Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1942-1944 Vol 2

Published Sunday 12th November 2006
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1942-1944 Vol 2
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1942-1944 Vol 2

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 19695-10722
LABEL: Document DOCD5335
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Chris Tozer

Like many great artists Sister Rosetta Tharpe defied style labelling right to the very end of her long career. Unlike other great black artists such as Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick, she never dropped the religious material of her early days in the hometown church choir. Indeed, as this album graphically illustrates, she was determined to take her own brand of gospel to the masses, via the music industry, without comprising her beliefs or her art. Yet, at the same time, she was incredibly adept at contemporising her material to the music of the moment, as the opening track shows. Although lyrically "I Want A Tall Skinny Papa" was a rare departure from her religious roots, the way that she was able to fuse rhythm and blues with a big band jazz ensemble typifies her ability to be a first class musical chameleon. Even folk music fans will find interest in this historical album as it includes early incarnations of skiffle classics such as "This Train (Is Bound For Glory)" and "Down By The Riverside". Students of early '70s worship may also be amazed to find that "Oh, Oh, Oh, How Good Is The Lord" bears a striking resemblance to Tharpe's recording of "What He's Done For Me". And throughout these recordings there are lashings of Rosetta's excitingly rhythmic guitar playing. Set in its historical context this is clearly an important release.

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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