Mahalia Jackson - The Essence Of Mahalia Jackson

Published Monday 24th May 2010
Mahalia Jackson - The Essence Of Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson - The Essence Of Mahalia Jackson

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 93845-16568
LABEL: Superbird SBIRD0008

Reviewed by Peter Timmis

As I'm sure most Cross Rhythms readers will be well aware, Mahalia Jackson, or "The First Queen Of Gospel", is one of the most influential gospel artists of all time. Her career spanned nearly 40 years with over 35 album releases and is littered with groundbreaking achievements; in 1950 she became the first gospel singer to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall, in 1961 she was chosen to sing at the inauguration of John F Kennedy, in 1968 she sang at the funeral of her close friend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Rather than the early recordings Mahalia cut for Apollo Records - which have been hugely over compiled onto literally dozens of compilations - the tracks here are from her work recorded for Columbia Records between 1954 and 1963 and bring back into catalogue some absolute gems. Here the gospel star demonstrates the sheer joy she got from singing about her love of God. Favourites like "In The Upper Room" and "Didn't It Rain" are joined by tracks such as "My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real") recorded in 1958. The latter is a real highlight where Mahalia's silky smooth tones shine against a backing of a lone organ. Another welcome inclusion is an atmospheric live rendition of "I'm On My Way" where Ms Jackson's rousing vocal is complimented by the sublime musicianship of regular backing band The Mildred Falls Trio. Powerful sentiments sung with conviction, every home should have at least one album by this gospel great.

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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