RECORDINGS

LABEL: WARNER ALLIANCE/WORD RECORDS
CATALOG NUMBER: 26980
UPC NUMBER: 075992698023
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 75:42
YEAR RECORDED: 1992
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 29, 1992
CONDUCTOR: QUINCY JONES
ORCHESTRA: UNKNOWN
CHOIR: UNKNOWN
SOPRANO: VARIOUS
CONTRALTO: VARIOUS
TENOR: VARIOUS
BASS: VARIOUS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

(WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW)



DISC ONE

1 Overture: A Partial History of Black Music           5:13
2 Comfort Ye My People     (Armstrong, Vanessa Bell, Daryl Coley)     5:47
3 Every Valley Shall Be Exalted     (Lizz Lee, Chris Willis)     3:42
4 And the Glory of the Lord     (Dianne Reeves)     3:56
5 But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?     (Patti Austin)     6:40
6 And He Shall Purify     (Tramaine Hawkins)     4:36
7 Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive     (Howard Hewett)     3:58
8 O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion     (Stevie Wonder, Take 6)     3:53
9 For Unto Us a Child Is Born     (Sounds of Blackness)     3:52
10 Glory to God     (Boys Choir of Harlem, Michelle Weeks)    4:53
11 Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion     (Smallwood, Richard Singers)     5:10
12 Behold, The Lamb of God [instrumental]     (Yellowjackets)     4:35
13 Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates     (Clark Sisters, Commissioned)    5:13
14 Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage?     (Al Jarreau)     2:39
15 I Know That My Redeemer Liveth     (Tevin Campbell)     6:00
16 Hallelujah!     (Quincy Jones)     5:53

SITE RATING:  9/10
SITE REVIEW:  Whereas certain Messiah reimaginings can leave me cold (see the cynical, reprehensible Messiah Rocks!) this 1992 R&B recasting by pop impresario Quincy Jones, helped along by a stable of hot artists (Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Take 6, Al Jarreau) tackle Handel's two-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Italianate oratorio, and manage to infuse it with not only joy, but a huge amount of musical variety and humor.  From the "A Partial History of Black Music" which blends spirituals, ragtime, R&B and more into it's brief introduction, to the fantastic vocal runs and call-and-response and new-jack-swing blend found in every track, left me breathless by the musical virtuousity on display.  There's also reggae, African, and Motown grooves to be found here, but the text and musical heart of each movement is kept intact - a miracle considering the diverse talents involved.  It's a credit to Quincy Jones own paticular brand of genius that despite the wide net cast, everything maintains a unified whole, and if it all occasionally devolves into a rapturous call-and-reponse jam at times, it's all tightly controlled, and sparkling, and professional. The only reason this recording doesn't rate higher with me is the dated nature of the arrangements - the programmed synthesizers and drum loops are very much of their times, but the joy and, yes, even reverence which is shown to the material makes this one of my favorite non-traditional Messiahs.


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