Darius Brooks & SDM Incorporated
I Had To Trust You

Some names are synonymous with certain sounds. J.Moss has that unmistakeable rap flow, Walter Hawkins brings the soaring lead vocals and the James Hall choir vibe is at once jazzy and experimental.

CD Over the years, Darius Brooks has been identified as pioneer of the Chicago Gospel sound, first with his work with Rev. Milton Brunson and The Tommies, then later in his writing for Ricky Dillard and Rev. Dan Willis, with a significant stop along the way as music director for Shirley Caesar.

With “I Had To Trust You” from Red Records, Brooks picks up where he left off on “Your Will”, writing and producing presenting a collection of fourteen choir-focused cuts in a variety of styles, featuring his own choral collective, SDM Incorporated. The theme woven through the album is of our assurance and our absolute confidence in Jesus Christ.

Brooks frequently paints with lightly jazzed colors on a choir canvas. “Rest In The Lord” is testimonial as SDM Incorporated describes the contentment and satisfaction available in Jesus Christ: “My victory came this morning when I knelt to pray, Now I’m resting in the Lord today”. Swirling Hammond B3 and breezy top hat percussion are busy throughout the cut.

Veterans such as Maurice Fitzgerald on bass, Jonathan Dubose Jr. on guitar and Joel Smith on drums join with Brooks on piano (David Blakey too), with Steve Goldsmith's organ stylings also adding color.

Darius Brooks: Your Will
CD The first album from Darius Brooks & SDM Incorporated is a nice balance of blended live Gospel sound and contemporary inflections. Supplementing vocally on the disk are Desmond Pringle, DeAndre Patterson and Shawn McLemore....

Read the full album review.
“Heaven” is given the same musical mantle, albeit with a more sprightly tempo. Brooks duets with Tiajuana Little on the song.

The album’s gem is the opening cut, “We Worship You”, a meditative choir praise that’s strong on clean harmonies nestled among sustained organ chording and searing guitar. The innovatively titled “Hezekiah Mind” is a song that references the Old Testament prophet and encourages us to abandon our own ways of thinking, and rely solely on God’s. Richard Donaldson steps out on lead here.

Brooks’ strong point is his balladry composition; I Had To Trust You has several choice ones to consider. “Say It” is marked by the soulful tenor of Romandis Moore, who sings of the absolute promises of God. Powerful synths and the punctuated chorus entries of SDM Incoporated set the song off.

Miriam Holmes then renders a tender and soaring ballad on “Not Far From My Heart”, a song written from the voice of God, encouraging us to stay with Him.

Other notable cuts are the simple praise “Holy, Holy, Holy”, sung by Sharonda Simmons, as well as the octane-juiced “High Lift Him” with its dual hip hop and rock influences.

Producer: Darius Brooks
album release date: May, 2002
Red Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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