James Bignon & The Deliverance Mass Choir
God Is Great
Outside of quartet circles, few male vocalists drive as hard as James Bignon.Producers: James Bignon, Anthony Lockett
album release date: April, 2003
As a purveyor of the mass choir scene and fronting some of the largest non-convention choirs in existence, Bignon has also garnered respect for his diversity of songwriting skills, able to compose the tenderest of ballads to the most of robust of church stomps.
God Is Great has James Bignon bringing all of these characteristics to the table, as he once again joins forces with musical director and co-producer Anthony Lockett on this Zhana Records project. Back on the scene is The Deliverance Mass Choir, joined also by the Mount Zion Baptist Church Choir. Both choirs provide able support behind a string of strong soloists along with Bignon in this live recording from Sioux City, Iowa.
Bignon introduces several new high octane choir jams, peppering them throughout the album’s thirteen tracks. The opening title track, “God Is Great” jumps off the CD with power-laden mass vocals and repeated hooks that have you singing along instantly. “Glorify The Lord” also impacts, as do several more ear-popping songs.
The overall theme of the album is gratitude, with most of the songs expressing musical thanks for the abundance of blessings, mercies and joy that God continually bestows upon us.
“My Offering” expresses that gratitude in ballad form, with rippling piano and traded leads from Bignon and Kemi Jones. The two join in duet harmony as the choir enters with chorus in praise and worship, expressing to God their offering of body, heart and soul.
Other choice soft cuts include “More Than I Can Say” which has Bignon telling how he “loves Him much, more than I can say” over soothing choir and B3 organ, and the proclaiming “He Is Lord”, featuring some simple and effective choir arrangements.
Bignon also brings back “How Excellent Is Thy Name”, the song that he introduced to the nation on his AIR Gospel debut of the same name from back in 1991. This time out the piece moves along at mid-tempo pace, while always seeming ready to explode with praise.
Guest soloist Roberta Jackson-Higgs returns to make her mark on “Bless His Holy Name” and soprano Mary Williams enters on “Glory To His Name” with her traditional stylings. The duo of Chynnal Green and Ken Newborn work with Bignon to make a threesome on “Thank You For Everything”.
Expressions of thanks to God are always satisfying to the soul, as our worship of Him is our purpose. With James Bignon and choirs putting that gratitude into memorable and powerful musical praise, it’s satisfying all the more.
review by Stan North —
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