Academic journal article The Hymn

42 Treasured Favorites from the African American Heritage Hymnal

Academic journal article The Hymn

42 Treasured Favorites from the African American Heritage Hymnal

Article excerpt

Reviews of Hymn-based Recordings

conducted by James Abbington, GIA Publications, Inc. (7404 S. Mason, Ave., Chicago, IL 60638), 2008. GIA CD-742 (double CD) US $25.95.

This double-disk recording conducted by James Abbington is an eclectic and fascinating representation of African American hymnody in terms of its theology and diverse styles of performance practice. African American hymnody draws from many traditions, but it is unique in that it reflects diverse ways in which African American Christians integrate the songs of other traditions into their own. Hence, this recording brings together not only songs from the African American experience but those of Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, Thomas O. Chisholm, and others. Hymns of these writers are heard alongside gospel songs such as "God wiU take care of you," "Lead me to Calvary," "Softly and tenderly," and "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine," "Old time reUgion," and die famiUar chorus "This Uttie Ught of mine." From the African American heritage one finds "Guide my feet" (WendeU P. Whalum), "Walking up the King's highway" (Mary Gardner and Thomas A. Dorsey), and "Come out die wilderness" (spiritual). The familiar South African "Siyahamba" is also included. I have, of course, mentioned only a few of the hymns or songs in the above-mentioned genres, as there are twenty selections on disk 1 and twenty-two selections on disk 2. Within the genres themselves the recording reflects diversity, such as caU and response and improvisation or meUsmatic singing.

The wide range of material and the variety of styles contribute to listening pleasure and inspiration. …

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