Mavis Staples, Lucky Peterson - Spirituals And Gospels: Dedicated To Mahalia Jackson

Tuesday 1st April 1997
Mavis Staples, Lucky Peterson - Spirituals And Gospels: Dedicated To Mahalia Jackson
Mavis Staples, Lucky Peterson - Spirituals And Gospels: Dedicated To Mahalia Jackson

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Verve 3145335622

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

'Spirituals And Gospels' is a tribute to the greatest gospel singer of all time, Mahalia Jackson. Taking a Mahalia-style "simple is best" approach. Staples sings to the piano or organ accompaniment of Peterson. 10 million miles away from her recent recordings for Prince's Paisley Park label. This is a return to the singer's roots when a very young Mavis hung with Mahalia. The song selection is a little obvious - "Swing Low", "Were You There?" and "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands", etc but Staples' voice thrives in this uncluttered environment. Simple songs from a simpler time still have a power in the hands of Peterson's skilful playing creating a groove of his own (check out "Wade In The Water") while Staples pours everything into her soaring and swooping intense vocal. My faves are the rasping but emotionally charged "Precious Lord" and the joyful "I'll Fly Away" which features some fine Hammond playing from Peterson's gliding fingers. "Go Down Moses" is another opportunity to hear Peterson and Staples in perfect union - Staples' passionate gospelising and Peterson's quite frankly brilliant improvisational playing. Superb!

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Reader Comments

Posted by Marsha in Pasadena, CA @ 03:43 on Apr 23 2015

This cd is outstanding. I truly enjoy the selections chosen and the rare talents of Ms. Staples and Mr. Peterson!!! What a great collaboration!!

Posted by Ray Ray in New York @ 04:40 on May 3 2007

This was not as good as mavis could have done. Everybody like her she has quite a name in music but lets tell the truth this record is not that good. Mavis voice is not what it was yes shes older but lets not forget voice quality is required even if your name is mavis staples. shes been on tv a new record is out i thought the new one was worse than this one it stirrs tomany bad feelings in people. I have heard a lot better in the local churches.

Posted by Mrs Thelma Wright in MO (Show Me State) @ 17:55 on May 2 2007

mavis was a good singer. But this album dissapointed me a bit. it sounded lonesome tired like she needed the others to come full force. we love mavis but in honesty this aint her best she seem to have lost that umpf she had

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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