Chicago's First Jurisdiction COGIC State Choir
It's Gonna Be Alright

As the home of COGIC Music Department’s International President, LuVonia Whitley, you would expect that music coming out of Chicago’s First Jursidiction would have a banner-raising quality. And sure enough.

It's Gonna Be Alright CDComprised of members from the nearly 100 churches that make up this COGIC jurisdiction, Chicago’s First Jurisdiction COGIC State Choir bring eleven tracks of powerful song on this offering from Diversity Records. Songs range in style from church house to urban-inflected ballads and anthems.

Veteran producer Percy Gray joins with the state’s Minister of Music, Kenneth Lockhart to bring a clear, uncluttered sound to this live recording. Exemplified by the opening cut, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”, choice lead vocals are spotlighted throughout. Voices such as Sharry Baldwin on that track, and Darlene Miller, Tracie Riley and Chymica Linear on others, resound with an excellence that is emphasized by the stellar performance coming from the in-the-pocket choir band.

Trophy cuts abound here, and no doubt you’ll be hearing many outside the confines of the CD player, as choirs, COGIC and beyond, pick up on the tantalizing numbers presented.

“Praise Him” and “You’ve Got a Right” lead the way as Sunday service, hands-up tracks, while “Your Anointing” and “I Praise Your Name” are ringleaders for the pack of ballads on this disc. “Happy With Jesus Alone” deserves special singling out for the intense treatment of the tune in the finest of bluesy Gospel traditions.

This choir has nurtured some notable names in the industry, including songwriter Carlos Moody (who wrote the hit “Available To You”), and Reeds Temple Choir, which released two projects with Word in the late nineties.

Listening to this project, it becomes evident that it is now Chicago's First Jurisdiction COGIC State Choir's due season to give up praise on a national recording level.

Producers: Minister Kenneth Lockhart, Percy Gray
album release date: March 28, 2000
Diversity Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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