Dr. Charles Hayes and the
Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir
Have Thine Own Way Lord

Dr. Hayes is back! After a stint with Word Records in the nineties, Dr. Charles G. Hayes and the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir have returned to the Savoy Records fold to deliver another fine dose of traditional Gospel.

Home is where the heart is. That sentiment rings true here, as Have Thine Own Way Lord is a live, on-spot recording direct from this legendary Chicago choir’s own church building. Have Thine Own Way Lord CD The production expertise of label chief Rev. Milton Biggham brings out the realness of the choir, comfortable in their own setting.

The project features ten tracks from an assortment of writers, including contributions from Rev. Quincy Fielding Jr., and Pharis Evans Jr.

Radio is sure to find some spin interest in Fielding Jr.’s “Set Yourself”, a old style church number with seven soloists given ad lib freedom up front, creating an intricate web of woven lyric and melody overlaying the solid choir foundation.

The title of “Running Up The King’s Highway” says it all. This is an uptempo, cymbal-crashin’, bouncy romp of a take on the Dorsey classic, with lead from Diane Williams. And yes, it’s a run, not walk.

Dr. Hayes contributes his familiar and well-loved, wavering, slightly sharp vocals on two selections: his own composition, “No Place, No Where” and the album closer, “Because The Lord Brought Me Through”.

Psalmists on the disc include Maulty Jewell IV on piano, Shelby Wills on organ and bass favorite, Maurice Fitzgerald. Justice is served well, with the band blending nicely and bringing out the traditional vibe with ease.

Longtime followers of Father Hayes’ material are well-served here, and will enjoy the ride. So will other enthusiasts of straight-up traditional.

Producer: Rev. Milton Biggham
album release date: September, 2000
Savoy Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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