To my knowledge, there have only been a few solo gospel sax players that really got much notoriety; Angella Christie and Kirk Whalum come to mind. Vernard Johnson can play for sure and over his career that went from 1973-1992 he recorded 11 albums of gospel soul-jazz-funk. (His accompanist on piano is singing the solo … Read more and listen Magnify The Lord
Cleophus Robinson was born March 18, 1932 in Canton, Mississippi. His mother, Lillie, was a well known gospel singer in the region. In 1948, he moved to Chicago, where he sang at churches, as well as appearing with the Roberta Martin Singers and Mahalia Jackson. In September 1949 he made his first recordings for Miracle … Read more and listen He Will Stand By Your Side
I can find NOTHING about the Haynes Temple Church in Christ Choir on the web…but I love their contemporary style from 1975.
I love these old, raw, acapella call and response gospel songs. Doesn’t get more basic or more spirit filled than this. For the congregation, the rule seem to be “pick a note…any note will do.” You might notice that the song sounds and feels a bit reminiscent of “He’s a Battle Axe“. If you did, … Read more and listen Try Jesus
(This is a multi song post…be sure to scroll down to listen to all three songs.) Martha Bass was born on March 7, 1921 in the deep south. After migrating to St. Louis as a young girl, she joined the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, where she was a promising gospel vocalist. She came under the … Read more and listen Jesus Gave Me
A nice Easter type song from gospel great Timothy Wright and his New York Fellowship Mass Choir. (Nice pop and slap bass line!) JVOI sang this song in 2005 when James Early was director.
Well, I’m a day late with these two songs but what the heck. Easter gospel isn’t a fun subject, but Dorothy Love Coates and The Gospel Harmonettes do put some energy into their song, “Dark Day in Jerusalem”. James Cleveland’s “Calvary” however, is pretty dark, but a remarkable piece nonetheless. The tempo is purposely … Read more and listen Dark Day in Jerusalem/Calvary
From 1988, another fabulous, big choir song from Jeffery LaValle’s New Jerusalem Baptist Choir. This song has it all. Starts slow and works it’s way to a wonderfully energetic ending with a great walking bass line.
I guess this sub-genre of gospel could be called “gospel soul” and Stan Lee and Benny Cummings and others were the first to record these songs in the early ’70s. I believe James Cleveland discovered and promoted the Stand Lee Ensemble and probably had a lot to do with Savoy Records recording them since Cleveland … Read more and listen That’s All I Want
Alexis Spight sings an updated version of James Cleveland’s “Jesus Will” at the 2014 Mt. Zion Stellar Awards Weekend in Nashville, TN. In 2012 Alexis came in 2nd in Season 5 of BET’s “Sunday Best”, a gospel version of “American Idol” hosted by Kirk Franklin. And if you like the song, here is a wonderful … Read more and listen Jesus Will