Gospel group Clarkwise, consisting of four sisters from Greensboro, NC, is poised to release their long-awaited debut CD entitled "Brand New" on the Omnific Music Label. This single is a timeless song entitled "The Christ-mas Song (Merry Christ-mas To You)".
"The Christ-mas Song" was composed by Paul E Irving for a local church project for the United Holy Church of America; Southern District Convocation of Goldsboro, NC, entitled "Hark The Herald Pastors Sing". The song is a warm, jazz-infused ballad that takes one back to a much simpler time when Christmas was pure and innocent. Paul, a composer for the Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar Mass Choir, penned it as an attempt to capture the true essence of what Christmas is all about.
Paul Irving enlisted the help of his brother to produce the song; his brother just happens to be Robert "Baabe" Irving, III, a world-renowned pianist and former Music Director and composer for Jazz Legend Miles Davis. Robert called in jazz greats Ernie Adams on drums and Marlene Rosenberg on acoustic bass to lay the foundation. Robert Irving recounts, "Paul (Irving) has composed what is sure to be a staple in Christmas repertoire for years to come. When recording the music (with vocals yet to be added) the players couldn't get the tune out of their heads... add to that lyrics that have high esthetics and deep meaning and you have a perfect vehicle for the unmatched vocal quality of Chris Murrell, Rochell Irving and Clarkwise."
"The Christ-mas Song" features the lead vocals of Rochell C Irving of the gospel group Clarkwise and Chris Murrell. Chris Murrell is the former lead singer for the Count Basie Orchestra and won a Grammy Award with the group for the album "Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild", recorded in Pittsburgh, PA. As a teenager, Chris traveled and performed throughout the US with his own seven-piece gospel group, the Christian Disciples which included music director and arranger Robert Irving III. Murrell and Irving have worked together on various projects for the past twenty years. Chris regularly visits Monte Carlo performing at the MC Sporting Club at the Hotel de Paris, and just happened to be in town when Paul Irving gave him a call to catch up on old times.
Paul mentioned the song in passing and Chris said that he would like to check it out. Upon hearing the initial tracks over the phone, Chris remarked, "Paul, I have got to do that song!" Since Murrell already appears on the song "I Worship You" on the Clarkwise forthcoming release entitled "Brand New", it was an easy decision to include the song on the Clarkwise project.
Rochell C Irving of Clarkwise states, "We are delighted to be a part of the "Christ-mas Song" project. As always, I enjoy partaking in music ministry with my sisters. Singing is our God-given gift, and we are grateful; to have an added treat of singing the duet with the vocal maestro Chris Murrell is indeed a special honor. I learned some wonderful vocal techniques as he pulled from the pockets of his vocal briefcase. Chris has an awesome gift that should be treasured."
"The Christ-mas Song" is a single from Clarkwise's debut CD. The project is produced by Robert (Baabe) Irving III and Denver A. Wright, producer for R&B-turned-Gospel crooner Tony Terry, and Paul Irving, most noted for his work with the Edwin Hawkins and Bishop Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Love Fellowship Choir.
Robert Irving III has called in some of his friends to make things sizzle. Bassists include, in addition to Marlene Rosenberg, Darryl "The Munch" Jones of The Rolling Stones and Michael Manson of The Winans and Tremaine Hawkins. Drummers include, in addition to Ernie Adams, Vincent Wilburn Jr, Miles Davis' nephew and Charles Heath of The Color Purple Tour. Edwin Hawkins serves as the Music Consultant for the project.
Omnific Music LLC is a gospel music label established in 2005 and headquartered in Durham, NC. Omnific Music is a Christian-based company that strives to provide innovative Gospel/Christian music that does not compromise Christian values.