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SR5007: Glory! Glory!   -- Reverend Dwayne R. Mason

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"This 42-year-old pastor of Body Soul and Spirit Ministries, on the South Side of Chicago, has a great piano sound: heavy, even and exact, everything grounded in blues and boogie-woogie. "Glory! Glory!," an album just released on The Sirens, a small Chicago label, presents gospel standards in a low-pressure atmosphere, most of them with only the drummer Kendrick Jackson and, here and there, the singer Sydne Evans. You don't find many gospel albums like this; it's like a contemplative recital, with funk rhythm."

Ben Ratliff, Jazz Critic, The New York Times, November 23, 2003

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Press / Music CD Reviews

“… On his debut CD, Glory! Glory!, Rev. Mason deftly shifts from blues to boogie-woogie to Pentecostal piano as he plays through fourteen standards in the gospel music canon. On some tracks he seems to blend all styles together for a true musical gumbo. … Rev. Mason’s Glory! Glory! demonstrates that, when it comes to sanctified song, the piano is still king. Grade =A”

Bob Marovich, The Black Gospel Blog Nov. 23, 2004

“Services at the Rev. Dwayne R. Mason’s South Side Chicago ministry must be a genuine joy. Mason, who has been playing piano since age 6 and who credits his talent to divine inspiration, imparts a bit of that joy and good fellowship on Glory! Glory! … Mason has stuck close to gospel for most of his musical life, but there are strong jazz and blues strains in his music; he’s in Chicago after all. “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “Twelve Gates to the City” almost have a barrelhouse feel, and the beat of “I’ll Fly Away” might make you want to dance. … The recording has a very intimate sound, as if it were made in a fairly small room. … At times, it sounds as though Mason is playing just for you.”

Genevieve Williams, Blues Revue June/July 2004

“… What makes Glory! Glory! Unique is that it is one of the few extended examples of solo gospel piano ever released. In church, the pianist most often plays accompaniment, usually playing solo only when providing incidental music between the sermon and choir selections. Though it is essentially a solo piano album, Mason is joined throughout by the ideally unobtrusive drummer Kendrick M. Jackson and on five of the fourteen numbers by vocalist Sydne Evans, whose soothing alto tone and relaxed phrasing recall those of the late Danniebelle Hall. The disc comes as a welcome antidote to the high gloss of most contemporary gospel.”

Lee Hildebrand, Living Blues Jan/Feb 2004

“… a set of holy and sanctified piano by Rev. Dwayne R. Mason with only Kendrick Jackson’s drums for support. Gospel music is, of course, an important component of both Jazz and blues so a lot of the rhythms here should sound familiar even if you don’t know the hymns. Mason doesn't embellish on the melodies too much, but he knows how to put them across with authority. The march and stomp tempos of “I’ll Fly Away” and “Glory Glory” really move while “Something About That Name” sounds like a piano blues restructured with major chords. On several cuts, Sydne Evans joins in singing, providing a strong, lovely voice that gives further emphasis to the inspirational side of this music. Having been cut in a studio, this set is more subdued than it would be had it been recorded live during a church service. But it still emerges as moving work, a great example of the simple joys of gospel music.”

Jerome Wilson, Cadence March 2004
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