Mass choir specialist James Bignon moves from AIR Gospel where he was established for his last several albums, to the spanking new Zhana Records, also based in Atlanta.Producers: James Bignon, Anthony Lockett
album release date: August, 2000
Miracle offers all the elements that Bignon has brought to us over the years: resounding power courtesy the 400-voice Deliverance Mass, traditional song triumphs and a gifted panel of soloists. All laced with Bignon’s incomparably gritty vocal style.
Continuing his long-time collaboration with Anthony Lockett (production, band direction), Bignon jams the project with twelve quality cuts from his own pen.
Leading the way is the opener, “He Made A Difference”. It features the tight, upbeat foursome harmonies of Bignon, Minister Prince Yelder, Earnestine Curry and Evelyn White in front of the punctuated choir chorus, and underpinned by pounding piano and guitar. Also impacting is the emphatic torcher, “This Is The Day (Celebrate)”.
An interesting approach is taken on “Trust In The Lord”. By song’s end, it’s still not clear whether this is a Bignon sermon with majestic choir support, or a song with sermonic interludes. Whatever, it doesn’t really matter, since it’s ministry plain and simple. Profound too.
Real bouncy churchy cuts abound. “God Said It, It Will Be Alright” and “Just Because He Is Who He Is” (featuring the incomparable Constance Smalls and others) are among them.
The pseudo-title cut, “I’m Believing God For a Miracle” brings home the sounds of Roberta Jackson Higgs, who combines with Bignon on this slow encouraging ballad which takes on the characteristic mantle of melody and arrangement that has so endeared Gospel to the Atlanta vocal powerhouse over the years.
That’s only a smattering of the stellar picks on “Miracle”. Someone else is just as likely to have highlighted several more. That’s legitimate because there’s so much to choose from.
This marks a triumph for James Bignon. Classic traditional choir power, recorded live at Atlanta’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, reigning supreme.
reviewed by Stan North —
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