Topsy Chapman

Jazz in New Orleans: The Nineties

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The talented New Orleans vocalist Topsy Chapman teams up with bandleader and clarinet player Brian Carrick to create a recording of some spiritual and gospel tunes. The two are joined by Norman Thatcher on the trumpet and Bernie Attridge on the bass. Together they put down some soulful sounds, drawing on the rich heritage of traditional jazz and gospel music. Chapman grew up in the gospel tradition in Kentwood, LA, and often sings at the popular gospel brunches that are hosted in New Orleans on Sundays. She brings her sonorous voice to bear on heartfelt songs from the gospel idiom. Some of the tunes are among those frequently recorded on gospel CDs, such as "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "The Old Rugged Cross," and "Down by the Riverside." But the group broadens their repertoire with less-heard tunes like "It Is No Secret What God Can Do," "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross," and "The Silent Communion of Prayer." Whether well known or obscure, all pieces are played with feeling, as Carrick and Thatcher step forward on great solos, then recede into the background as Chapman takes front and center stage. The feeling is reverent and joyful on this collection of some of the best-loved songs in gospel music.

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