Trenora Parker & The LA Cathedral Choir - We've Gotta Be Ready

Saturday 1st June 1991
Trenora Parker & The LA Cathedral Choir - We've Gotta Be Ready

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Travail 31691

Reviewed by James Attlee

This album was recorded live at The Testimonial Cathedral Choir of God in Christ in Los Angeles at a fever pitch of excitement. It's one of those rare things, a mass choir recording with arrangements that stray from the standard formula. A sure test of a choir album is whether it can inject new life and interest into traditional standards, recorded and performed countless times down the years. On "Yes Jesus Loves Me" and "Precious Lord" Trenora and the choir manage just that. "Yes Jesus Loves Me" is put to what I can only describe as a reggae-funk beat with a powerful lead performance from Gheri Legree while the choir sing a counter-melody and the musicians excel themselves. "Precious Lord" begins in traditional style, with only the voice of Gheri again, accompanied by organ, before the choir come in with some really unusual harmonies, taking it somewhere else entirely. We need work like this to take choirs forward, extending the possibilities of what can be done. Other stand-out tracks are "He Knows And He Cares", with the unusual operatic lead voice of Keith McDonald, and 'Rejoice' a breakneck traditional stomper with a scorching lead vocal from Arella Hutchins to close the album. Keyboard gospel whizzkid Ben Tankard has a hand in the production and Loris Holland (producer of Jonathan Butler and Vanessa Bell Armstrong among others) helped with some arrangements and played keys.

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