STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15394-CAS2622 LABEL: Nonesuch 7559793572 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Here's an odd one. Afficienados of 60s soul music will recognise Fontella's name as the singer of "Rescue Me", a piece of Motown-esque dance whimsey that hit pop in Britain. When interviewed by a UK blues mag a few years back Fontella came across as a hard nose product of the Chicago blues scene and the only direct comment about the Christian faith was that her gospel singing mother, Martha Bass, had clung a bit too tightly to any money going! Now here is the daughter cutting her second gospel album! So all in all, I've no idea whether Fontella truly believes these songs of faith plucked from the repertoire of Shirley Caesar ("You Don't Know What The Lord Told Me"), the Mighty Clouds Of Joy ("No Ways Tired") and Thomas Dorsey songsheets or whether she's simply doing a bit of 'old time religion' hokum for the white folk/blues record collectors who buy Nonesuch's American Explorer series. Most of the tracks sound like they could have been recorded in the 50s, with a creaking church organ and a blues rifting band. But there's also an excruciating supper club jazz version of Bacharach's "What The World Needs Now" which stands out like 10 sore thumbs. All in all, a real oddity.
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