ABKCO’s ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’ Soundtrack Is A Mostly Successful Presentation

Courtesy: ABKCO

Lifetime officially debuted its much anticipated biopic about Mahalia Jackson over the weekend.  In coordination with the made-for-TV movie’s premiere, ABKCO released the movie’s official soundtrack Friday, to all digital outlets.  The 20-song soundtrack is a presentation that many listeners will find interesting.  That is due in part to its general presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  While the general presentation makes for plenty of interest, the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability detracts somewhat from its appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  Taking into account the problem posed by the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability, it is not enough to make the presentation a failure.  There is still one more positive to note in the way of the performances. They will be discussed a little later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the soundtrack’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the soundtrack a presentation that is worth hearing at least once.

ABKCO’s newly released soundtrack to Lifetime network’s Mahalia Jackson biopic, Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is a presentation that audiences will find mostly interesting.  Most of that interest comes from the soundtrack’s general presentation.  This soundtrack is presented more like a “cast recording” for a musical than that of some big screen presentation.  It features songs performed in the movie alongside instrumentals composed by the soundtrack’s producer, Matthew Head.  The full songs were performed primarily by lead star and Juliard graduate Danielle Brooks.  Her performances and the instrumentals will be discussed in more depth later.  Most of the songs are relatively short, with the longest clocking in at three minutes, 24 seconds.  The shortest of the songs is a mere 53 seconds in length.  So what audiences get here is a soundtrack whose pacing is solid, even despite the presentation featuring so many songs.  What’s more, the songs are works that were pulled directly from the movie, rather than just a bunch of commercially-produced works created by random acts for the purpose of pushing new singles.  That whole makes the soundtrack’s general presentation a solid, welcoming foundation for the soundtrack.

For all of the appeal that the soundtrack’s general presentation creates for its whole, the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability detracts from that appeal.  As noted already here, the soundtrack was released to all digital outlets Friday.  A check of all of the major retailers found no physical availability for the soundtrack.  Simply put, it makes this limited availability somewhat discriminatory against those who prefer the physical object over the digital.  That is not to say that ABKCO will not at some point, make the soundtrack available in physical format, but regardless, aiming it mainly at digital music consumers over those who buy physical even to start out does detract from the soundtrack’s appeal to a point.  Thankfully, that one issue is not enough to make the soundtrack a failure.  The actual performances featured in the recording work with the general presentation to make the soundtrack more appealing.

The performances that are presented in the soundtrack to Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia are of note because they are not lip synched.  Far too often, many studios that present musicals tend to use separate performers for speaking and singing parts in musicals.  That is not limited just to Disney, either.  Thankfully that is not the case here, Lead star Danielle Brooks puts her training from Juliard on full display throughout the recording.  Her performance in ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child’ is a prime example of her talent.  The power and control that she exhibits in this fully a capella performance is incredible to say the very least.  It is the kind of performance that raises goose bumps on a person’s arms in the best way possible. On a separate note, Head’s composition, ‘Estelle’s Childhood’ evokes its own emotion through its simple piano line and what sounds like a subtle cello line.  The composition is the record’s shortest, but is so powerful even in that short space.  On yet another note, Head’s light hearted performance of ‘Sweetened Water Song,’ with its semi-ragtime feel presents its own identity and positive sense.  Whether through this brief arrangement, the others noted here and the rest of the soundtrack’s featured songs, the whole of that presentation makes unquestionable, the talent put on display throughout the soundtrack.  When the appeal generated by the soundtrack’s performances is considered along with that generated by the record’s general presentation, the whole makes the soundtrack well worth hearing at least once.  That is the case even considering the limitation in the recording’s availability.

ABKCO’s newly released soundtrack to Lifetime’s Mahalia Jackson biopic, Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is a presentation that is a mostly successful work.  That is proven in part through its general presentation.  The general presentation here is that of a soundtrack that is more akin to that of a stage musical than so many of the commercially produced presentations out there that are used for acts to push new singles, etc.  That in itself makes for its own share of appeal.  While the soundtrack’s general presentation makes for its own share of appeal, the limitation in its availability to – at least right now – only digital detracts from the soundtrack’s appeal to a point.  Luckily that negative is not enough to make the soundtrack a failure, but it does still detract from the overall presentation here.  The performances presented by star Danielle Brooks and the compositions crafted by Matthew Head, the soundtrack’s producer, work with  the  general presentation to make for even more appeal.  When the two elements are considered along with the soundtrack’s one negative, the whole becomes a work that is mostly a successful offering.  The soundtrack to Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is available now through all digital outlets.

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with the label’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.abkco.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ABKCO

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ABKCO Releases ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson’ Soundtrack

Courtesy: ABKCO

ABKCO is celebrating the forthcoming debut of Lifetime’s forthcoming Mahalia Jackson biopic Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson with the release of the movie’s soundtrack.

The label released the movie’s soundtrack Friday to all digital outlets. The 20-song soundtrack features multiple performances by lead star Danielle Brooks, who takes on the role of the iconic singer.

Brooks, a Juliard graduate and Grammy Award winner, discussed portraying Jackson and performing in the movie during a recent interview.

“Mahalia Jackson moved the masses with her sound,” said Brooks. “Her voice somehow encompassed the fullness of the black experience. It represented where we wanted to go, how we wanted to be seen. While recording her music I definitely felt a high level of responsibility to fulfill all that she was through spirit, sound, and feeling. I’m grateful for the opportunity to remind this generation of her legacy and all the goodness she left the world with.”

Matthew Head, who produced the movie’s soundtrack, also wrote the movie’s instrumental score. His work is, by connection, also featured as part of the overall soundtrack. The soundtrack’s track listing is noted below.

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Music From The Motion Picture) tracklisting

  1. Worthy Of Your Gifts – Matthew Head  

  2. Hello Heartbreak – Jazmin Crumley 

  3. My God Is Real (Yes God Is Real) – Danielle Brooks 

  4. Elijah Rock – Danielle Brooks 

  5. Estelle’s Childhood – Matthew Head 

  6. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – Danielle Brooks 

  7. Hallelujah, Praise God (Mildred’s Piano Audition) – Matthew Head 

  8. Come On Children, Let’s Sing – Danielle Brooks 

  9. Move On Up A Little Higher – Danielle Brooks 

  10. How I Got Over – Danielle Brooks 

  11. Mildred Soaks Her Hands – Matthew Head 

  12. Sweetened Water Song – Matthew Head 

  13. His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Danielle Brooks 

  14. Studs and Mahalia discuss Bus Boycott – Matthew Head 

  15. Discussion of Faith – Matthew Head 

  16. Didn’t It Rain – Danielle Brooks 

  17. I’ve Been Buked – Danielle Brooks 

  18. Mildred Storms Out – Matthew Head 

  19. Take My Hand, Precious Lord – Danielle Brooks 

  20. I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song – Danielle Brooks

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with the label’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.abkco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ABKCO

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Will “Sing The Praises” Of WMN’s New Gospel Compilation

Courtesy: World Music Network

World Music Network is taking listeners back to the world of spiritual music this week with its latest Rough Guide To… compilation.  The company is scheduled to release its new compilation The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel Friday.  The 26-song compilation is a fitting companion piece to WMN’s previously released compilation, The Rough Guide to Spiritual Blues.  That compilation was a brief introduction to the intersecting worlds of spiritual music and the blues.  This latest offering takes listeners even deeper into the result of that intersection and just as enjoyable if not more so.  That is due in part to the record’s featured songs.  They will be discussed shortly.  The booklet that accompanies the compilation builds on the foundation formed by the songs.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Together with the record’s featured songs and its companion booklet, it makes this compilation a widely appealing presentation for fans of gospel, jazz and blues alike.

World Music Network’s new gospel history compilation is another impressive offering from the company, which specializes in music from America and around the world.  That is due in part to the compilation’s featured songs.  The songs in question are centralized to one specific time frame, from 1926 to 1934.  Those were the real formative years of modern gospel music in America.  The compilation’s booklet, which will be discussed a little later, touches more on that topic.  The songs in question range from familiar tunes, such as ‘Children Wade in the Water,’ which is based on the timeless spiritual song ‘Wade in the Water,’ ‘Death’s Black Train Is Coming,’ and ‘Down on the Old Campground’ to lesser known pieces, such as ‘He Rose Unknown,’ ‘I Am Born to Preach The Gospel,’ and ‘Then We’ll Need That True Religion.’  Over the course of its 26-song sequence, the compilation paints a vivid picture of the evolution of gospel music in the early 20th century even within the compilation’s limited time frame.  It shows in its own way not only how gospel evolved, but also how jazz and blues played into that evolution, too.  ‘Down on the Old Campground’ is an example of a pure choral gospel work while ‘Death’s Black Train is Coming’ exhibits the tie between gospel and the blues, by comparison.  On another hand, one could argue that a song, such as ‘Don’t Grieve After Me’ exhibits a hint of classic country/bluegrass at its base.  The point of this discussion is that the cited songs show how the record’s organizers intentionally aimed to show the diversity in the roots of gospel music.  They succeeded in that effort, and deserve their own share of applause for that work.  What audiences get, in turn, is a presentation that as with World Music Network’s previous releases, is its own rich musical history lesson in these songs.   Keeping that in mind, the musical selections featured in The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel collectively form a strong foundation for this compilation.  Building on that foundation is the presentation in the compilation’s companion booklet.

The compilation’s companion booklet offers audiences its own history lesson, building on the lesson created through the songs.  Listeners learn quite a bit through the booklet.  There is a mention in the booklet, of Thomas A. Dorsey, who is noted as the father of gospel music, and his influence on none other than Mahalia Jackson.  Jackson is known fondly as “The Queen of Gospel.”  This is just one of the key pieces of history featured in the record’s booklet.  The booklet opens its history lesson by taking listeners back to the 1800s and the establishment of gospel in African-American churches.  The liner notes point out that it was at this point that the people in those churches started fusing jazz and blues together with spirituals to make what were the early roots of gospel.  From there, the story fast forwards to the 1900s and the influence of blind pianist and singer Arizona Dranes on the gospel community.  As the story progresses, audiences learn how street preachers played in the genre’s evolution, too.  As if all of this is not enough, there are even discussions on the role of country music and “jubilee quartets” in the evolution of gospel.  While each discussion is slightly brief, each also serves as its own starting point for people to do their own research and for classroom lessons.  Simply put, the liner notes build on the foundation formed by the compilation’s songs to make the record that much more appealing for listeners.  It is just one more aspect of what makes The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel another successful offering from World Music Network.  The production put into this compilation rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel is important to note because of its impact on how the songs sound.  As noted already, the songs featured in this recording reach back to the late 1920s and early-mid 1930s.  In other words, the masters for these recordings are extremely old.  That the recordings still sound as impressive as they do in this presentation is a testament to the painstaking efforts made to bring the music back to life.  The static is as clear as if the songs were featured on a vinyl (which is more argument in favor of CD versus vinyl, but that’s another matter for another time), as are the instrumentations and vocals.  Everything is so well-balanced in each song.  The result is a wonderful listening experience for this aspect just as much as for the sense of nostalgia that the record will create for some listeners.  All things considered, the compilation’s production adds its own special touch to its presentation as the songs themselves and the record’s companion booklet.  When all three items are considered together, they make The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel another successful offering from World Music Network whose praises audiences will sing in their own right.

World Music Network’s new compilation The Rough Guide to the Roots of Gospel is another successful offering from the company.  That is due in part to its featured songs, which will entertain audiences and serve as their own starting point for many musical history lessons.  The companion booklet that accompanies the compilation adds to the record’s appeal in its own way as it adds to the depth of the noted history lessons.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It leaves the record sounding impressive while also generating a welcome sense of nostalgia among listeners.  Each noted item is important in its own right to the compilation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the compilation whose praises audiences will sing in their own right.

More information on this and other titles from World Music Network is available online at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.worldmusic.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/WorldMusicNetwork

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/WMN_UK

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.