Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir
God's Got It!

The rarefied air of Colorado certainly has not limited the Colorado Mass Choir from pumping out projects. Under the direction of Joe Pace II, these 1996-97 Stellar Award winners for "New Artist of the Year" are impacting again with their third release on Verity Records.

A third project is often seized by artists as an opportunity to take add some inventive twists to their introductory fare. Such is the case with Colorado Mass, as they detourJoe Pace & Colorado Mass Choir CD for a moment from their live traditional stylings, and add a couple of urban studio cuts to the mix. With Percy Bady taking control of the production board on these cuts ("Hold On" and "You Just Dance"), the choir's versatility is displayed, as they are heard in an urban context like never before.

The detour is a short one, however, as the choir returns to the beaten track of traditional mass flava for the remainder of the album. Recorded live in Colorado Springs, Camelia Lockhart takes care of pushing the traditional edge, as she takes lead on the churchy Gods Got It. And guest soloist Ann McCrary (solo artist on Angie and Debbie Winans Against the Flow Records) sings memorably on the mid-tempo re-arrangement of "It Is Well".

However, few will argue that the album highlight is the worship and praise mega-cut We Worship You, featuring Fred Hammond (its nearly a Joe Pace & Colorado Mass Choir10 minute track!). Not known for his work in front of large choirs, Hammond shows himself as more than capable, working a meditative lead to its maximum effect.

It would be remiss not to mention V. Michael McKays simmering ballad "I'm Grateful", rendered expertly by Jackie Robb. And with a choir rendition of O Holy Night thrown in for Christmas play, you can't say that this project doesn't have something of everything.

Traditional, contemporary, ballad, Christmas, guest artists. Colorado Mass Choir. Joe Pace. It looks like this group is here to stay for a while.

Producers: Paul Wright III, Joe Pace II, Percy Bady
album release date: September 28, 1999
Verity Records

reviewed by Stan North

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