Billed as a companion piece to the new, concurrently released book, "Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia," this 14-song collection of both new and classic material from a formidable cast of g

Billed as a companion piece to the new, concurrently released book, "Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia," this 14-song collection of both new and classic material from a formidable cast of gospel notables stands as a strong work entirely on its own. Mavis Staples is mesmerizing on "God Is Not Sleeping." Cissy Houston turns Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You" into a rousing, Sunday morning workout, and Jessy Dixon does patriarch James Cleveland proud on "It's All Right Now." But of greatest note is the book in whose formidable shadow this album is cast. As the first truly comprehensive, credible compendium of gospel music and the people who created it, it is an invaluable and long overdue gem; and its "accompanying" CD is a sweet sampling of the vast riches of a truly seminal, priceless American art form.

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