Theresa Thomason

Sound Over All Waters

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From the traditional gospel arrangement of "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" to the eclectic, jazz- and R&B-inspired structure of "Circles" and the classically tinged "Come Away to the Skies," Sound Over All Waters is solid testament to the versatility and overall musical prowess of both vocalist Theresa Thomason and producer, pianist, organist, and choir director Paul Halley. Subtly inspiring lyrics from Wendell Berry's poem Song (4), a masterful rhythm arrangement that builds and eases concurrently, and Thomason's sensitive yet affirming delivery all converge in a powerful way on the centerpiece, "Circles," in a manner as flowing as long-held tears. Both the arrangement and vocal have the sophistication jazz greats are made of while remaining accessible enough for open-minded pop listeners. In addition to Thomason, the Keramion choir contributes impressive power to a handful of selections, including two of their own delightful, restful readings of the spirituals "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." The broad range of influences covered in the course of Sound Over All Waters is what sets it apart from many contemporary gospel or even new age releases of the late '90s. But it's the obvious commitment to melodic and rhythmic taste and precision that ultimately make it the breadwinner.

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