The Church Choir feat. Maranda Curtis & Pastor John P. Kee
From the Kee Music Group CD If God Be For Us
(release date: August 26, 2016)
Available from digital music outlets
By Bob Marovich
If anyone has a stake in the “bring the church choir back” movement, it’s Pastor John P. Kee. Church choirs have been his life and continue to be.
Last year, Kee, the award-winning founder of the New Life Community Choir, united a choir with gospel stars such as Zacardi Cortez and Hezekiah Walker for If God Be For Us. The album was intended to help rekindle the choir sound that dominated the gospel charts during the 1970s and 1980s.
“Release” is a single from that album. It’s a slow, sincere piece that riffs on how blessings come down when praises go up. It features Kee and Maranda Curtis leading “The Church Choir,” an ensemble that delivers thick, delicious harmonies behind the soloists’ passionate vocals. Curtis has also done effective solo turns on albums by JJ Hairston and B. Chase Williams.
Interestingly, the album’s title track fits more snugly in the traditional mold than “Release.” While both songs have that rock-a-bye gospel waltz tempo that signifies old school, Pastor Bryan Pierce and Zacardi Cortez’s leads, and The Church Choir’s lyrical attack, on “If God Be For Us” are even more churchy and affecting.