Various Artists

In the Spirit: The Gospel and Jubilee Recordings of Trumpet Records

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Between 1950 and 1953, the tiny Trumpet label based in Jackson, MS, issued some 30 superb spiritual sides, the best of which are found on this invaluable 16-track set. While the names that make up In the Spirit aren't immediately familiar, the performances are uniformly strong; Hugh Dent, a protégé of Brother Joe May, shows off a rich baritone on a group of tracks highlighted by "In the End," while the veteran St. Andrews Gospelaires resurrect the traditional jubilee style on their two cuts, the first ever recorded under the Trumpet banner. Although one wishes Alligator had reissued all of the label's gospel output, perhaps as a two-disc set, this is still essential listening for committed fans of the genre.

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