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Jim Gross | Circle of the Lord

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United States - New Mexico

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Spiritual: Praise & Worship Easy Listening: Soft Rock Moods: Christian
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Circle of the Lord

by Jim Gross

A collection of original Christian and gospel songs that have moving lyrical and musical content.
Genre: Spiritual: Praise & Worship
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. It's a New Day
4:27 $0.99
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2. Find Christ in Yourself
4:18 $0.99
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3. Never Too Late
5:48 $0.99
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4. Circle of the Lord
5:38 $0.99
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5. Father of Us All
3:52 $0.99
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6. Mother of Mercy
4:25 $0.99
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7. If You Believe
3:31 $0.99
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8. Never Used to Wander
3:43 $0.99
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9. Hear My Voice
3:54 $0.99
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10. Blessed Are Your People
5:05 $0.99
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11. Promise Me
4:26 $0.99
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12. Dona Nobis Pacem
1:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
An original collection of Christian songs and gospel music, written by Jim Gross, arranged by Jim and Alan Gross and recorded at Carousel Studios in Albuquerque, NM. This project includes some cool guitar solos between me and Alan as well as several talented soloists and members of the amazing 12:15 choir at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Albuquerque. I hope you enjoy!

The album begins and ends with the melody of Dona Nobis Pacem, a traditional canon. Several amazing singers donated time to bring these songs to life. I originally wrote these songs in 2009 (5 years before recording them). So Alan, my 20 year old son said to me one day t needed to finish the project. So I asked him to co-produce the album and feature a lot of his great talent on the guitar.

It's a New Day and Circle of the Lord were the first songs we recorded... and then a year long break from the album. It is a straight forward message that incorporates parts of the Our Father prayer. Great choir work all through. Tiffany Kidner did a very cool scat at the end! This was to be the title of the album but I Googled and found too many people had used this title for songs in the past, so I decided on Circle of the Lord which had not been used. Also much thanks to Julie Sanchez, Marina Donez, Melody Konior, Blesila Hartom and Jacqueline Medici... the heart of the Holy Rosary Choir!

When I started the album I knew I wanted a few gospel style songs on it. Not having any experience I was lost until I met Amani Malaika!! She came in to record Find Christ in Yourself and said "do you mind if I take a few liberties with the melody?" Knowing I was out of my league with Amani at the mic I said sure, and this was the result! I could not stop listening to it... until she returned to record Hear My Voice!! Thanks Amani for bringing gospel to Circle of the Lord!!

I had a blast playing with the solo parts of Never Too Late. This is why I got into music in the first place... counterpoint! I added a Spanish guitar solo into straight ahead choir oooh's bathed in liberal reverb and then lost control of the chords. Honestly, I wanted to see how far I could get away from the key and come back naturally into the verse. It was more of a math exercise for me than a music recording! What a blast!! Thanks choir for great vocals on this piece! Also Jenaya Howard brought fresh harmonies to key changes.

I had my hands full with Circle of the Lord trying to mic a drum set. This song was written as an upbeat tune to include prayers of the faithful than can be used in a Mass. Alan Gross and I had a blast with "Eagles-style" electric guitar solos. At the last minute I ran upstairs and asked a Alissa Rieb (a violin instructor) to jump in and add a violin harmony. Thanks Julie Sanchez for the tight harmony!!

Father Of Us All was such a special piece to add to the album because of my friendship with Paul. I tried singing it and realized it was just another song with my vocals... to bring the dramatic story of Christ's crucifixion to life vocally the song clearly needed Paul Bower. Paul's vocals on verse 3 bring the words of Christ on the cross to life. It's been great working with you over the years Paul!

While I struggled with 5 complete rewrites of Mother Of Mercy one thing never changed: from the start I wanted to ask Tiffany Kidner to record it for me. I finally found the perfect melody and the Holy Rosary choir brought the chorus to life. After all was recorded this became one of my favorites... maybe because of the Hail Mary prayer at the song end. I could not have done this album without the dedication of the entire Kidner family: Ron, Tiffany, Breanne and Jonathan! Great recording thanks to Tiffany and the choir!

Even though I wrote If You Believe - it was a bit of a problem for me lyrically because Catholics don't usually struggle with issues about believing in God. The song was also musically difficult since I wanted the verses to be sung in phrases. I asked the Holy Rosary choir to learn and record this in about one hour. Given the difficulty of the phrasing the tight recording shows how amazing this group really is!

When I asked the amazing Suzan Tipton to record the very haunting melody to Never Used To Wander I was not sure what she would say! It is a dead serious song asking God to wait for me. It has Spanish overtones and a full-blown Eddy Van Halen style electric guitar solo by Alan Gross! To soften it I used an acoustic bass and drums only during the solo. This also shows how well organ sounds work with rock and acoustic guitar... they go with anything!! For me this is one of the more interesting melodies on this album! Thanks Suzan for making this song so special!

Hear My Voice was such a great piece to do! The lyrics come from Psalm 27... really beautiful, so that left the tune. I had a classical guitar piece written ready to record on my next instrumental guitar album so I recorded that but still did not like the melody. So I called Amani Malaika, who sang this and asked her to write a pretty counter melody to go with the guitar. This was the result after one take in the studio. Thanks Amani!!

Blessed Are Your People had rich lyrics (the Beatitudes) and a great 4 part harmony with the Holy Rosary Choir. It needed more build so I asked Jenaya Howard to come and work up solo and duet parts to build to the rich harmonies in the middle. Thanks Jenaya and choir for an amazing recording!! Jenaya sang along with the Holy Rosary choir throughout much of this album and I consider her one of us. Come join us any Sunday at 12:15 Jenaya and Scott!!

When I asked Suzan Tipton to record Promise Me, the song was split into 3 different files. I recorded the last part with the slow jazz piano 1st and bought a snare drum sound on iTunes to tie Alan's guitar solo to the vocal section after the solo. Alan added the solo guitar chords to tie the song to the solo. Great fun jamming with Alan on this one... HE IS ONE AMAZING GUITARIST! Suzan's vocals are so innocent and inviting on this song! Thanks Suzan for helping me record this gift for my wife!!

Finally, Dona Nobis Pacem was entered in a 2009 world music contest in which the winner won a recording contract with Yo Yo Ma. I combined Dona Nobis Pacem with Pange Lingua which you hear played as a counter melody on the 2nd verse. As a runner up I was mentioned on NPR and as a result reunited musically with many great friends including my high school teacher from the late 70's in Los Angeles! Music is truly universal!!






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Reviews


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Clyde Yoshida

Easy on the Ears!
The musicianship, the musical elements of surprise and the optimism found in Jim's lyrics are features that entertain the ears and strengthen the human spirit. Listen to the rhythm changes that add dimension to Promise Me. I love the acoustic qualities and intimate soulfulness of this CD, especially the guitar work in Hear My Voice. And, speaking of voices, the vocal tracks are superb and heartfelt. Jim's skillful craft as both a keyboardist and guitarist are a wonder and his songwriting pairs great musical melody with lyrics to match. My person favorite is Mother of Mercy.
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Joyce

Top of the CD charts! ❤️
Energetic instruments, +great guitar "licks" = excellent praise! You HAVE to have this in your collection. It is THE best!
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Donnelly Fenn

Circle of the Lord
"Circle of the Lord" is a marvelous expression of faith as reflected through the unusual musical talents of Jim Gross. It is a fantastic accomplishment, and all parts of it are of such professional quality. I am very impressed with the overall musicality and Jim's unerring melodic, rhythmic and harmonic instincts and production decisions. This set of songs deserves a wide audience because it is so full of inspiration and will touch many people deeply. Where did Jim find those excellent singers? They are all truly of professional quality, including Jim's sensitive and warm voice. I loved his duet on "Blessed Are Your People". The tenor on "Father of Us All" is absolutely wonderful in all respects. And the unison voices on "If You Believe...so clear, easy, musical." So many of the songs are so good, that I really can't choose a favorite.
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