Author Topic: Lift Every Voice: The Historic Songs Of James Weldon Johnson  (Read 2170 times)


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Lift Every Voice: The Historic Songs Of James Weldon Johnson
« on: February 24, 2013, 03:37:19 am »
Did anyone read the Amazon review of this CD?  I'm posting it here because it was so amazing!

More Melinda At Last - Keep 'em Coming February 20, 2013
By Larry Badgley
Amazon Verified Purchase
As an ardent fan of the most incredible vocalist I've ever heard on a TV talent show or anywhere else, I was worried that the great Melinda Doolittle might drift away after her fantastic debut album, as so many flash-in-the-pan instant TV celebrities have. Ms. Doolittle is far better than that, a great artist - and this time the overused term can be applied in earnest - that I wanted to have the opportunity to appreciate for years to come. Happliy, she continues to show up sporadically - fellow fans should definitely check out her glorious version of "Over The Rainbow" on Lou Pallo's tribute album to Les Paul, or her wondrous gospel turn on Encore: The Best Of The Clark Sisters. And now this extraordinary treat - 30 songs (and at a great price). Sure, the songs are all a hundred years old or more, but the performances here do for the music of another era what the Pointer Sisters once did for vintage clothing, making them fascinating for modern ears. Not every song of James Weldon Johnson's is greatness, but almost every one of the performances here certainly is. Her sultry "Treat Me Like A Boby Doll", one of the most fun tracks, would be at home in any plush cabaret today; her touching "Morning, Noon And Night" has a stunning, soothing purity. Classily respecting the originals, Ms. Doolittle avoids adding any intrusive contemporary styling embellishments (read: galloping vocally all over the place when just one good power note is called for), although we well know she can do them masterfully; rather she sings the songs as they were intended to be sung, with breathtaking tone and control, and emotion that inspires, makes you smile and touches your heart. The gospel-tinged title track is the centerpiece of course, and as stunning an example of the art singing as you will find. Dare you to resist it. The sparse accompaniment (just a piano, as the songs were no doubt originally performed) occasionally makes me long for a bigger band (would love to hear Baby Doll with a little more atmosphere sometime), but it also gives the vocal artistry a chance to stand on its own and the Voice a chance to truly shine. As you might expect, it suceeds. Us fans throughout the country can only hope Melinda keeps on surfacing now and then - after all, ANY Melinda is better than most anything by anybody else. She can sing ANY style of music as if she has been singing it all her life - and I for one hope she keeps on singing all of it, everything there is, and giving us all a chance to hear it all done right, for a long time to come. This girl belongs with the greats.
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Re: Lift Every Voice: The Historic Songs Of James Weldon Johnson
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 09:09:58 pm »
Thanks, Desiree!    Huzzah!   Thanks   Rose

Stand often in the company of dreamers:
  they tickle your common sense & believe you can achieve
  things which are impossible.
          maryanne radmacher


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Re: Lift Every Voice: The Historic Songs Of James Weldon Johnson
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 12:56:09 am »
Definitely a great review....and so accurate....loved reading it... Thanks Des....


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Re: Lift Every Voice: The Historic Songs Of James Weldon Johnson
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 06:28:36 pm »
 Jaw-Dropping WOW! Fantastic!

Thanks Desiree. Big hug