The Great I Am
Artist: The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Director/Producer: Carol Cymbala
200-voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Solo Vocal Artists: Alicia Olatuia, Onjie Jefferson, Karen Melendez-Rampersad, Freddy Washington, Brandon Camphor, Timiney Figueroa and Nashville String Machine
Brooklyn Tabernacle Music 822503 (2015)
Running Length: 87 minutes
“Pray” is the latest CD release from the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir that uses no music and whose director, Carol Cymbala, doesn't read music. The choir has been in existence over 40 years and has collected six Grammy Awards, seven Dove Awards, been on the top on Billboard and sung at a President’s Inauguration.
This CD release, "Pray," is over an hour in length, with 14 tracks. What I like about the group is that the lyrics are always heard by the listener, whether by soloist or choir. An achievement for a large group of singers. “Pray” includes rousing songs of praise from the beginning “Praise Him” to “Jesus Is.” Slower, thoughtful and prayerful songs are “He Loves Me,” “All Because Of Him,” “Who Will Go” and “In Your Name.”
Arrangements do not overpower the group or soloist, that allows flexibility in interpretation. This is what I appreciate and in “Who Will Go” (“…The harvest is ripe…who will go?”) it is eloquent and thoughtful. The beginning track, “Praise Him” really brings the listener into the album with an Irish lilt, it is uplifting. Track Two, “Sing” is based on Psalm 96, and Track Five, “He Loved Me” is full of hope. The songs on this CD are written by Carol Cymbala or Freddy Washington or Jason Michael Webb.
No matter what your listening mood is, “Pray” seems to brighten the day, and as Director Carol Cymbala says, “Worship is contagious and when we worship as a choir and praise team, the congregation…begins to lift their hearts…” Bringing---what is needed---in music.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner
For another CD review of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir see the following: