Metropolitan Gospel Big Band: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Metropolitan Gospel Big Band: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
On the debut recording of the Metropolitan Gospel Big Band (led by saxophonist Duke Guillaume, the ensemble presents a collection of Gospel numbers arranged for big band format. The disc opens with "Nothing But The Blood," an up-tempo number that serves as introduction to the group and also features some individual improvised moments from the brass section. The tune is followed by "He's Everything To Me," a more straight-ahead tune featuring a fluid tenor sax solo.

Among the highlights is "Lord I Lift Your Name Up High," a Latin-tinged tune that highlights a different side of the band, highlighting Ted Cruz's piano and Olusegun Ajayi's percussion, which are the principal backing for the saxophone and trombone solos. The traditional hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" receives a bluesy treatment led by the saxophones and a cleverly arranged rhythm section.

Also notable are "Someday," another straight-ahead tune played with the full ensemble (with arrangement by the bandleader) that swings hard from the start, and also "He Is Exalted," an African-themed tune that has an almost cinematic feel thanks the initial crescendo the ends with a chorus and a saxophone solo from the bandleader. In the background Aleune Faye's Djembe is heard giving accents to the drums, and that is topped with accomplished solo from Cruz, who takes the tune to a completely different direction.

The album closes with "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus," a gorgeous ballad led by Guilaume's tenor in which the band is augmented by overdubbed strings to great effect. This is a disc that comes with many pleasant sonic surprises.

Track Listing

Nothing But The Blood;He's Everything To Me; Leaning On The Everlasting Arms; Lord I Lift Your Name On High; Just A Closer Walk; That Old Rugged Cross; Someday; He Is Exalted; I Have Decided To Follow Jesus


Duke Guillaume: tenor & soprano sax; Audrey Welber: alto sax;Travis Sulivan: alto sax; Wayne Escofery: tenor sax;Gerald Thomas: Tenor sax; Jason Marshal: baritone sax; James Smith: trumpet; Igmar Thomas: trumpet Gil Defay{ trumpet; Vitaly Golovnev: trumpet; Ryan Resky: trumpet; David Russell: trombone; Raymond Campos:bass trombone; Alex Jeun: trombone; Kurt Francisco: trombone; Kenny Grohowski: drums;Ted Cruz: piano; Jim Robertson:bass; Johnathan Woodby: Hammond B3 Organ;Kofo Wonder: talking drum; Liadi Bello: talking drum; Aleune Faye: Djembe; Olusegun Ajayi: conga; Kathleen Thomas: violin; Tanya Murphy: violin; Ashley M Vines: viola; Maura Dwyer: cello

Album information

Title: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon


Afrika Love
Alchemy Sound Project
Sunday At De Ruimte
Marta Warelis / Frank Rosaly / Aaron Lumley /...
Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Tread Lightly
Trøen Arnesen Quartet
MMBC Terma
Michael Bisio / MMBC
Koki Solo
Natsuki Tamura
Colibri Rojo
Camilia Nebbia


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.