Carry On: The Spirituals Vol. 2
An artist with a very complicated upbringing, but who has formally studied jazz piano and vocal work and who has played music in more genres than just about anyone, the 9 tracks here by Radha Botofasina sit firmly in religious territory, and feature a large handful of background vocalists and musicians.
“Satan We Gonna Tear Your Kingdom Down” starts the listen with soulful singing and harp from Botofasina alongside the playful percussion and bouncy bass lines as gospel ideas enter, and “I Know The Lord Laid His Hands On Me” follows with infectious hand clapping and a choir in the spiritual climate that benefits much from John Lehman’s piano.
Deeper yet, “My Soul Gonna Shine” showcases Botofasina’s powerful pipes amid a pair of tubas and Alma Cielo’s viola, while “Going Back/With Jesus” puts much emphasis on strings as the eloquent singing and emotive spirit makes this the album’s best.
Further still, “Move On Up A Little Higher” displays Caleb Buchanan’s precise acoustic bass and Oran Coltrane’s spoken word in the uplifting landscape, and the title track exits the listen with many background vocalists making for a cultured and lively finish.
A very rich affair, the call and response singing, animated hand claps, and worldly textures make for a fascinating listen, and it’s one that’s inspirational and quite exhilarating, too.