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African Methodist Choir with Mara Louw

African Methodist Choir with Mara Louw

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Handpick singers from a number of South African choirs, put the excellent Mara Louw out in front as the lead, take a number of hymns they all know from church, as well as the South African national anthem, and you have the ingredients for this excellent disc. Unlike so many hymns, these are performed with great, roaring joy (arranged for the most part by Louw) and recorded -- as it should be -- in a church. But unlike, say, American or Jamaican gospel, there's a sense of unity, rather than testifying; the voices embrace this music, but they sing it as it is, rather than using it as a lift-off point to testify.

The harmonies might have their written roots in Europe, but the voices singing them are ineffably African, bringing something different to the sound. There's a sense of control about it all, even when a speaking voice breaks in on "Jerusalem Ikhaya Lam," for instance, or on the rare instances some very spare percussion accompanies the a cappella voices. It's majestic, but that's the intent, a nexus between Europe and Africa, meeting in Christianity. That's even there on the by-now famous "Nkosi Sikelel'i Afrika," the country's very hymn-like national anthem, performed here as the closer, full-voiced and glorious, sung with unconcealed pride and joy. ~ Chris Nickson, All Music Guide

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African Methodist Choir with Mara Louw : African Hymns : 00  1 CD :  : 2249

African Methodist Choir with Mara Louw : African Hymns

Review: Handpick singers from a number of South African choirs, put the excellent Mara Louw out in front as the lead, take a number of hymns they all know from church, as well as the South African national anthem, and you have the ingredients for this excellent disc. Unlike so many hymns, these are performed with great, roaring joy (arranged for the most part by Louw) and recorded--as it should be--in a church. But unlike, say, American or Jamaican gospel, there`s a sense of unity, rather than testifying; the voices embrace this music, but they sing it as it is, rather than using it as a lift-off point to testify. The harmonies might have their written roots in Europe, but the voices singing them are ineffably African, bringing something different to the sound. There`s a sense of control about it all, even when a speaking voice breaks in on `Jerusalem Ikhaya Lam,` for instance, or on the rare occasions when some very spare percussion accompanies the a cappella voices. It`s majestic, but that`s the intent, a nexus between Europe and Africa, meeting in Christianity. That`s even there on the by-now famous `Nkosi Sikelel`i Afrika,` the country`s very hymn-like national anthem, performed here as the closer, full-voiced and glorious, sung with unconcealed pride and joy.

Songlist: Hee! Ba Nyoriloeng, Siya Kudumisa Thixo, Ha Kelestshe - Kele Mobe, Kenang Bohle, Kese Ke Utloile, Imfazwe Imfazwe, Amahlathi Aphelile, Mphe Maleme Ase Kete / Vuthelani Ixilongo, Jerusalem Ikhaya Lam, Masibulele Ku Jesu, Bawo Ndingu Mntwana Wakho, Seteng Sediba Samadi, Rea Oboka Morena, Wakrazulwa Ngenxa Yami, Noyana, Ingoma Ka Ntsikana, Nkosi Sikelel'i Afrika

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9934c | 00 1 CD | $15.95 | Primarily a cappella African Choral Music

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