Barbara Hendricks & Dmitri Alexeev – Negro Spirituals (1983)

FrontCover1Barbara Hendricks is widely regarded as one of the finest American lyric sopranos of her generation, both for her work on the operatic stage and in the concert hall. She possesses a vast repertory in the realm of German lieder and is known for her recitals of American, French and Scandinavian works. She has also sung in performances of Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Brahms’ Requiem, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Del Tredici’s Final Alice, and has frequently appeared in jazz concerts as well. In the realm of opera Hendricks has sung a variety of roles, including Pamina from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Gilda (Verdi’s Rigoletto), Micaela (Bizet’s Carmen), Tatiana (Eugene Onegin), Mimi and Liu (Puccini’s La bohème and Turandot, respectively), and many more. Hendricks has appeared at most of the major operatic venues, including the Met, Paris Opera, La Scala, and Covent Garden. She has made many recordings, from best-selling Christmas CDs and Gershwin song albums to popular Schubert lieder and Verdi opera recordings. She has appeared on nearly 80 recordings spread over a variety of major labels, including DG, Decca, EMI, Sony, Philips, RCA, and Arte Verum.
Barbara Hendricks was born in Stephens, AK, on November 20, 1948. After obtaining a degree at the University of Nebraska in chemistry and mathematics, Hendricks studied voice at Juilliard under Jennie Tourel.

Hendricks’ major debut was in 1974 at the San Francisco Opera in Cavalli’s Ormindo as Erisbe, and that same year she made her recital debut at New York’s Town Hall. In 1975 she appeared on her first recording (Decca), singing Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Hendricks soon became an international star, receiving a flood of invitations to the major operatic venues, concert halls, and music festivals. Her appearances with Herbert von Karajan (1977) and Leonard Bernstein (1985) were only two of many internationally acclaimed concert tours. From 1987 Hendricks has worked on behalf of refugees, mainly through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Since her 1994 debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Hendricks has regularly appeared at leading jazz festivals throughout the world.
Barbara Hendricks01
In 2006 Hendricks did not renew her contract with EMI, but formed her own label, Arte Verum. Via this new enterprise she appeared on five recordings in 2008, including an acclaimed disc of Poulenc works. A citizen and resident of Sweden, Hendricks married her manager Martin Engström in 1978, and the couple have three children. (by Robert Cummings)

This is her 3rd solo-Album and it contains a beautiful Collection of spirituals …

The great African-American operatic soprano Barbara Hendricks was accompanied by the brilliant improvisation of Russian concert pianist Dmitri Alexeev.
What a treasure !

RussiaFront+BackCover
Front + back cover from Russia

Personnel:

Dmitri Alexeev (piano)
Barbara Hendricks (vocals)
Booklet
Tracklist:
01. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child 3.37
02. Plenty Good Room 1.44
03. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen 3.09
04. Git On Boa’d, Little Child’n 1.23
05. Oh! What A Beautiful City! 2.27
06. His Name So Sweet 1.51
07. Deep River 3.14
08. When I Lay My Burden Down 1.58
09. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 2.59
10. Talk About A Child That Do Love Jesus 3.06
11. Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho 2.20
12. Fix Me, Jesus 3.33
13. Roun’ About De Mountain 2.18
14. Hold On! 2.33
15. Were You There ? 5.52
16. Ev’Ry Time I Feel De Spirit 2.14

All Songs: Traditional

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Odetta – Christmas Spirituals (1988)

FrontCover1This album was recorded in 1988 at White Crow Audio in Burlington, Vermont. It was the first time that Odetta (Gordon) had done a studio recording in over fifteen years. She put her trust in a fledgling record producer, Rachel Faro, and brought in bassist Bill Lee to rerecord the tracks she had done almost twenty years previously for Vanguard Records (the album is often assumed to be a reissue of the old Vanguard recording but it is actually a completely new recording). Initially released on Alcazar Records, it went on to win the INDI Award for Best Seasonal Release and has brought joy to thousands of listeners throughout the world.

Surrounding Odetta’s remarkable voice and songs are bassists Bill Lee and Lincoln Goines, with percussionist Carole Steele. The songs are mainly traditional with two originals by Odetta and new lyrics by Rachel Faro on “O Jerusalem”. Odetta herself wrote the profound and moving liner notes (see below) and the cover is a collage created by artist Colleen Patterson, depicting the Black Madonna by the River Jordan in Egypt, with the Three Kings and three shepherds from various cultures and races in attendance. It was a great honor to work with Odetta and we still feel the power of her truth, nobility and love around us.

Odetta’s husky voice is often stunning, both in her a cappella performances and her songs with accompaniment. She says these songs are traditional spirituals, neither purely African nor American, but songs that emerged from the sufferings of slavery. Powerful stuff. (by Dennis MacDonald)

OdettaPersonnel:
Lincoln Goines (bass)
Odetta (vocals, guitar)
Bill Lee (bass)
Jeff Salisbury (percussion, drums)
Carol Steele (percussion)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow (Traditional) 1.45
02.  What Month Was Jesus Born In? (Traditional) 2.25
03. Mary Had A Baby (Traditional) 1.52
04. Somebody Talking ‘Bout Jesus (Traditional) 2.05
05. Virgin Mary Had One Son (Traditional) 3.08
06. Go Tell It On The Mountain (Traditional) 2.01
07. Shout For Joy (Traditional) 2.31
08. Poor Little Jesus (Traditional) 1.56
09. O Jerusalem (Traditional/Faro) 2.51
10. Ain’t That A-Rockin’ (Traditional) 3.20
11. If Anybody Asks You Gordon) 2.00
12. Beautiful Star (Gordon) 2.54
13. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Traditional) 2.45

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