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A CD to Touch the Soul
on September 14, 2004
While I was a member of Chanticleer when this CD ("How Sweet the Sound") was recorded, I have been away from the group for over a year. When I listened to the advance copy, I was transformed.
The 12 singers of Chanticleer are hyper-critical when it comes to reviewing their work on recording and I'm certainly no exception. Having said that, this recording goes beyond just a casual listen and touches the soul.
Chanticleer is known for its prestine tone and perfect blend and this recording has many moments of that. On the other hand, what this album offers is something rarely recognized on other Chanticleer CD's: life, energy, and, dare I say it, FUN!
Another rarity is the decision to use only arrangements by Chanticleer's music director, Joseph Jennings. Having been with the ensemble for over 20 years, Joe knows each voice intimately and his arrangements are tailor-made for the twelve voices on this recording. Joe's gift is not of this world (even his piano playing is otherworldly) and his heart, soul, and spirit permiate this CD.
Chanticleer is joined by Bishop Yvette Flunder for this album. She is an inspiration and a joy to work with. Her energy, selflessness, and pure love of what she does is infectious. It was a privilege to work with such a consummate performer and spirit.
Not to be forgotten is the producer, Steve Barnett. Steve has produced countless recordings for Chanticleer and this one is, in my opinion, his best work. With engineer Preston Smith at his side, they created a blend that remains faithful to Chanticleer's "sound" and yet pushes the envelope ever so slightly to allow the "soul" of the ensemble to shine.
To end; Joe's original composition "Be still and know" is an anthem for the world! In this age of so much uncertainty and pain, this piece reminds us that there is something greater. Between "Be still" and "Balm in Gilead", well,...you get the idea.
This is a recording for our time. You will not be disappointed whether your a fan of Chanticleer or not. I highly recommend this CD. And, it makes a good stocking stuffer!