Brother Joe May - Live 1952-1955

Wednesday 1st June 1994
Brother Joe May - Live 1952-1955
Brother Joe May - Live 1952-1955

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 4841-5591
LABEL: Ace CDCHD565
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Ace are doing wonderful things in digging deep to gospel's roots. These tracks, previously unissued, are by a near legendary performer whose studio records, his admirers insisted, never did him justice. So here his effortlessly soulful, sinuous voice is allowed full range to growl, moan and slur his way through a selection of his old hits plus numbers like Mahalia Jackson's signature tunes "Move On Up A Little Higher" and "How I Got Over". Bags of atmosphere with the crudity of the recording and occasional musical deficiencies (like the out-of-tune guitar on "Speak Lord Jesus") only spoiling a few tracks. There are some famous guests helping Brother Joe out on some songs too - the Prof J Earle Hines, Anette May (Brother Joe's fiery-voiced daughter) and the matriarch of gospel Sallie Martin. Historic interest aplenty, but some good listening too.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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