Church: Songs of Soul and Inspiration

Church: Songs of Soul and Inspiration



Based on the premise that "church" is a concept extending far beyond any man-made walls, Church: Songs of Soul and Inspiration aims to re-create those uplifting feelings of the Divine that many associate with a church experience. Some may think of gospel as a narrow format, but they clearly don't worship here: This collection neatly debunks that notion by amassing an impressive cast of gospel and R&B divas -- Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Shirley Caesar, and Jennifer Holliday, to name a few -- and backs them up with a powerhouse choir. These stellar talents unleash their vocal power on a variety of familiar pop and R&B songs, taking each to church, so to speak. Not all of the material here can easily wear its newly designed spiritual mantle -- En Vogue's take on the Bee Gees' classic "How Deep Is Your Love" is wonderful, but the song is so closely associated with Saturday Night Fever, one is hard pressed to find church in the performance. Plenty of other, er, divine moments more than make up the balance. One of the biggest surprises is Patti Austin's rich performance of Des'ree's early-'90s hit "You Gotta Be." Backed by a rich gospel choir, Austin takes the self-empowerment ode and makes a nice statement about spiritual strength. Spoken passages from Maya Angelou and a nicely restrained "Ave Maria" from opera star Denyce Graves (one of the project's driving forces) complete this spiritual experience.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/03/2003
Label: Utv Records
UPC: 0044006776323
catalogNumber: 067763

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Preston   Hammond Organ
Gerald Albright   Saxophone
Tim Heintz   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Terry Bradford   Choir, Chorus
Alex Brown   Choir, Chorus
Carmen Carter   Choir, Chorus
Alvin Chea   Choir, Chorus
Luis Conte   Percussion
Mathew Cooker   Strings
Larry Corbett   Strings
Stefanie Fife   Strings
Wendy Fraser   Choir, Chorus
Grant Geissman   Acoustic Guitar
Jim Gilstrap   Choir, Chorus
James Harrah   Guitar
Dorian Holley   Choir, Chorus
Luana Jackman   Choir, Chorus
Clydene Jackson   Choir, Chorus
Bobette Jamison-Harrison   Choir, Chorus
Peter Kent   Strings
Gina Kronstadt   Strings
Ricky Lawson   Drums
Bobbi Page   Choir, Chorus
Kayla Parker   Choir, Chorus
Greg Phillinganes   Piano,Keyboards
Vladimir Polimatidi   Strings
John "J.R." Robinson   Drums
David Stenske   Strings
Larry Tuttle   Strings
Carmen Twillie   Conductor,Choir, Chorus
Maxine Willard Waters   Choir, Chorus
Oren Waters   Choir, Chorus
John Wittenberg   Strings
Terry Wood   Choir, Chorus
Monalisa Young   Choir, Chorus
Susan Chatman   Strings
Rob Lorentz   Strings
Edmund Stein   Strings
Julia Waters   Choir, Chorus
"Ready" Freddie Washington   Bass
Norm Hughes   Strings
Suzanna Giordono   Strings
Rudy Stein   Strings
Kristin Fife   Strings
Chris Beth   English Horn,Oboe
Tim Davis   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Franz Schubert   Composer
Bruce Hornsby   Composer
Leon Russell   Composer
Tim Heintz   Arranger,String Arrangements
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Robin Gibb   Composer
Toni Morrison   Liner Notes
Barry Gibb   Composer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Chaka Khan   Composer
Tena Clark   Arranger,Producer
Hal David   Composer
Cedric Dent   Contributor
Willie Ford   Art Direction
Maurice Gibb   Composer
Mark Kibble   Contributor
David Perry   Arranger,Executive Producer
Greg Phillinganes   Arranger
Valerie Simpson   Composer
Larry Tuttle   String Arrangements
Carmen Twillie   Arranger
Stan Vincent   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Ashley Ingram   Composer
Novi Novog   String Arrangements
Claude McKnight   Contributor
H.C. Porter   Cover Art
Denyce Graves   Executive Producer
Civilla D. Martin   Composer
Joel Kibble   Contributor
David Thomas   Contributor
Baker Knight   Composer
Joe Alfuso   String Arrangements
Charles H. Gabriel   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Church: Songs of Soul and Inspiration 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a world that is sadly becoming more depressing by the day, many of us are in need of a little hope and inspiration to guide us through the tough times ahead. Church- Songs of Soul and Inspiration provides just that, through an amazing list of songs that mixes the right amount of catchy contemporary music with the powerful, soulful presence of gospel. One look at the track list of Church and it will read like a Who’s Who list of amazing talent in the areas of Gospel, Soul, R & B and Opera. Legendary performer Patti Austin lends her beautiful voice on the song “You Gotta Be” which mixes her beautiful and soulful voice with an amazing gospel choir producing an very uplifting track. Patti LaBelle provides an amazing performance on the track “Way Up There” while on the song “Love Me Still” Chaka Khan proves why she will always be remembered as THE lady of soul. Along with legendary contemporary talent Church boasts a number of songs that are performed by stars of the theatre and Broadway. The beautiful and talented Jennifer Holliday provides a memorable performance on “The Wonder of You” while “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” performed by Stephanie Mills will make you want to leap out of your seat and sing along. One of the most moving and beautiful songs on this album is “Ave Maria” performed by opera star Denyce Graves which I guarantee will not leave one listener with a dry eye. Along with two spoken word tracks written and performed by literary renaissance woman Dr. Maya Angelou, Church- Songs of Soul and Inspiration provides just what it advertises: soul and inspiration, which will leave listeners both emotionally and spiritually moved. This album is definitely a must have for lovers of gospel music and those just needing a little inspiration into their lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When you bring together some of the best singers in the business you get one incredible album. What Church contains is an amazing group of singers who all have their roots in gospel music. Many of them grew up singing in their local gospel choirs and this album is a nod back to those days that taught them much about their own musical talent and showed them their path for the future. Where this album diverges from the typical gospel stuff is in the song selection. Who would've thought we would hear EnVogue covering the BeeGee's hit "How Deep Is Your Love"? Or how about Nnenna Freelon covering "Ooh Child". Along with these pop covers are a great selection of songs that follow a more religious and spiritual approach such as "Ave Maria" sung by Denyce Graves or Shirley Caesar's "His Eye is on the Sparrow". Whatever the song, each one is an amazingly beautiful piece of work that shows the devotion and love of each singer to their craft and history. This is such a great album and let's hope that it does well so we can get more installments in the future because great talent shouldn't be wasted. This is an album that I would recommend to every one of my friends and after listening to it you will agree too.