Sunday, September 2, 2012

Richard Smallwood & Vision - Persuaded Live in D.C.

                          Richard Smallwood & Vision - Persuaded Live in D.C.

Few sounds in Gospel are as recognizable as those that come from Richard Smallwood.

Be it his songwriting, those classical piano solos, or that resonant, richly textured thickness that is the hallmark of his vocal ensembles, the ear cannot mistake his genius.
No, the beauty here is that Persuaded embraces all that is so beloved of previous projects, but also explores beyond, giving even more to appreciate. The D.C.-based maestro demonstrates in front of the packed Jericho City of Praise church, that our God is One who knows no creative bounds.

Smallwood brings back his familiar top-notch collaborators. Steven Ford once again joins him in production and keyboards, Darin Atwater orchestrates, Bryan Pugh, Mark Walker, Jeff Davis and Jonathan Dubose play, and the entire Vision roster sing their hearts out.

As expected and hoped for, the album begins with a full, live, symphonic intro, "Procession of the Levites", composed by Atwater. The work neatly flows into the intricate "Anthem of Praise" which deftly combines symphonic elements with the Gospel sound as Vision sings texts from Psalm 150 and 34.

Smallwoods' mid-album piano solo on the project is a well-received medley of two hymns that melts into an audience-participation reprise. Titled "It Is Well With My Soul / Come Ye Disconsolate", it begins with a lengthy, thunderous keyboard storm with an immediately simple right hand melody calming the force.

The combination eloquently paints in music the meaning of the words that we are all singing along in our heads. Even with chaos and storms going around us, we who rest in Jesus Christ are nevertheless secure —it is well within our souls.

           Richard Smallwood & Vision - Coronation w/ Overture (Orchestral Prelude)

            Richard Smallwood & Vision - Anthem of Praise

           Richard Smallwood & Vision - Hold On Don't Let Go

           Richard Smallwood - It Is Well/Come, Ye Disconsolate

           Psalm 8 - Richard Smallwood

            Richard Smallwood & Vision - Calvary

            Richard Smallwood & Vision - My Everything [Praise Waiteth] (Part 1)

            Richard Smallwood & Vision - My Everything [Praise Waiteth] (Part 2)

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