Dorinda Clark-Cole
Live in Houston: The Rose of Gospel

On the heels of a successful debut solo album (read album review), Dorinda Clark-Cole is back with her sophomore effort, Live in Houston: The Rose of Gospel.

Clark-Cole’s signature runs, jazzy flair, powerful vocals and exquisite musicianship have given her a distinct identity amongst her siblings, The Clark Sisters. There’s lots of that on this release, proving that that industry hype doesn’t always disappoint.

CD Recorded live at St. Agnes Baptist Church in Houston (see recording recap), Clark-Cole delivers an eleven-track effort that picks up right where her first project left off. Returning to the production helm is Asaph 'Alex' Ward (read interview), who continues to raise the bar, providing superb musical arrangements that makes him one of gospel’s most sought-after producers. His knack for tapping the strengths of an artist is unparalleled. With a totally live project, Ward allows Clark-Cole to take listeners right into her world, where urban and traditional stylings masterfully blend with ministry in its purest form.

Clark-Cole’s traditional roots come to the surface with hand-clappin’ cuts such as "So Many Times" and the powerful "Worked Out For My Good". Her awesome vocals are sufficiently supported by top-notch background vocalists, including Nakita Clegg of The Kurt Carr Singers, Daniel Johnson, Gene Moore Jr., La’Jimmease Murray Jones, Jeane’ Lavant and Kelli Kinney Brownlee.

As if that weren’t enough, Chicago’s Stellar Award winning choir and labelmate New Direction adds that all-important choral feel to the album.

Being an evangelist at heart, Clark-Cole takes time to minister and encourage all with tracks like "Nobody But God" and "Everything He Promised".

As a special treat, the album includes a spoken word bonus track titled "The Word Becomes Flesh", which features the singer reading several Bible passages, taken from the innovative Audio Bible project (featuring dozens of prominent women reading scripture). Veteran producer Percy Bady provides the subtle musical backdrop for Clark-Cole’s scripture readings.

Clark-Cole has no problem dropping serious funk as is evidenced by the rhythmically exciting "Great is the Lord". The futuristic intro to "Work To Do" keeps you hyped, reminiscent of Tonéx’s "Out The Box" prelude. The ensuing track certainly lives up to the billing.

"I’m Out and Over" keeps the party rocking, encouraging all to live in deliverance and celebrate their victory in Christ. Look for the outro to this track to quickly become a favorite in your CD player.

Once again, Clark-Cole delivers the goods with an album that successfully continues the legacy of the famous Clark Sisters, while serving as the perfect companion piece to her powerful evangelistic gift.

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Producers: Alex Ward, Percy Bady
album release date: August, 2005
Gospo Centric Records

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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