Archive for "Clifton Ross"

Ebenezer AME Church Revamps Music Dept

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm.

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Sorry folks, I’m in between 2 places and blogging from the Blackberry, so forgive any errors. Wanted to get you this info quick.

As you know, changes in Church leadership have been in the air. Well, as with Pastors, sometimes music leaders move around too!

Ebenezer AME church has tapped 2 UBER qualified artists I respect and admire to join their already mega talented music departments. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sunday Best Choir

Published by Torrence Glenn on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm.

Sup folks.  Me…again.  I told you, I’m not going anywhere.  Just the other day (yesterday) I was watching all the old episodes of Sunday Best just to see if I may have gotten something wrong, would change something I said in the past, etc.  I think for the most part, my feelings throughout the season would have been the same. 

But then, the Choir Director in me rose up as I watched the episode where they wore those robes and backed up Byron Cage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Blogger: Jessica Reedy

Published by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm.

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IF JESSICA REEDY IS YOUR PICK FOR SUNDAY BEST, VOTE NOW!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Blogger: Latice Crawford

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 8:50 pm.

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Well if you’ve been keeping up and watched this week’s episode, you watched our good friend Latice Crawford get sent home.  Well Latice has something to say and wanted you to hear/read it first.  Latice, in her own words, starts now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best Episode 6

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm.

From 5, to 6, to 4.  Part of the reason I got into the entertainment business is because I wasn’t the greatest Math student, but these numbers just aren’t adding up! Bringing back 1 to kick off 2? Just wrong… Oh well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take on Sunday Best Episode 5

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, April 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm.

And then there were 5. Didn’t we just have 20 last week? Gotta keep it movin’ I guess. Sheesh!

Anyway, let’s see how we got here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best Episode 4

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, March 30, 2009 at 1:10 am.

So I’m in West Palm Beach, FL on business and wasn’t sure I’d be able to watch the show in time to blog.  Thankfully, I caught the re-air.  Now, please be patient and read through the entire post. I will give my honest perspective and comment on the top 10, but let’s be fair and give the 10 performers from Episode 4 their just due first! Read the rest of this entry »

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Torrence’s Take On “Sunday Best” Episode 3

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 10:03 am.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for.  Finally some real performances. No more 20 second acappella wonders!

The show opened with judges Mary Mary performing their hit “God In Me” with Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. I wasn’t mad.  (That song is my own personal theme music.)  But I did chuckle a bit when the 20 finalists came out to “reprise” it.  I think the “oddness” (is that a word?) of it had to do with their nerves. This was the first real performance of the entire competition.  I’m not going to hold that against them. I’m going to congratulate them for making it this far. Like I’ve said before, they have more guts than me!!!

Before I get into the performances though, I know Bebe Winans must have felt some kind of way when the contestants appeared. Those cardigans, dress shirts, and loosely worn ties looked awfully reminiscent of Clifton Ross’ geek chic audition outfit that he didn’t like so much.   Oh yeah, and nice glasses Bebe! Ha!

Let’s dig in, shall we?

First up, Tammy Turner. I had high expectations for Tammy because I remembered her DC preliminary auditions.  She had some of those judges split on whether to advance her, but ultimately got to sing for Mary Mary and BeBe Winans. I thought she was “good”  last night but I think my expectations probably got the best of me.  That’s also a hard song to sing, so I’m still giving it up to her!

Next, Clifton Ross.  That dude sang the life, death and resurrection out of that song!  Clifton is one of those tenors with an amazing high range, but the placement of that song is still pretty difficult for even the highest and strongest of voices. But hear me, HE SANG THAT! And who knew he had a “growl” in him?! Amazing!

Camille Betton followed with a rendition of one of my favorite old school hymns, “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”  I agree with one of the judges in that I probably wouldn’t have necessarily chosen that song because it doesn’t showcase all of the amazing voice she has. (I know, because someone got me a copy of her demo and it’s now in rotation on my iPod!)  But by the time she got to the vamp, she was in her element and saved what could have easily been just an OK song.

I must admit, Jeff Spain wasn’t necessarily on my list of fav’s in the competition. Normally,  I’d advise most male singers to stay FAR AWAY from a lead vocal made famous by Walter Hawkins, especially someone new to gospel! But he definitely tailored Donald Lawrence’s “Seasons” to his voice and made a believer out of me. I’m curious to see if his lack of “church chops” will prove difficult for him in the long run. You know how y’all church folks can be!

Sidebar: Did anyone catch Danetra Moore on stage on background vocals? I told you you’d see more of her!  She may have gotten turned down in all 3 audition cities, but homegirl got a gig out of the deal.  *Tap ya neighbor and say it with me: “I’M NOT MAD.”*

It’s no secret that Jessica Reedy is one of my favorites in this competition and last night she did not disappoint. “Just A Prayer Away” is another hard song to sing.  Yolanda Adams? Hello? You could hear a bit of a rough patch in the beginning of the song, but she worked it out.  Her vocal control really is something special and she’s so sincere.  Did you catch that low note on the end? Range goes both ways folks. Yeah, I’m a fan, sue me!

Now somebody tell me how Jonathan Johnson slipped by me.  I don’t remember him from the audition episodes at all.  He surprised me with his David Ruffin-esque rendition of “The Lord Will Make A Way.”  (For those of you under the age of 30 or who have never watched Vh1 on a Saturday/Holiday, David Ruffin is the late and GREAT lead singer of The Temptations. Study to show yourselves approved asap.)

Latice Crawford laid me ALL THE WAY OUT with her almost flawless rendition of “Peace Be Still” made most famous by the vocal powerhouse that is Vanessa Bell-Armstrong.  I watched the show at a friend’s house and almost got put out because I started throwing things!  She did have this one “praise dancer” move she kept doing with her left hand that made me laugh, but that could not take away from her utter demolition (in a good way) of that song!  She even gave me a little something to take with me throughout the week when she ad-libbed “He doesn’t abide by rules!”  Oh yeah, Latice, last night was yours! What tongue was that you were speaking in BeBe? Ha!

Kalind Haynes sang Richard Smallwood’s “Center Of My Joy.” It wasn’t bad. Yeah, I want to say something else, but umm, that’s about it.

Audrey Lewis sang the Andrae Crouch and Sunday afternoon service solo standard, “Amazing Grace Shall Always Be My Song Of Praise.” Audrey’s voice and style are so youthful.  When you see her, you don’t expect that voice to come from her.  There’s something about her I just like.  Can’t call it, but she makes me smile!

Zebulon Ellis took it straight to church and closed out the show with “God Is Standing By.” I would have left the high note out of the end, but he really sang well.  He reminds me of that singer in your church that you wait for.  It’ll be a long and drawn out service where you’re ready to hunch over, put up your right index finger and “tip out.” But you don’t, because you know Zebulon is on the program and you just have to hear what he’s going to do, and it will all be worth it.

So next week, we’ll find out who the 5 finalists from last night’s group will be.  Here are my predictions:

1. Clifton Ross
2. Jessica Reedy
3. Latice Crawford
4. Zebulon Ellis
5. I can’t call the 5th one, but it’s between Jeff Spain and Camille Betton

What do you think? Did I get anything wrong? Let a brotha know!

I’m out!

Torrence

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Guest Blogger: Vashawn Mitchell

Published by Torrence Glenn on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 11:21 am.

Sup y’all.  Today’s a good day.  Why? Because my dude Vashawn Mitchell is in the building as guest blogger.  Not only is Vashawn a dope artist and one of my favorite songwriters (“My Worship Is For Real,” “Only A Test,” “Don’t Last,” etc.), but he’s a good dude and has the baddest sneaker collection in gospel! Ha! Vashawn was a preliminary judge in Atlanta and DC and as a popular artist in gospel music today, he has a unique perspective.

*Passes the mic to Vashawn*

What up people!

It’s VaShawn Mitchell with my “4-cents” on Sunday Best “Episode 2.”  Let me begin by giving big-ups to my boy Torrence for bringing us the gospel truth and nothing but!   

First and foremost, let me get this out the way, I am on a personal mission to have the saints take the “s” off of EYES!  Civilla Martin (the writer) & Charles Gabriel (Musical Arranger) done rolled out of their graves.  “HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW”—singular, not plural!  Now that that’s out the way let me move this train. 

A unicycle, “Can you believe it?”  BeBe was wrong for telling her to finish the song while she rode. LOL—comedy!  I believe it was Ericka that almost took me outta here and said, “Come back when Sunday Best becomes a circus!”  Then the laughter kept coming with a rap version of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”  It’s amazing some of the people that will get the nerve to audition. And, to top it off, she said she was not a singer!  So much comedy!

Finally, a breath of fresh air, Latice, made it to the next round with her melodic voice.  I was smiling because she was a favorite of mine from the prelim.   I look forward to seeing her progress throughout the show. 

John McClure—yo this dude’s voice is amazingly smooth.  It was great to hear him sing and not try all the runs and high notes in the book.   I have to admit, although I am from Chicago and currently reside in Atlanta—D.C. had some great talent.  It was hard to narrow it down with so many great singers.  

On another note, if we could have judged on fashion we might have wiped out half the crowd at the door. “What were some of ya’ll thinking?”   Speaking of fashion DON’T’S… Clifton deceived the judges according to “Simon,” oops I mean BeBe Winans. His look didn’t match his singing ability.  Oh, but when he opened his mouth this brother just can sang! 

Danetra Moore—I guess she said she’s gonna go for the trinity…Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I love persistence. Keep believing in your dreams! LOL! Shameless plug, but I am “for serious!”

A stand out talent for me was Tammy Turner. It’s amazing she almost didn’t make it out of her second round.  The judges were debating on whether she should go through or not.  They asked her to sing several times, but I personally was convinced there was something that made her uniquely stand out from the rest.  I don’t know if she will be Sunday’s Best, but I’m sure she will bring attention with her style.  P.S.—If u read this I remember you from singing at the Apollo. Shhhh! I won’t tell the saints.  They just won’t understand…LOL!

Y’Anna— I can’t say much about you because I am Bapticostal and it don’t take much to make me dance. Don’t push me I will dance! Anointed…that’s all I can say.

Lastly, I have to admit that I didn’t get a chance to see Jessica Reedy in the preliminary round. So, my first time hearing her was on the show and OMG.  She just got it!  I thank God for you. This girl is destined to become a national favorite in the show.  The world is waiting on this type of anointing, coupled with that powerful testimony. 

This has been my little piece on “Episode 2,” but before I sign-off I want you to keep on the look-out for Bridgett Campbell-Croft & Byron Nichols. They didn’t make it to the finals, but both are phenomenal.  To everyone else, peace, and until next time remember— WHATS COMING FOR YOU IS STILL BETTER THAN WHATS BEEN! 

V MAN

Vashawn Mitchell

Vashawn Mitchell

*takes mic from Vashawn*

Much thanks to my bro Vashawn for giving his “4 cents.” (Those Bapticostals always got to add EXTRA I tell ya!)

Check back a little later today to hear the ENTIRE new Tonex album, in stores today!

I’m out!

Torrence

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Torrence’s Take On “Sunday Best” Episode 2

Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm.

So, I finally got a chance to watch last night’s episode…and…I cracked up!  Is it just me or was this episode extra hilarious? Let’s get into it shall we?

Now I’m all for a new “arrangement” or “interpretation” of a classic hymn, but one thing I noticed as a judge in DC and overall is that folks hide behind their arrangements when in reality, they just can’t sing the melody.  The woman who opened the show I’m thinking fell into that category. I won’t discuss the unicycle.

Y’Anna Crawley, I have absolutely nothing to say to your ridiculously singing self! Jesus! I just felt the “whoosh.” (That’s the moment RIGHT BEFORE you get up out your seat to run, shout, speak in tongues, fall out or any combo thereof.)

John McClure was one of the more refreshing male voices I got to hear in the audition process.  I was a judge in 2 of the rooms he auditioned in and I voted to push him through each time.  I’ll tell you why. John (and a few others) guys in DC really impressed me with their ability to…..can I be direct? With their ability to sound like guys.  Stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about, but for a while now in music in general, it’s been a little rough for dudes with lower or more masculine voices.  If you had no really high notes, we’d say you were “alright” or “had no range” and be over it.  Well in DC, it was refreshing to see guys who sounded like guys who made you pay attention and appreciate them.  I was not mad!

Torrence loves the kids, so I’m going to be real careful about what I say here.  Whoever is that 11 year old boy’s choir director, is going to have to teach that young man the difference between his “choir voice” and his “solo voice.”  That vibrato was a little much, but hey, he was 11.  He has all the time in the world to learn, now for adults with the same problem? Not sure what to tell ya.

I’ll admit, I was a little wary of Sharon Gomez when she walked into that judging room with her bible?  I was afraid she might try and preach and be “deep.”  But her voice was soft and beautiful. (Isn’t that a perm or something?) If Sunday Best doesn’t work out for her, I’d love to hear her do an album of gospel lullabyes. (Hush!)

Clifton Ross, I LIKED YOUR SWEATER!  Aside from that though, Clifton could really sing.  I can’t wait to hear what he does in the competition. I got to hear him sing a few times throughout the DC audition process, and he’s really got a voice on him. Don’t sleep!

Remember Danetra? She auditioned in all 3 cities and still didn’t make it? I got a feeling you’re going to see her again really soon.  And I personally thought she was really good too. 

As I watched the show and as I write this blog, it really started to hit me how difficult Mary Mary and Bebe’s jobs are. You only have 20 slots to fill but so many people who can really blow.  I think we all agree some really good singers got cut.  Bridgette Campbell-Croft auditioned in the online casting, Atlanta, and DC.  This woman SINGS! She’s another contestant who came through one of my audition rooms in DC.  She really blew us away. 

I have no words for that “lady” in the track jacket who attempted to bark “My Life Is In Your Hands” while Kirk sat in pure Blair Witch fear.  Kirk, I would have helped you if I could have! ha! She actually auditioned in one of my judging rooms as well.  Stephen Hurd, Maurette Brown-Clark and I have an inside joke on this one and we’re going to keep it that way! Hehehe.

Luther Griffin’s was one of those auditions that leave you shaking your head.  Not because it’s necessarily bad, but because something just doesn’t seem “right.”  He almost sounds like a cartoon character of some kind.  I just expected a different voice to come out of him….and one did!

Now I’m going to rant for just a sec.  Bear with me.  There was a young man who auditioned in DC named Byron Nichols whom they showed for just a few seconds and was called a “one note blunder.”  Do not be tricked folks! That dude can SING! Do you hear me? I mean REALLY sing  in that “I could be a vocal coach” kind of way.  Maybe his nerves got to him on that one note they showed but hear me when I tell you, that brother is sick with it. (Yeah, I was one of his preliminary judges too!)

Guitar boy?  If you can’t play it, don’t bring it.

I’m almost done, but I have to give a special mention to Jessica Reedy, the contestant who closed the show.  She, in one day’s time, became one of my favorite singers. Period. Everytime she opened her mouth, she brought me to tears, literally. (Folks were laughing at me and I didn’t currrrrrrr!)  She is not one to miss. TRUST ME!

Well, that’s it and I’m out.  Check back tomorrow for my guest blogger, Vashawn Mitchell to weigh in with his 3 cents on Sunday’s episode and make sure to listen to Praise 100.9FM tomorrow to hear me recap the show with Melanie Clark @ 1 p.m. (ET). 

Torrence

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