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Freedom - The Golden Gate Quartet & Josh White At The Library Of Congress

Freedom: Concert Celebration 75th Anniversary / Va
Release Date: 02/26/2002 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9114   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Traditional
Performer:  Josh White
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In 1940 the Library of Congress held a festival of exhibits and concerts documenting African-American contributions to American culture. "Freedom" preserves the concert on which singer/guitarist Josh White and the Golden Gate Quartet performed a cross-section of spirituals, folk songs, work songs, and blues, interspersed with introductions and scholarly commentary by Sterling Brown, Alain Locke, and Alan Lomax. The Golden Gate Quartet's tight harmonies, straight-from-the-gut rhythmic precision, and remarkable dynamic shadings are in full flower, especially on call-and-response numbers such as "Oh Mary, don't you weep" and "Noah". Both vocally and instrumentally, Josh White's urbane, polished artistry is a far Read more cry from, say, Leadbelly's elemental grit and grain yet it's full of quiet fire and inner strength. Notice the airy textures and implied swing White achieves in his subtle alterations between bass notes and high-lying chords, much in the manner of his mentor Blind Blake's ragtime-based guitar style, and, to a lesser extent, Robert Johnson's.


To be sure, certain aspects of the production sound quaint: the insightful commentaries delivered in a presentational, near-oratory fashion, and many songs that conclude simply and formally (no drawn out, audience-baiting tag endings or wailing melismas here). The annotations provide a wealth of contextual and biographical information that surely will inspire you to further investigate these wonderful performers. A personal note: the first concert I ever attended was Josh White at Seton Hall University, in the fall or winter of 1962. My father took me. I was five years old, and I still remember White singing his hit song "One Meat Ball". Try to find Josh White's classic Elektra recordings from that era, featuring Sam Gary's deep-dish, resonant bass providing delcious backup vocals, plus an extended retelling of the John Henry legend.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Freedom by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
2.
Noah by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
3.
I'm so glad trouble don't last always by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
4.
Oh Mary, don't you weep by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
5.
Traveling Shoes by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
6.
How long has that evening train been gone? by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
7.
Poor Lazarus by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
8.
John Henry by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
Written: USA 
9.
Trouble by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
10.
Old Dan Tucker by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
11.
Mr. Rabbit, your ear's mighty long by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
12.
The Railroad Workers Camp by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
13.
Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
14.
Run, sinner, run by Traditional
Performer:  Josh White (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet

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