Donald Malloy
Jesus Reigns

Jesus Reigns marks an important return for Savoy Records artist Donald Malloy. A pillar of solid vocal traditions in the early nineties, Malloy has been hard to find over the past couple years until his guest appearance on a cut from Georgia MassThey That Wait earlier this year. Now Donald Malloy CDin the closing moments of the 90’s, Malloy again lays down a foundation of solid Gospel fundamentals with the help of the very able Columbia Praise Fellowship Choir. Twelve tracks strong, the project is accented by a bevvy of recognizable names who play a variety of roles.

First, there’s Chris Byrd, whose prolific pen contributes two songs to the mix, including the title cut, which is a call and response between Malloy and choir, featuring several modulations and some fine bass work from Rick Carter.

There’s more. “Bless The Lord” carries the instantly-recognizable imprint of Donnie Harper (of New Jersey Mass fame), as he claims both songwriter and lead vocal credits. With subtle island rhythms and vibes coming from the direction of the band, the song carries a strong melodic line as Harper and Malloy trade vocals. It's a flashback to days gone by when these two collaborated quite a bit. Arguably, it's the best track on the project.

Other notable contributions come from Savoy label chief Rev. Milton Biggham who writes a couple of songs, including the hard-edged praise cut “Send Up Judah”. “I Will Pray” is a cut which flows from the pen of JohnDonald Malloy P. Kee, and is memorable for its innovative choir arrangement and ‘dipsy’ melodic line. Lead vocals are interpreted by Malloy. Those familiar with Donald Lawrence’s sometimes-forgotten Company project from 1994 will recognize the name of Richard Odom, who joins with Malloy on the self-penned up-tempo “To My Father’s House”, a cut that no-doubt fits into the Sunday morning slot.

Amidst perhaps a glut of urban choir sounds, and as satisfying as they can be, it’s reassuringly good to see stalwarts such as Donald Malloy continuing to offer up quality contributions.

Producers: James Perry Jr., Donald Malloy
album release date: September 21, 1999
Savoy Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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