Sweet Honey in the Rock: A Tribute

Here’s something that is a great idea, and it’s done fascinatingly well. Grammy award winning female a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock came to the Lincoln Center in 2011 to fill the room with some history and history making music in a tribute to some of the ladies of inspirational song, namely Odetta, Nina Simone among  Abbey Lincoln others. More of a celebration, the ladies perform music from Africa and the church, and bring it up to modern times with pieces like “Shuku Shuku” leading to ”The Midnight Special” or “Trouble in Mind” bringing things up to modern tunes like “A Turtle’s Dream” and then returning back to the roots with “N’diarabi.” When blended together the voices of this quintet sounds like an inspiration akin to Duke Ellington’s vintage sax section. Going back and forth in lead with quartet accompaniment, the ladies bring you through the Civil Rights movement with a thrilling “Freedom Suite.”  The enthusiasm of these ladies is penetrating and palpable, and shows an optimism that is infectious. The joy never fades throughout these two discs!

Appleseed Recordings


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