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How Sweet The Sound / Darryl Taylor, Brent McMunn

Taylor / Mcmunn
Release Date: 01/11/2011 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1244   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Go Ring dem Bells PeterTraditionalJohn Newton
Performer:  Brent McMunnDarryl Taylor
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HOW SWEET THE SOUND: A Charm of Spirituals Darryl Taylor (ct); Brent McMunn (pn) ALBANY TROY 1244 (69:03)


Countertenor Darryl Taylor, until recently a tenor, has selected a disc of spirituals for his first outing in this new voice style. His singing provides much enjoyment here. Whether you believe this music belongs in these pages or not, it most definitely is folk music, originating in the long and ignoble period of slavery in the American South. Where music is concerned, I am a firm believer in casting a wider net; folk music of many Read more sorts, after all, has an intertwined and extensive relationship with classical music from early times. Ultimately, it is the quality of the music itself and the quality of the music-making that compels listening.


Taylor joins a long and distinguished performance history for spirituals, from the early Fisk University Jubilee Singers of the 1870s through bass-baritone Paul Robeson in the 1930s and 40s, followed by the renowned contraltos Marion Anderson and Mahalia Jackson, down to more recent recordings by classically trained singers, such as Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle. The songs on this disc are arranged for voice and piano, making them suitable for solo recital performance as art song and giving them a somewhat cooler ambience than when sung by church choirs and gospel groups, yet they are performed here with no less passion.


I am certainly no expert in this repertoire, but there are several well-known songs included that I believe must be considered standards, such as Amazing Grace, Deep River , and Go Tell It on the Mountain . There are also others intermingled in this collection that are at least new to me; two that I like and think Taylor sings most effectively are Mary Wore Three Lengths of Chain , and He Never Said a Mumbalin’ Word (Crucifixion) . Taylor’s supple, newly honed countertenor voice provides much pure tonal beauty and his intonation is rock-solid. His breath control seems excellent and one can clearly understand every word; texts are not necessary and not provided. The arrangements here seem to suit his new vocal range perfectly.


Taylor is ably assisted on this recording by pianist and longtime opera conductor Brent McMann. Albany’s sound is first-class; balance between the two performers seems ideal. Timing is generous, with 20 selections performed. The countertenor voice may be an acquired taste for some, but this disc makes a persuasive argument for it.


FANFARE: Bill White
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Works on This Recording

1.
Traditional by Go Ring dem Bells Peter
Performer:  Brent McMunn (Piano), Darryl Taylor (Countertenor)
Notes: Arranged by Margaret Bonds 
2.
Steal away by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
Notes: Arranged by Maria Corley 
3.
Amazing grace by John Newton
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1799 
Notes: Arranged by Hale Smith 
4.
Mary wore three links of chain by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Notes: Arranged by George Walker 
5.
I Cannot Say Here by Myself by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Notes: Arranged by Hall Johnson 
6.
I Got to Lie Down by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Notes: Arranged by Hall Johnson 
7.
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
Notes: Arranged by Moses Hogan 
8.
Lord, I'll Go by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Notes: Arranged by Jacqueline Hairston 
9.
Ezekiel saw the wheel by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
Notes: Arranged by Margaret Bonds 
10.
Deep river by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
11.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
12.
Lament from Lyric Suite by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
13.
I'll Reach to Heaven by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
14.
Go tell it on the mountain by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 
15.
I want to die easy by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
16.
Guide my feet by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
17.
Climbing High Mountains by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
18.
Git on Board by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
Written: USA 
19.
He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)
20.
Is There Anybody Here? by Traditional
Performer:  Darryl Taylor (Countertenor), Brent McMunn (Piano)

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