Rev. Cecil Williams

The Sounds of Hope

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There's a mission to the divine madness found on this swinging gospel disc featuring a huge choir, bright arrangements, and a set list with more than just the typical overdone genre classics. They call it "liberated gospel," after all, and under John Turk's direction, there's a cool, classic swing element in addition to the usual soulful sounds. Glide is one of the largest and most comprehensive nonprofit human service providers in the Bay Area. Each year they provide a full spectrum of essential services to thousands of homeless families. With such a passionate commitment fueling the music, it's no surprise that some of the disc's best songs were written by Turk -- including the simmering, brass banging "He Is My Best Friend" (which evolves into a handclapping anthem), "Let God Touch You" (a beautiful ballad sung by Vernon Bush), and the rolling bass and bouncy piano-driven "He Took the Next Step" (led by Lila McDonald, who both sings in a deep rich timbre and does a jaunty violin solo). Most of the songs are pretty mainstream in their presentation of the gospel message, but the all-choir boy-girl voice tradeoff folk song "Ezekiel Saw De Wheel" twists an Old Testament story in playful ways. The music is provided by the Change Band and all Glide proceeds go to 52 programs that "provide hope to thousands of people everyday." The music offers the same kind of hope to the gospel listening experience.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:27
2 6:32
3 3:18
4 6:20
6 5:02
7 3:28
8 5:15
9 4:10
10 4:25
11 7:17
12 3:28
13 6:00
14 4:00
15 4:03
16 2:41
blue highlight denotes track pick