RECORDINGS

LABEL: RCA VICTOR
CATALOG NUMBER: 4636
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 33:30
YEAR RECORDED: 1972
CD RELEASE DATE: 1972
CONDUCTOR: CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
ORCHESTRA: UNKNOWN
CHOIR: UNKNOWN
SOPRANO: UNKNOWN
CONTRALTO: UNKNOWN
TENOR: UNKNOWN
BASS: UNKNOWN


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES




DISC ONE

1. Overture 5:49
2. Comfort Ye My People 2:44
3. And the Glory of the Lord 4:49
4. Behold A Virgin shall Conceive 2:33
5. And The Angel Said Unto Them 2:50
6. Pastoral Symphony 5:32
7. Glory To God 3:01
8. Halleluah 3:22
9. Worthy is the Lamb 2:50

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  David Axelrod, an jazz/soul/funk pioneer, and former member of The Electric Prunes, released this "Rock Interpretation" of Handel's Messiah in 1972, and, if you didn't know any better, you could pretty much pinpoint the era of this album's production with one listen.  It sounds exactly like Godspell - with lots of fuzz guitar, trippy, flower-power vocals, and an easy-going party atmosphere that obscures just how inventive Axelrod was in this rewrite.  Conducted by jazzman "Cannonball" Adderley, purists will cringe at the liberties Axelrod takes with the score - fusing blues, jazz, and funk into Handel's framework; but to my ears, it's an interesting take on Messiah - easily as viable and justifiable as Quincy Jones' Soulful Celebration, and, in its way, much more reverent than other recent reinventions.  He takes "Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive" and turns it into a soulful gospel number, full of passion and longing in the hands of the unnamed female vocalist.  Axelrod hangs original melodies onto Handel's own, remaining faithful in some instances, (the string opening of the Pifa) but in others, like "And the Angel Said Unto Them" composing his own melody, and then jamming off of it.  It's a hybrid that by all accounts shouldn't work, but since Axelrod's musings are so diverse, the converging and diverging styles all feel of a piece.  There's so much experiementation going on, that when Handel's original piece shows itself, it doesn't feel out of place.  Released by RCA Victor on vinyl, it has never been commercially available in digital media, but it's easily found online, both in vinyl and fan-created mp3 formats.  Worth listening to for its inventive, non-traditional approach.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.