Rejoice! Rejoice!

A Modern Oratorio

Written & Directed By Dr. Willis F. Kirk

George Smith, alto sax, clarinet, flute; David Young, tenor sax; Sean Imboden, baritone/soprano sax; Clifford Ratliff, trumpet/flugelhorn; Reginald Duvalle, trombone; Reginald Walters, piano; Rev. Marvin Chandler, keyboard; Frank Smith, bass; Larry Clark, drum set; Tony Artist, percussionist; 41 strong choir.

This is a work of dedication by Dr. Willis Kirk, who wrote and conducted the entire set. A native of Indianapolis, he obtained his Masters Degree from Butler University and continued his studies at Ohio, Indiana and the University of San Francisco. He has played with many Jazz legends, from which he has gained the experience to create this sacred musical drama set to Jazz. The forty one piece choir is backed by an orchestra and the considerable amount of narration is given by Everette Greene; as narrator and soloist he towers throughout; his narration is gently caressed by the orchestra with occasional input from the choir. "Heavenly Father," 'My Jesus, Truly You're the Lamb of God' swings delightfully, supported by a fat trombone. With the continued narration of "Peace" George Smith drapes a sensitive alto saxophone around it, "My Song 'bout' Jesus" opens with a poignant flugelhorn and a moving solo vocal from Debbie Goodwin. The final track "Rejoice, Rejoice!" finishes on five Rejoices; then after a pause a final exultant 'Rejoice!'. This is a combination of attending church, taking in a theatre and a Jazz concert, a passionate CD indeed. Tension and drama is never far away and the feeling of love permeates throughout.

by Ferdinand Maylin