Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mahalia Jackson - Greatest Hits
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B, Christian, Gospel
Listen to Samples
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The Finest Gospel Singer God Ever Gave Breath
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although many pressed her, Mahalia Jackson flatly refused to perform anything except gospel. It was a decision that cost her dearly: she would spend the first four decades of her life in poverty and near-poverty, shoring up various business ventures with work as a laundress, singing whenever she could, and recording music that didn't sell. But when success at last came, not only did it come in a big way, it came on her own terms.In the 1950s a series of radio and television appearances launched her to international fame, and over the next two decades she would release some thirty albums, tour extensively in both America and Europe, and even appear in a handful of motion pictures--most notably IMITATION OF LIFE. In the 1960s she also became a tireless worker in the Civil Rights movement, appearing frequently in support of the cause. By the time of her death in 1972, her soulful voice had had tremendous impact on numerous other vocalists (including Aretha Franklin) and she was regarded as the single finest gospel singer of the 20th century. And some thirty years after her death, her work remains tremendously influential and her reputation stands unchallenged.The only thing that could do true justice to Jackson is a box set of remastered recordings, but this inexpensive collection is an ideal introduction for some one interested in but not yet fully familiar with Jackson's work; while such celebrated selections as "Didn't It Rain," "Even Me," and her remarkable interpretation of "Silent Night" are missing, it does include two of Jackson's best known recordings: "The Upper Room" and "Move On Up A Little Higher."But whether it is a famous recording or a lesser-known piece, the simple fact is that Mahalia Jackson could do no wrong when she faced the microphone--something that can scarcely be said for the vast majority of vocalists, no matter how talented. "Walk in Jerusalem" is a knockout; her interpretation of "It Is No Secret" breathes tremendous life and power into an old favorite; "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" is a majestic and moving interpretation of that spiritual classic. Everything here bespeaks her artistry--and everything about her artistry bespeaks her powerful faith.It is true that the recordings here could benefit from a remaster, but even so there are no audible blips or scratches on the recordings--and whatever the case, Jackson's alternately soulful, alternately shout-for-joy voice transcends the audio limitations involved. A truly great introduction to the Queen of Gospel, and strongly recommended--and that's whether you normally like gospel or not!--GFT (Amazon.com Reviewer)--"
Gregor von Kallahann | 11/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This budget line CD should serve as a good introduction to Mahalia Jackson for those unfamiliar with her work. And that, unfortunately, would be a large number of listeners these days. Jackson died in 1972 and while a good deal of her catalog has been made available, hers is not a voice you hear much on the radio these days. (Her songs have turned up on a few recent soundtracks, however).
But then even in her heyday during the 50s and 60s, her refusal to sing anything but gospel doubtless limited her appeal. Which is a shame, since unlike, say, the rather bland Christian pop of today, Mahalia Jackson's appeal is potentially as universal-regardless of the religious convictions of the listener. Simply put, if you like great, passionate, and (as another reviewer posted) downright joyful singing, you will love Mahalia. If anything could give me that old time religion, it would have to be Ms Jackson's gospel singing.
I can hear Mahalia's influence on any number of contemporary secular and gospel singers: Aretha, certainly, and Mavis Staples, Irma Thomas, the list goes on and on.
Ten tracks is scarcely enough to get your feet wet though. And the lack of extensive liner notes (or ANY for that matter) is a little frustrating. But that's what budget lines do: wet those feet...and your whistle to boot. After listening to Mahalia's strong stately voice on these ten inspiring tracks, it's hard to imagine anyone not wanting more.
Move me on up a little higher.