Having earned great success in Europe, the Cleveland born Liz McComb is seeking equal recognition in her native land. McComb grew up in the Cleveland area and sang with various church choirs. With hopes of breaking into the Broadway scene, she wound up in New York and was discovered by a European producer.
In Europe, Liz joined the Jean Austin Singers and the "Roots of Rock ŒN' Roll" revue in the 1980s. Within the revue, she opened for Bessie Griffin and shared the stage with Ray Charles, Taj Mahal and James Brown. European critics were quick to adopt Liz McComb and compared her to Nina Simone and Mahalia Jackson. While I won't go quite that far, I will say that this singer is a very special talent and deserves your attention. She has great range and injects an intense vocal fire into each song. Her piano style is energetic and creative with a slight echo of the great Mildred Falls who accompanied Mahalia Jackson during her heyday with Columbia Records. Above all, her piano playing is heavy-handed; just the way good gospel should be.
Since returning to North America, Liz has appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival and New York's Lincoln Center. Remaining the toast of Paris, she never fails to pack the Olympia. This CD is packed with McComb's own compositions intermixed with traditional items. I especially liked "You Can't Hurry God", "Give Him Up" and one of her most requested songs titled "Fire." The latter is an emotionally charged eleven minute production number and a three-minute "radio remix" is added for broadcast use.
This is the first gospel recording to land on my desk and having been a fan of vintage Afro-American gospel for years, it's most welcome. Liz McComb is a breath of fresh air and an honest performer.