Dr. Charles G Hayes and Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir
Back Again

When one thinks of Chicago, gospel music and choirs, you will come up with one of three: Rev. Clay Evans and Fellowship, Reverend Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers and Dr. Charles G. Hayes and the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir.

For 40 plus years, Dr. Hayes and choir (affectionately known as The Warriors) have been a huge part of the foundation of the Chicago choir sound. With Back Again, Dr. Hayes and the choir rise to the occasion to emphatically declare that "all is well and very well."

CD Donte Dixon is charged with the formidable task of pulling this project together and he very capably succeeds in appropriately placing all of the moving parts in their natural rhythms and orchestrated syncopation. In essence, it's Sunday morning service with a bit of Sunday evening broadcast intertwined.

Without wasting any time, the choir delves into the up tempo "The Lord Is Able". The bounce is delivered via Proverbs 3:5, as the sopranos, altos and tenors take turns driving the message home. Malcolm Williams pens the churchy, shout-inducing "God Will Supply", leaving the listener wondering why the reprise is not on the disc.

In their continuing tribute to New York's Institutional Choir, the ever ebullient Ulondia Johnson takes the lead and breathes life and tells the story making you want to get to Beulah Land without dying. The best part is when Cosmo does Cosmo.

Dr. Hayes gets a medley that includes "Everything's Alright" and "Satisfied with Jesus". You will be sure to break out your tambourine, wash board, big spoon from the kitchen drawer (that has been consecrated for use only in church) and your shouting shoes for the new spin on "Nobody Can Turn Me Around". Lawrence Jones does some stand-out, Chicago-style guitar picking and Evangelist Deborah Leverette does her GOOD singing here.

Honorable mentions go to Sheila Jones for stirring the pot and keeping the fire warm on Tony Dyson's "Walking With the King", Dru Smith on the contemporary flavored "Use Me" and Gay Hill on "Oh Give Thanks".

Back Again will whet your appetite to take a visit to Chicago and see The Warriors engaged in making their war cry.

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Production: Donte Dixon
album release date: Nov, 2012
Cosmo Sounds Records

— review by Gregory Gay

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