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GMWA Women of Worship
Raisin' The Praise

The GMWA Women of Worship burst onto the national stage in 1994 with their hit "Order My Steps" on their debut entry, Itís Our Time. Flying the label flag of Aleho International Music from the beginning, theyíve arguably delivered some of the most potent material to come from the various GMWA collectives over the years.

Raisin' The Praise CDTheir latest effort was recorded live in New Orleans in 2000, and is titled Raisiní The Praise. Itís another very strong project, girded with solo support from some of the nationís most blessed pipes.

That include Melonie Daniels, who takes control of the lead single, "He Lives". Itís an uptempo smash from the pen of Becky White, and Daniels brings it home with generous doses of power, incredible range and her pleasing tonal colors and textures. Working the text that tells of our hope resting solely in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, she is supported by a fabulously funky live track and a busy choir.

Another cut that leaps out is "Caribbean Praise", with lead from Rebecca Eaglin. The young soloist bursts with enthusiasm as she explains to the choir and in-house congregation how the deceptively simple song goes, breaking "Alleluia" down into its various syllables. In a word, catchy.

Soloists who have previously captivated with GMWA Women of Worship recordings are called back for encore ministries, including longtime favorites Kathy Taylor-Brown on
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a worshipful Lamar Campbell original ("Author Of My Praise"), and the lovely tenor tones of Rev. Yvette Flunder on the groove-heavy "Just Call Him" from Minister Prince Yelder. And Denise Tichenor makes a welcome return with soprano stylings on "Jesus Is The One".

Then there's Lucinda Moore who stuns with her interpretation of "I Surrender All", a string-sweetened testimonial cut from songwriter Tommy Jones. With vocal poise, controlled power that gives you singing without screaming, and finesse that ranks with the best of them, Mooreís work here is bound to only increase the clamor for more from her.

Tying all the quality songs and soloists together is the veteran work of producer Sanchez Harley. Linked to the GMWA Women of Worship since the beginning, his steady hand shows through on all tracks, as he guides the excellence of the mass choir, the overdub assists, and the sensitivity of the band into aural beauty.

The presences of Levites such as Ralph Lofton (organ), Derrick Lee (keyboards), Al Willis (guitar), Anthony Harmon (bass), Eric Darkin (drums) and copious numbers of horn players, certainly propel this project in the right direction.

The choice of an album title is sometimes a chore, but in this case, it fits perfectly. Let their be no doubt, The GMWA Women of Worship are Raisiní The Praise.


Producer: Sanchez Harley
album release date: March 28, 2001
Aleho International Music


ó reviewed by Stan North ó



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