Bishop Clarence E. McClendon presents the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir
Integrity Music continues their praise and worship revolution by embarking on
a tour of the country's most renowned church congregations.Producers: Buster and Shavoni
album release date: April 18, 2000
Shout Hallelujah was recorded live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and
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".
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 a 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....
reviewed by Stan North —
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