isn't just a place, it's a feeling, and that emotion and sound is at the
heart of soul music. Reaching far beyond pews and pulpits, "the unique
sound of America itself-its cultural identity-is indelibly marked by gospel."
So writes Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison in the liner notes
to CHURCH: Songs Of Soul & Inspiration (UTV Records), released May
A new collection of favorite R&B, pop, classical and gospel songs
produced with gospel choir arrangements and sung by some of the leading
ladies of music, CHURCH: Songs Of Soul & Inspiration pays tribute
to where they all began--church. Also featured is an original spoken word
composition by esteemed poet Dr. Maya Angelou. The two-disc set embraces
one CD of audio tracks plus a CD-ROM with performance footage and artist
interviews comprising a "making of" feature.
The R&B and pop divas starring on CHURCH are:
LaBelle with "Way Up There," an original heard earlier this
year across the country when she sang it at a national memorial service
for the Columbia shuttle victims.
Chaka Khan reprising her own "Love Me Still,"
Jennifer Holliday on "The Wonder Of You," an Elvis hit,
En Vogue with the Bee Gees' #1 "How Deep Is Your Love,"
Stephanie Mills covering the Diana Ross classic "Reach Out
And Touch (Somebody's Hand)"
Patti Austin on "You Gotta Be," a '90s hit for Des'ree,
Dionne Warwick with the Burt Bacharach-Hal David standard "What
The World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love),"
Ann Nesby, the former Sounds Of Blackness lead singer, singing
Leon Russell's "A Song For You."
headlining are gospel great Shirley Caesar with the vintage "His
Eye Is On The Sparrow," opera star (and co-executive producer) Denyce
Graves with the classic "Ave Maria," jazz singer Nnenna Freelon
with The Five Stairsteps hit "O-o-h Child," and The Fire Choir
with Stevie Wonder's "As." CHURCH: Songs Of Soul & Inspiration
was produced by platinum-selling songwriter/producer Tena Clark, who also
penned "Way Up There."
As Morrison writes: "The little girls in choir robes and pigtails
who sang on long ago Sunday mornings grew up to fill concert halls, opera
houses, cathedrals and arenas with clarion voices that now enthrall millions.
As they once again stand before the choir to sing, it is obvious that,
with all its grace, Church claims ownership of their hearts of hearts."
Church: Songs of Soul & Inspiration is the first in a series of CDs
that embrace the musical roots and role of Church in the lives of today's
leading artists. It is a joint venture between UTV Records (a division
of Universal Music Enterprises), Tena Clark's DMI Records and Denyce Grave's
Association with Universal Music SaveOurSoul proudly presents 5 tracks
of this special project for you to listen to. You will need Windows Media
Player to be able to listen.
Ceasar - His Eye Is On Sparrow
LaBelle - Way Up There
Fire Choir - Way Up There
Graves - Ave Maria
Holliday - The Wonder of You