Bishop Larry D. Trotter
& the Sweet Holy Spirit Combined Choirs
Tell The Devil I'm Back
After his coming through with flying colors after major heart surgery in 1999, indeed you CAN tell the devil that Bishop Larry D. Trotter is back.Producers: Willie Rodgers, Rick Robinson, Vashawn Mitchell
album release date: May, 2001
The founding pastor of The Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church of Chicago steps out with a scintillating project that burns high octane band fuel from start to finish. Toss in the double choir helping of his combined church choirs and you have a project that more than satisfies.
This time out, Trotter welcomes a Chicago roster that includes songwriter and producer Vashawn Mitchell, as well as Levites such as Maurice Fitzgerald, Joey Woolfalk, Calvin Rodgers and host of gifted others under the direction of Willie Rogers and Rick Robinson.
And The Weatherspoon brothers take things to that proverbial next level via mixing at their Spoonfed Studios.
The material is strong throughout, with the title cut an obvious draw among the more traditional offerings. With its snazzy title, church-stompy pace and Woolfalk’s sizzling electric guitar, it easily sears the lead vocals of both Bishop Trotter and Curtis Branson who declare the message of our victory in Jesus Christ over the devil and all his works. No wonder there’s a reprise.
Look for choice choir cuts such as "Don’t Last" and "I’ll Trust" to linger for ages, with classic arrangements and wildly smoking, crushingly powerful instrumentation. Both of these were written by Mitchell, who builds on the promise shown on his own project on Manatee Records with his own choir, New Image Chorale, from 1998.
Worth noting on this album are the several instances where the band is given the space to lay down some great funky breaks mid-song. They seize the opportunity for all it's worth, jamming exponentially.
Another cut to star is "I Am So Grateful", where the melodic thanks-groove is immediate and intense (and which somehow reminds of Rick Astley’s ‘Together Forever’ pop hit for the opening few bars!). Elder Patrick Winfeld works this one nicely on lead vocals.
The album concludes with a two-track, 11-minute dive into pure worship, titled "My Worship Is For Real" (and its reprise). It’s another song written by Mitchell, and features a simple, Franklin-esque melody structure, restricted to mass unison vocals at first, with strings and piano, before rising to richly-harmonized choir praises and all-out instrumentation of adoration.
Right up there with the sudden plethora of Chicago choir offerings suddenly available of late, Bishop Larry D. Trotter & The Sweet Holy Spirit Combined Choirs are back.
You can tell everyone.
reviewed by Stan North —
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