Mahalia Jackson The Essential Mahalia Jackson (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: March 2, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Sony
Paste (magazine) - "There is truth in Mahalia Jackson's vibrant contralto. Joy. Beauty. Strength. Sadness. Spirituality and redemption."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.How I Got Over (Mono) (Live)
- 2.Trouble OF The World (Mono)
- 3.He's Got The Whole World In His Hands (Live)
- 4.Walk In Jerusalem
- 5.Were You There? (Live)
- 6.Walk On By Faith
- 7.His Eye Is On The Sparrow
- 8.I Found The Answer
- 9.Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Mono)
- 10.Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
- 11.The Lord's Prayer (Live)
- 12.Walk Over God's Heaven (Mono)
- 13.My God Is Real
- 14.Just A Little While To Stay Here
- 15.There Is A Balm In Gilead (Live)
- 16.When The Saints Go Marching In (Live)
- 17.Let The Church Roll On (Mono)
- 18.You'll Never Walk Alone (Live)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.In The Upper Room Listen Listen Listen
- 2.Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen Listen Listen Listen
- 3.Calvary (Live) Listen Listen Listen
- 4.Didn't It Rain (Live) Listen Listen Listen
- 5.If I Can Help Somebody Listen Listen Listen
- 6.I'm On My Way (Live) Listen Listen Listen
- 7.I Can Put My Trust In Jesus Listen Listen Listen
- 8.It Don't Cost Very Much Listen Listen Listen
- 9.Part IV (Aka Come Sunday) Listen Listen Listen
- 10.Down By The Riverside (Mono) Listen Listen Listen
- 11.0Dig A Little Deeper Listen Listen Listen
- 12.Come On Children, Let's Sing Listen Listen Listen
- 13.I've Been Buked Listen Listen Listen
- 14.I Will Move On Up A Little Higher (Part I) Listen Listen Listen
- 15.I Will Move On Up A Little Higher (Part 2) Listen Listen Listen
- 16.Great Gettin' Up Morning Listen Listen Listen
- 17.I'm Goin' To Live the Life I Sing About In My Song (Live) Listen Listen Listen
- 18.The Treasure Of Love (Mono) Listen Listen Listen
- 19.Elijah Rock (Live) Listen Listen Listen
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel includes: Mahalia Jackson (vocals); Herb Ellis, Art Ryerson (guitar); Mildred Falls, Edward "Eddie" Robinson (piano); Bill Preston, Lilton M. Mitchell, Charles Clancy, Ralph Jones (organ); Keith Mitchell, Aaron Bell, Addison Farmer (bass); Shelly Manne, Gordon Powell (drums); The Falls-Jones Ensemble.
Producers: John Hammond, Irving Townsend, George Avakian, Cal Lampley.
Compilation producer: Nedra Olds-Neal.
Recorded between 1954 & 1968. Includes liner notes by Horance Clarence Boyer.
Mahalia Jackson rewrote the rules for singing gospel in the late '40s by bringing blues phrasing and other secular elements into sacred song, and with her powerful alto, she sang with an immediacy and conviction that are still startling when they break out of the speakers some 30 years after her death. This two-disc set collects tracks from Jackson's long stay at Columbia Records, as well as a few tracks from her previous label, Apollo Records, where she recorded from 1947 until signing with Columbia in 1954. What makes this set feel like more than a greatest-hits collection is the inspired sequencing, which doesn't move chronologically but instead is paced like a concert, helped by the placement of key live tracks, including several from her historic appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Highlights are almost too many to mention, but her elegant version of "Come Sunday" with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra is majestic in scope, and her interpretations of a pair of Thomas A. Dorsey compositions, "It Didn't Cost Very Much" and "I'm Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song" are definitive. The funky "Let the Church Roll On," featuring some wonderful stop-start stuttering piano work from Mildred Falls, rocks the house, as does the rousing, jazzy version of "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" that is included here. A beautiful and heartbreaking reading of "I've Been Buked" from Columbia's tape archives is another obvious high point. No one could worry over a note like Mahalia Jackson. The Essential Mahalia Jackson makes a marvelous introduction to the Colombia Records era of this powerful and soulful singer, and coupled with the earlier three-disc Apollo Sessions, paints a complete picture of an American treasure. ~ Steve Leggett
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