Chicago Mass Choir includes: Lemmie Battles, Patricia Clifton, Robert Blair, Fred Dubose, Reverend Thomas Adams, David Holmes, Donyelle Henderson, Feranda Williamson, Felicia Welch, Bruce Ford, Lewis Clark, Jr. (vocals); Percy Gray, Jr. (spoken vocals); Jeral Gray, Sr. (arranger, keyboards); Joey Woolfalk (guitar); Eric Troy, Phillip Feaster, Lennard Razor (keyboards); Erron Williams (synthesizer, sequencing); Eugene Harris (bass); Terrance Williams (drums, programming); Natasha Cowan, Joe Cutts (tambourine).
Recorded live at Christ Unity Evangelistic Church, Chicago, Illinois.
CALLING ON YOU was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album.
Personnel: David Holmes, Patricia Clifton, Lewis Warrick, Bruce Ford , Lemmie Battles, Percy Gray, Jr., Robert Blair (vocals); Joey Woolfalk (guitar); Jeral Gray Sr., Eric Troy (keyboards); Eugene "Bud" Harris (bass guitar).
Recording information: Christ Unity Evangelistic Church, Chicago, IL.
Directors: William Hamilton; Percy Gray, Jr.
Photographer: Paul Wharton.
No matter the title of the song, gospel music always seems to be saying the same thing, and it is always joyous, whether the choir is offering a mass "Prayer" (the opening track) or realizing that "You Can't Hurry God." The true unrestrained spirit of a huge gospel choir is best communicated on that latter song, which features the intense lead vocals of Robert Blair, who goes solo on the verses and is joined resoundingly by the choir as the Hammond B-3 stirs up a fire down below. Crowd sounds complete the picture. And there's no resisting the simple, bouncy clapalong "If God Said It." Almost as interesting is "I'm Blessed," which features lead singer Fred Dubose sermonizing and commenting … la Kirk Franklin. On the other hand, "Calling on You" comes across almost like a David Foster studio ballad, a pretty enough song but a little generic compared to all the unrestrained emotion on the rest of this disc. The label owner's liner notes talk about God's favor being upon this group, and that would extend to the listener who can't help but be blessed by all the joy. ~ Jonathan Widran