Rev Paul S Morton & The Greater St Stephen Baptist Church Mass Choir - God's Got Those Healing Hands

Monday 1st April 1991
Rev Paul S Morton & The Greater St Stephen Baptist Church Mass Choir - God's Got Those Healing Hands

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Ichiban 4035
FORMAT: 12 inch vinyl Album

Reviewed by James Attlee

Instant news-grabbing item buried in the credits on this album is that its executive producer was soul giant Curtis Mayfield, currently paralysed by a tragic accident. Whatever input the composer of "People Get Ready" had on this album, what we get is a slice of excellent traditional choir pyrotechnics. The Rev. kicks off side one soloing on the title track, and quickly proves himself in the vocal department with a rich breathy tenor that slips effortlessly into falsetto registers. In the background the choir laugh, clap and holler in time-honoured appreciative style, coming into punch out the choruses with power and precision. We're talking a mass choir here - from the dim photo on the back sleeve, it looks as though there could be 100 of them and when they're let loose to romp through the traditional 'Jesus Is The Light' they really rock the house. Other soloists acquit themselves well - after a subdued start Pamela Barnard is swiftly setting fire to the drapery on 'I keep Praying' and the wonderfully named Marsheen Batiste brings a lighter, jazzier touch to 'I Thank You'. If, like me, you still love a traditional choir in full flight - if you haven't been so seduced by samplers and synthesisers that you can't appreciate the sound of a bluesy gospel piano and Hammond organ - this stop's for you. If you're after hi-tech you're in the wrong city - this is Chicago, you want Detroit.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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