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The Gospel at Colonus [Original Cast]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
Playwright Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson had an idea: Retell the story of Oedipus using a gospel choir and soloists as the storytellers. The result was The Gospel at Colonus, which had a very successful theatrical run and produced the extraordinarily beautiful song suite presented here. Telson made the inspired decision to allow much of the weight of the enterprise to be borne by the enormous talents of Clarence Fountain & the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and the J.D. Steele Singers, featuring the absolutely incredible voice of Jevetta Steele who would have a bit of a hit with the title song from the film Calling You. Some of the songs are priceless: "Stop Do Not ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brian Olewnick
Playwright Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson had an idea: Retell the story of Oedipus using a gospel choir and soloists as the storytellers. The result was The Gospel at Colonus, which had a very successful theatrical run and produced the extraordinarily beautiful song suite presented here. Telson made the inspired decision to allow much of the weight of the enterprise to be borne by the enormous talents of Clarence Fountain & the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and the J.D. Steele Singers, featuring the absolutely incredible voice of Jevetta Steele who would have a bit of a hit with the title song from the film Calling You. Some of the songs are priceless: "Stop Do Not Go On," with its heartfelt vocal urgings from Sam Butler, is a showstopper of its own, but it's followed by "How Shall I See You Through My Tears," a devastating number with Steele singing in a voice possessed of positively unearthly beauty. Intriguingly, not only can Breuer's lyrics be read as either traditional gospel text or pertaining to the story of Oedipus, but they can also often be heard as love songs from the R&B tradition. There's not a weak song on the record. Telson, a one-time member of the Philip Glass Ensemble and an associate of numerous jazz musicians Lenny Pickett and John Hagen are in the ensemble here, for instance, successfully sublimates these influences and manages to create a remarkably authentic pop-gospel hybrid by entrusting the interpretation of his pieces to the artists who deeply know the genre. When the entire cast converges for the penultimate "Lift Him Up," the effect is nothing short of electrifying. Highly recommended not only for fans of gospel music but also for anyone interested in the diverse directions of contemporary music in general.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597919127
  • Catalog Number: 79191
  • Sales rank: 3,864

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Clarence Fountain Vocals
Institutional Radio Choir Vocals
Donald Fagen Vocals
Little Village Vocals
Bob Malach Alto Saxophone
Jevetta Steele Vocals
J.J. Farley Vocals
Morgan Freeman Vocals
Bob Telson Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals
Donald Ballard Vocals
Jearlyn Steele Battle Vocals
Bobby Butler Vocals
Sam Butler Guitar, Vocals
J.T. Clinkscales Vocals
Leroy Clouden Drums
Betty Cooper Vocals
Blind Boys of Alabama Vocals
Vincent Haddock Jr. Vocals
David Hewitt Vocals
Carolyn Johnson-White Vocals
Gary Katz Vocals
Zev Katz Bass
Daniel Lazerus Vocals
Hugh McCracken Harmonica, Slide Guitar
Lincoln Schleifer Bass
Martin Jacox Vocals
Mary Hunt Vocals
Ben Odom Vocals, Background Vocals
Deborah C. Brett Vocals
Keith Doars Vocals
Mary Fiser Vocals
Angie Haddock Vocals
Zack Kelly Vocals
Isabell Monk Vocals
Janet C. Napper Vocals
Chris Royal Trumpet
Ezekiel Tobby Vocals
Willie Rogers Vocals, Background Vocals
Joyce Taylor Vocals
Monique Williams Vocals
George Cooper Vocals
The Original Soul Stirrers Vocals
Jackie Banks Vocals, Background Vocals
Denise Martin Vocals
Joe Watson Vocals
Butch Heyward Organ
Linda Wilkerson Vocals
Joan Faye Wright Vocals
Beverly Graham Vocals
Walter Dixon Vocals
Terrence Moore Vocals
John Hagen Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Mark Johnson Trombone
Technical Credits
Donald Fagen Producer
Billy Funk Composer
Bob Telson Producer
David Hewitt Engineer, Sound Design
Gary Katz Producer
Daniel Lazerus Producer, Engineer
J.D. Steele Director
Sherman Warner Executive Producer, Sound Design
Lee Breuer Director
Michael David Executive Producer
Doug Johnson Artwork
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I have nothing but praise for the music on this cd

    I have also been in love with the soundtrack and the play since I first saw it on PBS. I had a it on VHS and have lost it! I found the CD last year and I play it constantly. If there is any way to get the VHS back into circulation I'm sure it would sell quickly. I know I want to get a copy for myself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Numberless Are The World's Wonders

    I saw this show five times in 1987 in Minneapolis; I have the music on cassette, vinyl (LP) and CD; I also have a cherished copy of the PBS broadcast. When it did a 10 year revival in 1997, I took 15 people to see it. Do I like it? I can't even begin to accurately describe what this show did for me. You will listen to the CD fifteen times and will only hear half of what the story is about. It's a wonderful adaptation of a Greek Tragedy, told in the setting of a Black Pentacostal church. The performances were transforming and transcending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews