More Chicago and “Spirituals”

The first thing on the agenda is the news that Bobby Valentine has been named as the new manager for the Boston Red Sox. I’m not sure I have anything more to say about that at this moment. I’m not a big fan of Bobby V. However, he may be just what this messed up bunch of goons needs. So we will see.

In another baseball move, one that I definitely did not see coming, Greg Maddux has been hired by the Texas Rangers to be “special assistant” to the General Manager. Which is strange, seeing that Thad Levine, Assistant GM, has announced that he will not entertain any offers to leave the Rangers. But the cool thing is that brothers Mike and Greg are now working on the same team.

Let’s talk about music. The word is in my URL, after all, isn’t it? My latest vinyl to be ripped is another Chicago album (and they will be for a couple more weeks, probably…), Chicago V.
The fourth studio album by this ensemble, this is the first one that is not a double album. It is also a much better album than Chicago III. The band begins to slightly move away from their political commentary (but not completely), with songs like “Saturday In the Park,” one of the hits from this album. My favorite song on Chicago V, though is “Dialogue,” in which Terry Kath and Peter Cetera engage in a musical dialogue about the shape of things in the world. Also receiving a bit of radio play was “A Hit By Varese.” Here’s a fun clip of a live recording of “Dialogue,” performed in their home town in 1972. Dig the hair and beards.


My latest excursion from 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die is an album called “Spirituals” by a singer named Marian Anderson.

Tom Moon calls her “A Voice That Challenged America,” because she was instrumental in the equal rights movement. Marian was an operatic singer, but this album of negro gospel songs bridged the gap between art song and gospel music. I must admit, this is not my favorite style to listen to. Her vibrato is a bit much for me at times. And it’s just piano and singer. That being said, though, the recording is worth listening to. There is some very nice and tasteful piano playing, and Marian’s vocals are, at times, haunting. She had great range, from low to high. The author lists “Go Down Moses,” “Let Us Break Bread Together,” “My Lord, What a Morning,” and “De Gospel Train” as key tracks. My favorites (there are 30 tracks on this recording!) are “Deep River,” “Hard Trials,” “Dere’s No Hidin’ Place Down Dere,” and “Soon a-Will Be Done.”
Here’s a clip from youtube of “Dere’s No Hidin’ Place,” and “Every Time I Feel De Spirit.”

The article closes with these words. “Anderson brings listeners face-to-face with the stoic dignity and stirring melody that rose up in response to an ignoble chapter of American history.

That’s it for today. TTFN, y’all!


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