His Mercy Endureth Forever
His Mercy Endureth Forever possesses all the sounds and the classic 'live' style that endeared her to the Gospel community in the first place. Ten tracks strong, this new live material from Summers comes from the DC-based PGF label, with each song performed and either written or arranged by her.
The title track begins the project, and stands as a wonderfully composed choir celebration, chock full of choir vocal antics. Heavily reliant on marching rhythms and choir drones that take the words of the song and deliver them with a almost percussive urgency, the song will no doubt find a place in many a choir reportoire.
Another standout is “The Comforter Has Come”, an original choir-backed piece with a slow groove which also features Kevin Gray and Renee Adams who offer ad libs vocals to supplement Summers’ solo role.
"Isaiah 40" also impacts. Beginning with slow piano chords, it soon gives way to an interpretation of the familiar comforting psalm, highlighted by sustained solo markings from Summers, without choir. Then, half-way through, guest vocalists Charles Bryant and Brad Baerwald step in as the song transitions and creatively incorporates familiar melodic lines taken from Frederick Handel's treatment of the same text, as found in his oratario Messiah.
“Saintly Medley” is a seven-minute number that melds five familiar hymn melodies, and Summers also successfully tackles “Via Dolorosa”, giving the familiar words a slow balladic treatment.
Supporting Summers are several local choirs, including Largo High School Choir under the direction of Jeremiah Murphy, and The Church of The Great Commission Adult Choir. Other collectives such as Gutsay Kids (a vocal group springing from Summers' Inner City Ministry) and God’s Army make appearances on multiple tracks.
With all this mass participation going on, Summers manages to tie the entirety together with her enthusiasm and her familiar pipes, with the resulting vibe being one of Spirit-filled unity.
It’s like she never left.
— reviewed by Stan North —
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