalaco Records 2007www.malaco.com Gospel artists have been recording Christmas carols since Sister Rosetta Tharpe hit one out of the park in 1949 with her double-sided disc for Decca, “White Christmas”/“Silent Night.” As expected, other labels leapt into the fray the following year to capture their own share of holiday cheer. In 1950, Mahalia Jackson waxed “Silent Night” for Apollo Records, and Gotham Records released odes to Christmas from several of its most popular gospel stars, including the Davis Sisters, the Harmonizing Four, and the Angelic Gospel Singers (the Angelic’s “Glory, Glory to the New ...

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Gone Home on the Wings of a Dove: Leon Lumpkins

Thanks to Bob Laughton and Revs. Stefanie Minatee and Lawrence Roberts for alerting TBGB about this sad news: Writes Rev. Minatee: Just wanted to inform you that Gospel Music Legend, Leon Lumpkins, founder of The Gospel Clefs, passed away. His wake is tomorrow (10/17) from 1-9pm at the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. His funeral will be held on Thursday, October 18th at 11 am, at Greater Abyssinian.——————————————————————————– Here is Professor Lumpkins’ obituary from the October 16, 2007 Star-Ledger: LUMPKINS Leon Funeral home musical director, 73 Prof. Leon Lumpkins, 73, of East Orange died on Oct. 14, 2007. ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: October 15, 2007

“Every Time I Think About”Jimmy Russell and BOC (Because of Christ)From the CD “Live” (self-released) 2007Available at CD Baby: cdbaby.com/cd/jrussellboc Jimmy Russell and BOC tore up an early session of the Gospel Announcers Guild gathering at this year’s GMWA with “Every Time I Think About.” The recorded version, featuring the straightforward vocals of Dr. Betty Minus, does not pack quite the same wallop as it did live — recordings seldom do — but nevertheless, it’s a fine traditional-flavored pick-me-up worth hearing in any format.

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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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