Author Archives: Bob Marovich

“Too Hot to Handel” Indescribable, Says Pianist Alvin Waddles: “You Have to Experience It”

By Robert M. Marovich Nineteen years ago, Suzanne Mallare Acton, music director and conductor of Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah, was in a real jam. Her pianist, Detroit jazz legend Harold McKinney, pulled out of the jazz-gospel interpretation of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah just days before opening night. Needing a musician who could read a score and improvise, she picked up the phone and called the one pianist she knew could fill both bills: Alvin Waddles. Entering Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit for the orchestra dress rehearsal, Waddles settled himself at at the piano and read through the ...

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National Museum of Gospel Music Hosts “Voices of Celebration & Thanks” December 10

From a press release: The National Museum of Gospel Music and Pilgrim Baptist Church invite you to join us for our holiday concert – VOICES OF CELEBRATION & THANKS 2022, hosted by your gospel sister Pam Morris! On December 10 at 7 pm, help us raise the roof during an evening of music. Artists scheduled to appear include: Bishop Leonard Scott. Jason Clayborn, Ruth La’Ontra, Young Men 4 Christ, Pilgrim Baptist Church Choir & others. Advance registration is required and space is limited. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Reservations close Wednesday, December 7. COVID-19 Protocols: Masks are strongly recommended but ...

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Regina Belle – My Colorful Christmas

Regina Belle My Colorful Christmas Tashi3 Entertainment / Altavoz Distribution (release date: November 1, 2022) http://iamreginabelle.com/ By Robert M. Marovich My Colorful Christmas, the first yuletide album from GRAMMY Awardee Regina Belle, and issued on her own imprint, Tashi3 Entertainment, traverses mostly familiar holiday fare. Traditional carols and more recently-composed Christmas songs receive bubbly jazz and R&B arrangements tagged with improvisatory, and sometimes downright evangelistic, codas. Indeed, the spiritual codas from Belle and her background vocalists are what distinguish this album from other Christmas collections by popular singers. For example, Belle tags the Latin-flavored “Silent Night” with a sobering allusion ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – November 21, 2022

“God is Great” Kara Nichole Independent (release date: September 5, 2022) www.karanichole.com By Robert M. Marovich San Antonio, Texas, worship leader Kara Nicole converts the worship language of Psalm 145 into an appropriately joyful song called “God is Great.” The diminutive Kara is in complete command of this performance, singing her own praises while directing the audience to follow her lead in filling the sky with gratitude to God. The relentless rhythm is ideal for the sentiments of the song. Given that Kara was still riding high in the spirit by the conclusion, “God is Great” could have (and perhaps ...

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Sylvia Fedrick – Syl’s Combo 2022 (EP)

Sylvia Fedrick Syl’s Combo 2022 Independent (release date: 2022) www.sylviafedrick.com By Robert M. Marovich For as often as I’ve heard Chicago gospel singer Sylvia Fedrick, it didn’t strike me until listening to her EP Syl’s Combo 2022 that if you close your eyes, you would swear you are listening to a male high tenor like Maxwell or Prince. The best example of this is the opening (and the EP’s best) track, “Miracles.” To a relaxed but soulful groove, Fedrick offers her testimony to show that miracles do happen. And if you do, she sings, “come and receive your miracle.” Practicing ...

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Official Teaser Video of Amos Greer’s “Joy” Stars Dr. LouDella Evans Reid

Watch this minute-long teaser video for Amos Greer’s new single, “Joy,” featuring vocals by Malcolm Williams. The full ten-minute version of the video, directed by Zarko Angel, premieres Friday, November 18. It stars Chicago’s own Dr. LouDella Evans Reid as well as Donald “Buster” Woods, Pastor Julia Maddox, Mark Hubbard, Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch Sr., Greer, and Woods. Look out Hollywood – Mama Lou is ready for her SAG/AFTRA card!

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The 65th Grammy Nominees in Gospel/Christian Are…

Best Gospel Performance/Song: • Positive Erica Campbell; Erica Campbell, Warryn Campbell & Juan Winans, songwriters • When I Pray DOE; Dominique Jones & Dewitt Jones, songwriters • Kingdom Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Jay, Chandler Moore & Jacob Poole, songwriters • The Better Benediction PJ Morton Featuring Zacardi Cortez, Gene Moore, Samoht, Tim Rogers & Darrel Walls; PJ Morton, songwriter • Get Up Tye Tribbett; Brandon Jones, Christopher Michael Stevens, Thaddaeus Tribbett & Tye Tribbett, songwriters Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: • God Really Loves Us (Radio Version) Crowder Featuring Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music; ...

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Sheila Wilson, Mother of Singer Bryan Andrew Wilson, Passes Away at 65

From a Press Release: Sheila Wilson, a worship leader who had recorded with her gospel star son Bryan Andrew Wilson, passed away November 9, 2022, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She was battling stage 4 cancer when she she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was 65 years old. Wilson was born May 25, 1957, in Danville, IL. Her father Tommy Davis was a quartet singer who grew up with B.B. King in the Mississippi delta. Her mother, Clair Bell Davis, was also a singer, so their household was full of music and church. Although she aspired to become ...

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