GOSPEL ALIVE - SACRED RECORDINGS MADE IN THE FIELD (2CD)
Claude Jeter & The Swan Silvertones, The Morning Echoes of Detroit, The Pilgrim Travelers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Spirit of Memphis Quartet, Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes, Mahalia Jackson, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, The Golden Gate Quartet with Josh White, Joe DeLoatch & The 60 Voice Back Home Choir of the Greater Harvest Baptists Church of Newark New Jersey, The Celestial Trio with Thomas A Dorsey & Big Ernest Crawford, Brother Joe Martin with the Sallie Martin Singers and more...
Gospel expert Opal Louis Nations has been rooting round in the archives again and come out with fifty two solid live gospel slabs of excellence that will put goose pimples on your goose pimples.
Nations selected the tracks from obscure albums and forty-fives on labels like Decca, Westminster, King, Proverb, Miracle Valley, Denderli and Vee-Jay as well as long-forgotten AFRS Jubilee Transcriptions, radio shows, never released test pressings and a whole pile of unissued Specialty recordings from the mid-fifties. The recordings were made in Baptist churches, tent revivals, rural radio stations, sports stadiums, Masonic temples and prestigious venues like Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium and the Savoy Ballroom in New York.
And what wonderful stuff it is. The Pilgrim Travelers, Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes and the Swan Silvertones step up and roar at their audiences on the unissued Specialties, Goldia Haynes shreds the walls on her strident open-throated version of There's Going To Be A Fire and Sister Rosetta Tharpe sparkles with down-home advice, quick wit and stunning guitar licks on God Don't Like It and So High - two songs recorded during her actual wedding ceremony at the Griffin Stadium, Washington in 1951! It's so easy to get carried away by the stupendous performances like Sister Ernestine Washington's I Know The Lord Will Make A Way and before you can get your breath back Brother Joe May is searing his way through I Want Jesus On The Road and then the Spirit Of Memphis Quartet come along and blow the roof off with their six minute house-wrecker Lord Jesus Parts 1&2.
There are over three hours of heart-lifting heart-searing stuff on this JSP 3CD set and, as Opal Louis Nations says, "If this doesn't have you off your feet and into the air, nothing will".
Review Date: October 2011