Bishop Clarence E. McClendon presents the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir
Shout Hallelujah

Integrity Music continues their praise and worship revolution by embarking on a tour of the country's most renowned church congregations.

Shout Hallelujah was recorded live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, Bishop Clarence E. McClendon presents the Harvest Fire 
Mega Mass Choirand features the renowned Bishop Clarence E. McClendon. As senior pastor at Los Angeles' huge Church of the Harvest, his ministry is directed towards youth, and has expanded in multi-media avenues recently. So, it's no surprise that Shout Hallelujah possesses a youthful tone and energy.

Musically, this project is of blockbuster proportions. McClendon takes lead vocals on much of the material and is backed by the large Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir. The responsibility for laying the praise and worship to disc falls to Gospel's storied duo, Buster and Shavoni (for We Fly Music).

Ricky Grundy and Tony Wilkins handle keys and the much-in-demand Donald Hayes takes saxophone duties. They and the multiple other musicians combine to foster a groove factor that takes the worship into the clouds, with inventive segues and creative pockets.

This is no more evident than on the back-to-back cuts "We Have Come To Glorify" and "Great And Mighty Is He". Supremely hook-laden, the band drives the call and response chorus that the choir internalizes on the first cut. Bill Daulton's electric guitar then moves into spotlight focus briefly, before the track morphs into "Great And Mighty", with excerpts of Van Halen's famous "Jump" theme introducing the faster rhythm and the mega modulations of the cut. It's a glorious moment on this glorious disc.

On "Let The Rain Of Your Presence", the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir takes Bishop Clarence E. McClendona break and the church's Fragrance Praise Team steps in. After a spoken sermonette from McClendon, the small ensemble delivers a smooth, sensitive rendering of the invitational composition. Also standing tall is the interpretation of "All Hail The Power". With a powerful choir arrangement following closely to the well-known hymn version, the song is energized by the soaring lead vocals of William Murphy and Roberta Lansing, making the beauty of the song burst through its familiarity.

The title cut is handled with a slight Carribean flair with Tyrone Fields as praise leader, while "I Call You Faithful" is a rousing and immensely moving chorus led wonderfully by Kayla Parker. McLendon himself makes his mark on the project not only in his prominent lead vocals, but in his spoken exhortation, which while prominent, doesn't distract from the songs.

With an eclectic mix of music bound together by excellence in sound recording and startling creativity, Shout Hallelujah is praise and worship to experience. Over and over and over and over....

Producers: Buster and Shavoni
album release date: April 18, 2000
Integrity Music

reviewed by Stan North

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