Sunday, March 29, 2009

Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound

Another Beautiful Day In Bahrain.

Hello Jazz lovers,

I had planned to continue with :How I got over you!, But thanks to my friend Linda in Atlanta, the focus changed to gospel. I got so involved in the gospel I almost did not make it to the gym.
Linda sent me the attached link of Fantasia and her Mother (a remarkably beautiful woman) singing 'Done Enough", check it out it is posted on Tangle.

Needless to say, this brought back a lot of child hood memories. I started to thinking about a video I had seen in 1996 titled "Say Amen Somebody" and brother Thomas Dorsey who wrote "Precious Lord", my sisters favorite song. So I looked up the film documentary and it is a must see for all you jazz lovers out there. I had loaned out my copy never to be seen again, but that's OK, for it is now available on DVD, and I just reordered.Rykodisc has posted excerpts from the documentary on You Tube and it is worth a view.

It did not stop there, it lead me to You Tube,which in turn had me digging through my collection for Ms Mahalia Jackson's "In the Upper Room", to put in while I wrote, so it became gospel Sunday in here...Well on You Tube there is a clip of Mahalia Jackson sing "Amazing Grace"
so of course I could not stop there. I looked up Aretha's version , which is my favorite and this post was truly born..What amazes me is this song was written in or around 1773 and published or appeared in print in 1779 was written by a Slave Trader, John Newton.

Mahalia Jackson voice still has the ability to move me to tears, her voice brings up memories of mt grandmother. My grandmother could never remember Mahalia's name when in conversation about her and would turn to me (knowing I was listening) and say "baby what is her name baby you know the one who gets so ugly for her lord?"Watch any Mahalia Jackson video and you will understand what my grandmother was talking about,Mahalia's facial expressions when she is singing is amazingly beautiful to watch.

The beauty of the music formed me at an early age.In Moss Bluff I remember the the music that was in the stillness,the singing of birds,the rustle of a small animal in the bush,the far off sound of a dog barking,chickens, cows mooing. Just to experience the all the beautiful shades of green that appears naturally in nature,the brilliant burst of color of a red bird,or wild flowers in spring. The stillness of walking down unlit roads in the early night, under the most brilliant canopy of stars, and to feel amazing joy for just being.

That's what I hear in gospel, to hear Izola on piano, at Mount Calvary hitting a high note that ricochets around the room and back, seeming to just hang in the air,and felt in your soul,And Franks magic fingers on the organ making it impossible not to be moved oh my such amazing grace.

To be at Midway listening to Minnie Play her heart out, gospel, Aunt Mamie's smile,gospel,Grandma's hands, gospel the beat was moving. My favorite song at Midway was when service was letting out, the old folks would sing and "He never said a Mumbling word" (if anyone has the lyrics to that song please send it to me) and then to walk out into night and be enveloped into the night sky , with the melody still running through my head.Happiness is very simple.
After completing this post, I decided to watch a little TV,(a rare thing for me) and guess what was on? Life is Not A Fairy Tale: Fantasia's story, not to be missed Jazz Lovers.

I will leave you with Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, posted by ahlordgod on You Tube:

Recommendations:Handel's Messiah, A Soulful Celebration.
Sounds of Blackness , The Evolution of Gospel.
The Williams Brothers, Still Here.

Keep the Beat





    They led Him to Pilate’s bar
    Not a word, not a word, not a word, not a word
    They led Him to Pilate’s bar
    Not a word, not a word, not a word, not a word
    They led Him to Pilate’s bar
    But He never said a mumblin’ word
    Not a word, not a word, not a word, not a word
    They all cried, “Crucify Him”…

    They nailed Him to the tree…

    They pierced Hi in the side…

    He hung His head and died…

    Wasn’t that a pity and a shame…
    ... & you'll love the significance of each song's 'messages' that were being sent during the days of slavery. i.e. WADE IN THE WATER was instructing run-aways to 'cover the scents' from the hounds used to track them for re-capture.

    Explore it all here on this site.

  2. further research:

    To listen (for the overall gist of the tune):

  3. Since you're in that soulful mood, then try this one out for size. From the original African American threatre scenes of 1982's DREAM GIRLS (Jenifer Holiday):

    Then a remake (2006)would feature another Jennifer (Jennifer Hudson) singing the same song years later:

    JAM ON THIS!!!