Add 8 Stellar Awards for the Thirsty release and you have an epic year that, for many an artist, would be their swansong. Not the case for Marvin Sapp, who, in 2009, celebrated his 20th year in ministry by recording his 8th solo album. The live recording took place on a cold, blustery October night in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Of course, GOSPELflava.com was in the house to witness it all.
With Aaron Lindsey returning as album producer and music director, Sapp was backed with an all-star band that featured Lindsey on keys, Parris Bowens (keys), and Calvin Rodgers (drums) to name a few. Myron Butler and Levi resumed their roles as high-powered background vocalists. All of these players played their part in creating the ideal foundation for Sapp to build more history.
Sapp presented twelve brand new musical presentations, and judging from first listen, all have potential to be major hits. Several standout cuts from the evening included "Fresh Wind", which was a new-school quartet track that had nothing but old school church written all over it. This was clearly a crowd favorite that could have gone another solid ten minutes.
"Comfort Zone", penned by Ted Winn, was another favorite that could easily be an anthem for the coming year, reminding all who have endured major transition that the experience was preparation for greater things.
"Don't Count Me Out" was another fantastic cut which had a distinct Commissioned-like feel in its writing and arranging. The affirming piece was so powerful and was the perfect precursor for the album's first single to radio, "The Best In Me". Both songs speak to God's view of us as diamonds in the rough and His ability to see the gem in us when others just see the dirt that surrounds us. Needless to say, it was an incredible set.
The rest of the night was filled with great worship and incredible music. At the end of the recording, Sapp spotted original Commissioned member and writer Pastor Michael Brooks, along with wife Lisa Page Brooks. This led Sapp into an impromptu trip down memory lane, with Aaron Lindsey on keys. A medley of Brooks-penned Commissioned hits including "I'm Going On", "Will You Be Ready", and "City" had the crowd on their feet. The night ended with Sapp reprising his legendary hit "Never Would Have Made It".
Relive the night here with the pictorial recap (click on the link in the above box).
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