Tag Archives: bet sunday best

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir – Miracles

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir Miracles Godfather Records (release date: July 15, 2021) www.gracetabernacle.info By Robert M. Marovich For fans of contemporary gospel choirs, and especially for those who wonder where the choir went (it hasn’t gone anywhere) Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir’s new release, Miracles, will delight. Although the audience is mostly inaudible, Miracles was recorded live in Brooklyn’s Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. The husky-voiced Wright, son of the late Reverend Timothy and Betty Wright, has loaded his new album with feature vocalists. For example, the opener, “Justified,” written and led by David ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 29, 2021

“Your Presence is a Gift” E. Dewey Smith Pebble Street Records (release date: March 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich If Dr. E. Dewey Smith, senior pastor of the House of Hope in Georgia, wanted to come out of the chute with just the right solo debut single, he could do no better than “Your Presence is a Gift.” Produced by John Webb and featuring Zaviel Janae and BET Sunday Best finalist Zebulon Ellis in the team of background vocalists, the song finds Smith delivering what amounts to his testimony in the silkiest vocals this side of Brian Courtney Wilson. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 12, 2021

“Still Gon’ Trust” Joshua Rogers Mixed Bag Music Group, LLC (release date: March 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Joshua Rogers sums up the sentiments of most in the first few lines of his new single, “Still Gon’ Trust:” “It’s been quite a year / A test of my faith / I’ve seen some things that took my breath away.” On the chorus, however, Rogers responds with supreme confidence in the Creator: “I’m still gon’ trust in you.” The song’s simple but effective musical accompaniment, including slight blues turns on piano and strings soaring like seagulls over the sea, affirms ...

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Melvin Crispell III – I’ve Got a Testimony

Melvin Crispell III I’ve Got a Testimony RCA Inspiration (release date: September 4, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Having lost both his parents before his eighteenth birthday, Melvin Crispell III might be expected to render introspective songs about loss and recovery on his first full-length solo album. Au contraire. On I’ve Got a Testimony, the follow up to the BET Sunday Best champ’s EP, Prologue III, there is no trace of sadness in his voice, only joy bursting with hope for an even better tomorrow. Not that his parents, both talented recording artists, don’t inhabit the album. They are there ...

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Sir the Baptist: Everyday Music from a Sunday Knight

By Bob Marovich The sacred-secular divide in music is a uniquely modern conception, and it misses the point. In West Africa, where most enslaved Africans came from, all music was sacred and all music was secular. There was no distinction…until the music came to America during the African Diaspora and distinctions based on intent were forced upon it. This Saturday night-Sunday morning dialogue about what makes gospel gospel arises whenever a new generation of music makers blurs the applied distinctions to communicate a modern message to a contemporary community of believers and non-believers. Perhaps no artist today better represents the ...

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Brenda Jefferson – Invocation

Brenda Jefferson Invocation Scripture Music Group (release date: April 7, 2017) Available on Amazon.com By Bob Marovich Brenda Jefferson is a songwriter who can sing. On her 2007 album, A Time of Refreshing, Jefferson held her own on duets with such leading lights as Lisa Page Brooks and Joe Ligon. On Invocation, however, Jefferson prefers to focus on writing the songs and offering spoken word introductions and inspirational interludes. She leaves the singing of her songs to such an impressive passel of featured artists that the album could easily have been titled Brenda Jefferson and Friends. The album’s high point comes ...

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Vernell Payton Jr. – Former Sunday Best Contestant Steps Out on Faith

By Bob Marovich In Mark 6:4, Jesus advises that “a prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown.” This is true, almost to the point of becoming cliché.  It rings true for Vernell Payton Jr. “It took a man from Chicago, who did not know me, who I never met, to see something in me that my own hometown did not invest time in,” the independent gospel artist told the Journal of Gospel Music while in Chicago last week, visiting his record label, 4Parks Entertainment. Payton’s hometown is New Orleans, and more specifically, the Gentilly area, which abuts Lake Ponchartrain. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 19, 2015

“Hear Us” Maurice Griffin MGM Chicago Music Group www.mauricegriffinonline.com Maurice Griffin went from being in the Chicago-based gospel group New Direction to winning the Gospel Music Workshop of America Gospel Treasure competition in 2007, then to being a finalist on Season Two of BET’s Sunday Best. He was nominated for a 2013 Stellar Award for Best Artist of the Year. Part of the reason for Griffin’s upward trajectory is his vocal agility and capacity to read a praise lyric with just the right mix of conviction and pacing. He demonstrates all of this on “Hear Us,” a single that he released last ...

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JGM Christmas Pick of the Week: November 19, 2014

“Christ Is Born” Maurice Griffin From the CD My Holiday (2014) www.MauriceGriffinOnline.com Maurice Griffin’s new single, “Christ Is Born,” is a Christmas hymn and Praise & Worship song all in one gift-wrapped package (though I have a friend who thinks all P&W songs sound like Christmas songs). A finalist on the second season of BET’s Sunday Best, Stellar Award nominee, and an entertaining program emcee, Griffin is in great tenor voice on this selection. He and the background vocalists lift hallelujahs and announce Christ’s natal day like a choir of angels. Griffin, who keeps getting better and better vocally, will take his ...

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