Chester D.T. Baldwin & Music Ministry Mass
Sing It On Sunday Morning!

"I know why I was created. I was created for music,
the Lord made me for song."

—Chester D.T. Baldwin

I second the statement above, and so will most people who hear this debut from Chester D.T. Baldwin & Music Ministry Mass. Hailing from Texas, Baldwin fronts a 200-voice aggregation in a live recording held at the Shoreline Christian Center in Austin. Sing It On Sunday Morning! is accessible, traditional church all the way.

Sing It On Sunday Morning! CDThis album doesn't just contain a few sure-fire hits —it's literally stacked with them from beginning to end.

Baldwin 'handles' lead vocals on most cuts, but that's hardly a verb that does justice to what he does with these songs. He is blessed with rich, soulful cords that express every ounce of heart and joy evidently bursting from his soul, and he's able to translate that joy to those who will simply listen.

The track list starts with the firestorm "It's Time", which burns on to "I Still Hear Mama Praying" and then smokes to "I Will Serve Him". It just continues from there.....the whole disc is ablaze with anointed songfire. Each song is expertly-crafted and beautifully written, demonstrating that Baldwin has been given far more than just the gift of voice.

Musical director Luke Mercer Jr. will widen eyes with his work on this project. The band knows just when to drop the boom on the rhythm drives, and exactly how to drop to a whisper, letting M3 power through with mass harmonies and pinpoint-clear diction.

If there's a weakness to the project, then I sure can't find it. It's no wonder that Sing It On Sunday Morning! has started to climb up the Gospel charts.

West-coast based JDI Records may be a tiny fish in the Gospel label sea, but they have a clear history of success with their small roster (including Margaret P. Douroux, Norman Hutchins, UCLA Gospel Choir).

With this masterpiece from Chester Baldwin, they've Just Done It again.

Producers: James Roberson, Chester D.T. Baldwin, Luke Mercer Jr.
album release date: Spring 2000
JDI Records

reviewed by Stan North

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