Madison Mission Mass Choir
Open Praise

Church-based choir albums often display an underlying coherence and unity.This album by the mass choir of the Madison Mission SDA Church of Madison, Alabama is no exception.

Madison Mission Mass ChoirFrom beginning to end, the 14 tracks flow smoothly and beautifully, exhibiting choir power at its best, with masterful solo work weaved in.

The title track is fronted by Lisa Page Brooks, who is known for her lead vocal work with the group Witness over the years, as well as for her recent solo project on CGI Records. Here she sings a powerful praise testimony with that same unmistakable voice, but a little less restrained than usual. That would be expected when singing in front of a 200-voice choir, compared to her usual setting as one of a tight 4-voice ensemble.

The song also appears on the video of this project. Watching the video supports the audio, unmistakably showing the exuberance of the moment. In another notable track, Mark and Joey Kibble (from Take 6) share lead vocals in a joyous Caribbean-flavored jam simply entitled "Praise God". Karima Kibble (from Virtue) also lends her voice in "This is the Confidence", which is an uptempo choir selection on the topic of prayer.

Madison Mission Mass Choir The soulful vocals of Tiffany Palmer and Duawne Starling, which are peppered throughout the credits, are perhaps not as well know (yet!), but are equally as effective as their more famous counterparts.

Even with these credible names however, it is the mass choir that shines through as the triumph of thisproject. Superbly close-knit in every aspect of harmony, rhythm and melody, and powerful in praise, their live sound is enhanced by nearly flawless production values.

Amens to this statement are sure to echo when the choir-only tracks are heard. The classical-edged anthem "Great and Marvelous", and the rhythmic chanting of "Mighty God" are but two examples. Again, the video serves to emphasize the power of the choir, as multitudes of youth in black with multicolored scarves focus their effort in open praise.

This is one album (and video) that is worth the extra effort to track down.

Producers: Wayne Bucknor and Leroy Peters III
Madison Avenue Records

reviewed by Stan North

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