If names such as Duwane Starling, Joey Kibble, Tiffany Palmer, Ebony Trotter, Karima Trotter, Sharon Riley and Heather Trotter ring bells for you, then Faith from Dynamic Praise (DP) more than deserves your attention.You must have faith, in order to please Him
After over a decade of ministry and renowned for nurturing dozens of Gospel artists such as the above who have gone on to establish well-known ministries, this respected choir out of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, offers up a choir-lovers project for all.
The musical approach of DP is contemporary without being urban, with a fully energized, full-service band, including notable horns, gives notice from the opening track. Yet it’s the choir’s vocal strength that always takes front seat on this project.
It’s hard to get past the second song on this CD. “Have Faith”, written by choir leaders Leroy Peters, Andrew Young and Durand Carrington, and is solid,
uptempo Gospel number with newcomer Jamal Strong on lead vocals. His resilient tenor impacts immediately, indicating he’s got a firm grasp on the torch thrown to him by previous stellar soloists the choir has produced over the years.
Also on Madison Avenue Records is the Madison Mission Mass Choir. This 1997 project featured Lisa Page on the title track "Open Praise", and also Joey Kibble and Duwane Starling among others. (See album review)|
Legacy of Praise could be considered a collector's item. It showcases the talent rising from Oakwood College, and includes cuts from Dynamic Praise, Ewah Dixon, In One Accord, Committed, Girard Savory and Voices of Triumph.
On this song, he expertly takes command by way of subtle turns of melody and frequent use of vocal color. DP takes turns with the brassy accompaniment to punctuate and bring home the lyrical point:
Have faith, you must have faith
It’s by your faith, you can move mountains
Get ready, for your change to come
from “Have Faith”
Duets reign on “Hold On”, where Tasheima Harrison and Michael Green spar in soulful duet, as do Nikki Davis and Rebecca Willis on Owen Simons’ praise marathon, “Victory In Jesus”. Both cuts showcase further solo excellence from within choir ranks.
“Give Him Praise” is one of the few studio tracks on this project (the lion’s share being recorded in April 2000 at Huntsville’s Van Braun Concert Hall), with programmed rhythms propelling the song gently into simmering groove territory. Yolanda Neeves’ alto lead is contrasted by occasional spoken word exhortation from Michael Green and Durand Carrington.
Another noteworthy inclusion is “Faith In Me”, penned by Andrew Young. As an ode of thanks to God for ‘putting His faith’ in us, this song is beautiful both in its rising melodic balladry and in its lyrical content. DP brings out their praise with restrained power at first, with Kawashia Waldon on solo mic. The composition then surges with full throttle force to conclude.
The album finishes with the choir interpreting two contemporary Gospel classics: Glen Burleigh’s Jesus Is A Rock, and Edwin Hawkin’s “God Will Take of You”, the latter a stunning, electric guitar-fueled triumph of rocking-church.
Beautiful praise fashioned into approachable songs, Faith should belong on your 'to get' list.
Producers: Andrew Young, Durand Carrington
album release date: November 13, 2001
Madison Avenue Records
reviewed by Stan North —
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