Andrae Crouch
Mighty Wind

Not merely a legend in Gospel, but a legend in all of music, Andrae Crouch's first album in eight years —since 1998's excellent seasonal album, The Gift of Christmas— is highly anticipated. His recent signing to Verity Records only added to the build that had been growing for several years, since the industry first got wind that the California-based pioneer had new music cooking.

CDMighty Wind is the name of the project, and yes, it is wonderful. More than that, the album is confirmation of why Andrae Crouch has been in the forefront of Gospel innovation for decades now. Not because of the hottest beats, and not because of any fleeting, here-today, gone-tomorrow fad. It's all about the songwriting, the arrangements, the musicianship, the vocals. And the ministry. All that it should be about, in other words.

Produced by both Crouch and Luther "Mano" Hanes, the project features participation from guests such as Fred Hammond, Marvin Winans, Tata Vega, Toya Smith, Melonie Daniels, Nikki Potts Lawrence Beamon, Karen Clark-Sheard, Crystal Lewis and many others.

Hammond joins with Crouch on "O Give Thanks" an uptempo, brassy number that also brings in The Mighty Wind Choir and LaDell Abrams on drums and Maurice Fitzgerald on bass. The song is distinguished by a tempo switch interlude mid-way through, featuring Crouch on vocals.

On "All Because of Jesus", Pastor Marvin Winans steps to the mic. We gratefully acknowledge the inclusion of a reprise, because it's hard to get enough of Winans' singing.

Other Andrae Crouch Features
CD Interview with Andrae Crouch (2004)

CD Take Me Back Column: Andrae Crouch .

Very memorable is Crystal Lewis on the majestic, orchestral, and soulful "We Give You Glory". A crew of Greg Phillinganes, Paul Jackson Jr., Abraham Laboriel, Gerald Albright and many others ensure that this one is superb, and Lewis takes it to the very upper echelons. Marcus Cole on the slowly ticking "Come Home" is also excellent.

Karen Clark-Sheard guests on "Jesus Is Lord", written jointly long ago by Crouch and Patrick Henderson —a piece that has been making a resurgence of late. With The Christ Memorial Church Choir and Danny Graham and the San Diego Mass Choir joining forces on backing choir power, the cut moves to a Latin groove, with a full complement of horns and Latin piano from Gustavo Ramirez setting the pace. Clark-Sheard fulfills all expectations here.

On the powerful title cut, Crouch assembles a vocal crew that includes his long-time vocal associate Howard Smith as well as relative newcomer Tachina Danielle. Expressing the power of God, Crouch and crew invite the power of God to fill our lives and our churches. With a glorious melody and ever-increasing majesty of accompaniment, the song is the album's highest point, a high among highs.

After all these decades, he has done it again. Mighty Wind is testimony to the fact that God's incredible gift of ministry in music continues in the person of Andrae Crouch.

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Production: Andrae Crouch, Luther "Mano" Hanes
album release date: May 30, 2006
Verity Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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