Live in Concert
By definition alone, this live concert double-CD recording of the Commissioned Reunion that occurred on October 26th, 2001 at Straight Gate Church in Detroit is a collector's item.Producer: Fred Hammond
album release date: April 23, 2002
But truly any way you look at it, this album is a must-have. Historically, Commissioned were ground-breakers in contemporary Gospel. On the ministry tip, the Word of God through these men was a source of comfort, inspiration and encouragement to untold thousands. On the level of entertainment, their work knew no bounds.
So when Fred Hammond, Keith Staten, Marvin Sapp, Mitchell Jones, Karl Reid, Michael Williams and Marcus Cole got together after so many years and after such a variety of off-shooting career paths, it was history. Forget cliché, this is real.
The listening is not as good as being there live, but it's sure close. And the DVD version of the album, with plenty up-close concert visuals, makes it even more real. Being a live recording, you hear all the audience rapport, and there's plenty of it (see Insider Interview with Keith, Marcus and Karl).
If you're really used to the studio finesse of these popular songs, it might take a listen or two to adjust to the rawness of the live feel, but you do, and surely that's what makes this project come alive. Occasional capture of onstage banter between the guys is perfect.
The album starts on Disc One with a blaze of funky, horn-infused cuts from early projects. Disc Two does the opposite, with a lengthy medley of those popular soft ballads strung together, with Karl Reid and Mitchell Jones stepping prominently into focus.
It's great to hear familiar songs such as "Ordinary Just Won't Do" be enhanced by new singing. Mitchell Jones sure enough still has that smooth touch, and with Marcus Cole lending power, it's off the hook.
Likewise, Keith Staten's signature tune "Will You Be Ready" stands the test of time, and his voice has only improved over the years. Fred Hammond's return cements the project's appeal.
Throughout, Commissioned Reunion stays true to their songs but also rework them into a current soundscape. The balance works just fine.
More than flashback and far greater than an opportunity to reminsice, this Commissioned Reunion is above all else a mega-session of ministry.
The track listing of the album is provided below:
Hype (Strange Land) 1:06
Triumphant Entry (instrumental) 2:59
You've Got A Friend 2:32
I'm Going On 4:16
You Keep On Blessing Me 3:00
Back In The Saddle 4:43
Go Tell Somebody 4:29
Lord Jesus Help Me (Help Somebody Else) 6:13
Everlasting Love 3:53
Hold Me (Leaning) 4:24
I Am Here 4:05
King Of Glory 5:36
Let Me Tell It 4:26
Lay Your Troubles Down 3:57
Giving My Problems To You 5:13
The City 2:26
Cry On 1:27
Love Isn't Love 2:12
Ordinary Just Won't Do 8:44
When Love Calls You Home 3:15
Please You More 2:37
Secret Place 4:43
Find Myself In You 1:11
Will You Be Ready? 3:41
'Tis So Sweet 3:47
Running Back To You 7:15
So Good To Know (The Savior) 6:08
I Can't Live Without U 6:07
reviewed by Stan North —
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