STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9413-9119 LABEL: Flapper PASTCD7073 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £11.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Marian's trained contralto may not be everybody's favourite vehicle for hearing those mournfully wistful spirituals like "Deep River", "City Called Heaven", "Were You There" while the Uncle Tom quality inherent in spellings like "O Wasn't Dat A Wide, Wide Ribber" might make some African American music enthusiasts wince. But for me this compilation is a fascinating and at times quite beautiful album. These 19 recordings, made between 1930 and 1939, fully capture the pure, transcendent beauty of Marian's voice while these songs - long neglected but now apparently attracting fresh support from the black community - are often spine-tinglingly lovely. The 'Spirituals' title is slightly misleading as there are two classical romantic ballads tacked on the end.
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