- Released: May 30, 1995
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/03, p.1244 stars out of 5
- "...Mahalia gave thanks through slow tempo spirituals and gentle hymnal odes..."t
Personnel includes: Mahalia Jackson (vocals); James E. Raney, Clifton Best, H. Ellis (guitar); Mildred Falls, E. Robinson (piano); Alfred Miller, Ralph Jones, B. Preston, Willie Webb, Edward Robinson (organ); Addison Farmer, Walter Page, K. Mitchell, Aaron Bell (bass); James Osie Johnson, Gordon Powell, S. Manne, Gus Johnson (drums); The Jack Halloran Singers.
The Mildred Falls Trio: Mildred Falls (piano); Lilton M. Mitchell (organ); Tom Bryant, Milt Hinton (bass).
The Falls-Jones Ensemble: Mildred Falls (piano); Ralph Jones (organ); Jack Lasberg, Frank Carroll, Milt Hinton (bass); Bunny Shawker, Gus Johnson (drums).
Duke Ellington And His Orchestra: Duke Ellington (conductor); Ray Nance (violin, trumpet); William H. Graham, James Hamilton, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney (saxophone); Harold Baker, Clark Terry, William Anderson (trumpet); John C. Sanders, Quentin L. Jackson, Britt Woodman (trombone); James Woode (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Recorded in New York; Chicago, Illinois; Hollywood, California; live in Sweden; and live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island between November 23, 1954 and March 11, 1963. Includes liner notes by M. Elliot Neal.
By the late 1950s, Mahalia Jackson was a bona fide superstar, performing on radio and television, and at jazz festivals and concerts in the United States and abroad. These recordings, culled from sessions cut at the peak of Jackson's commercial success (1954-1963), show her in top vocal form. Jackson brought an earthy dimension to the pious sound of traditional church music, inflecting her phrases with swinging cadences and bluesy flourishes. Jackson's sound and passionate Christian messages struck a common chord with people of all colors, and the demand for some of her recordings--many of which are included on this set--went through the roof.
Jackson brings a vitality to traditional songs like "Trouble of the World" that infuses the material with new life. Her treatment of Rev. W.H. Brewster's "I Will Move on Up a Little Higher" is also here. Her jubilees, hymns, and spirituals are sometimes imbued with a quiet intensity, and sometimes overflow with exuberance and joy (her fine backing bands and choirs don't hurt either). While not a comprehensive career overview, THE BEST OF is a superb one-stop introduction to one of gospel's all-time greats.