Patrick Lundy and The Ministers of Music

Patrick Lundy might be a familiar name to you. A name that rings a bell perhaps.

No wonder, for the Washington DC area choir director and songwriter has been on the scene for some time, contributing to projects from Dottie Peoples to Byron Cage. Since 1994 Lundy has also been spearheading his own Ministers of Music choir (MOM), putting out a couple of albums in that time span.

Now with a new project titled Standin’ from AAMG, Lundy and his 40-voice choir come knocking with a strong set of songs that defies you to refrain from throwing that proverbial hanky toward the stage. Or the CD player.

CD With the veteran Cedric Thompson joining Lundy on production, the album is jam packed with great material, vibrant choir vocals, and yes, true musical ministry. Take your pick from the multiple song styles that pack the project.

Combining stately majesty with vocal prowess is “Even Me”, an 8-plus minute classical anthem in the vein of Richard Smallwood and arranged by Michael Reid (complete with horns and strings from John Stoddart) that opens the album in fine style.

The acappella cut “Keep A Preachin’ The Word” honors the vocal style of so many of the great university and chorale ensembles that have gone on before. Glenn Burleigh’s arrangement is rich and the choir does it justice.

Another standout is “In The Face”, from Lundy’s pen. The song is a slow tempo’d ballad that features the trio work of Lundy, Celeste Johnson and Tina Daily and testifies that “in the face of the Lord there is joy, there is peace”.

On the contrasting tip is “Won’t He Make A Way Somehow”, a cut that easily falls into the urban camp. EMI Gospel’s Lejuene Thompson guests on this Lundy composition, dropping her plenitful ad lib vocals into a bumpin’ track with MOM splitting into sections on the chorus.

Lundy and MOM honor The Tommies with a rousing remake of “There’s No Way”, complete with that old school keyboard feel from Robert Ellis. Soloist Twanda Rhinehart-Godard pours her heart into the lead vocal.

Denyse Stuart and Jeffrey Waddy (of Richard Smallwood’s Vision fame) duet on “Stay In The Race”. The two combine for a soulful study on perserverance, laid over choir and beds of keyboard strings.

Back to Glenn Burleigh, his familiar “Jesus Is A Rock” is recorded live by the choir, and starts off with a sparse instrumental backdrop before things gear up and the full blast treatment with searing guitar and heavy rock vibe kick background kick in.

It’s a potent finish to a potent album.

Producers: Patrick Lundy, Cedric Thompson
album release date: September 9, 2003

— review by Stan North

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