Various Artists

Introduction to Gospel [Fuel 2000]

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It's no secret that black gospel lent several viable musical templates to pop music, prefiguring in many ways R&B, soul, and doo wop, not to mention the constant interchange that goes on between gospel and the blues, which fit together like two sides of a coin, the way Saturday night and Sunday morning are inevitably linked in our psyches, no matter how much we try to untangle them. This delightful little gospel sampler has tons of stomping good energy, including a pair of gems from the Soul Stirrers, "When the Gates Swing Open" (which lacks only a secular theme from being straight soul) and "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" (which prefigures urban doo wop), a wonderful chunk of sacred R&B from the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama ("Morning Train"), plus the blues/gospel mix of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's electric guitar on "Gospel Train," all topped off by the mountainous voice of the great Mahalia Jackson on a live version of "Move Up a Little Higher." Whether it's Saturday night or Sunday morning, this set will get you shuffling those feet.

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