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Album Review

Heartbroken after his mother died in 2005, the usually prolific Richard Smallwood spent the next four years without writing a song. Promises — and once you hear the album, that’s a layered choice of a title — is the conceptual result of Smallwood emerging from these dark times, with an uplifting outlook on both life and death. This album-long conversation with God begins with a dramatic, Hollywood-like intro, swerves into classic gospel-choir territory, and then travels across many musical genres. Highlight “Mender” nostalgically incorporates some New Jack Swing, while “Praying for Peace” chills out smooth jazz style with special guest vocalist Lalah Hathaway. Longtime fans of the man’s work with the choir should check “Trust Me,” which comes with a fascinating arrangement where voices seem to sway back and forth. In the end, Smallwood’s return is as poignant as expected, but that he was able to innovate and evolve with such a heavy heart is stunning.

Customer Reviews

Absolutely Life Changing!!

Richard Smallwood and Vision have returned with the most explosive and on time annointing imaginable! The lyrics, music and vocals are absolutely flawless! Every song speaks and encourages what we are going through in this time and brings to us encouragement and understanding. I have cried, rejoiced, and cried again while listening to Promises because it is truly a life line to my situation. This CD is a MUST PURCHASE as it will give you the support and encouragement you need.


Born: November 30, 1948 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Inspirational

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A tenured, talented, and respected inspirational pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer with over four decades in the gospel music business, Richard Smallwood was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 30, 1948. After graduating from Howard University (his classmates included Donny Hathaway, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad), where he earned degrees in vocal performance and piano, Smallwood taught music at the University of Maryland and eventually formed the Richard Smallwood Singers, putting out...
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Promises, Richard Smallwood
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