A Christmas Gift.
I have for a number of years been looking for a decent a cappella
collection of Spirituals. I quelled this desire for awhile with Chanticleer’s superb Where The Sun Never Goes Down
(Electra/Asylum 90878, 1994). But as fine as the Chanticleer effort is, it lacked a certain authenticity. In addition, it suffers from typical Caucasian efforts to iron the perceived wrinkles out of native African-American music that has also plagued the Blues and Swing music.
Acappella fills my cup with inspired Spirituals, sung in a traditional style. “Lord I Know I’ve Been Changed” and “Deep River” highlight the performance differences between Chanticleer and MJGC that are analogous to the differences between the Glenn Miller and the Count Basie Orchestras. The MJGC uses all 45 of its voices to great effect, exuding a sincere dedication, praise and joy. The highlight of highlights is “I Ain’t got time to Die”, which sounds divinely propelled to its coda.
. The sound is full if not recorded a bit far away but this in no way takes away from this superb collection of Traditional Spirituals sung in the most appropriate fashion, acappella.
Personnel: The Montreal Jubilation Choir, Trevor Payne, Director.