King Britt presents Sister Gertrude Morgan
Released On: Sep 06, 2005
Released By: Ropeadope Records
King Britt would make a great Music Appreciation professor since his career proves he knows his aural history - from being the DJ of jazzy hip-hop crew Digable Planets to paying homage to the slinky grooves of 1970s blaxploitation films via Sylk 130 and his numerous solo productions and remixes under the Scuba guise . Britt's latest album offered him the challenge of collaborating with someone who would never step foot in the studio. The resulting tracks are unforgettably haunting with a voice echoing the pained cries of Nina Simone and the ragged but strong melodies of old blues singers. That voice belongs to Sister Gertrude Morgan.
Sister Gertrude's an intriguing folk artist, preacher and poet who lived in the deep south early in the century and she thought she was a prophet whose purpose was to sing. The tapes from the single gospel album she recorded in the 1960s re-emerged recently and Britt was the person chosen to relay her sounds to a new generation by bringing in a killer ensemble band to support the vocals of this mythical figure. Like Moby's groundbreaking 'Play' album, vintage vocal-sampling tracks by Fatboy Slim and the recycled beats rampant in many modern hip-hop chart toppers, the Sister Gertrude Morgan project marries timeless body-shaking grooves with next level musical creativity from the mind of Philly's finest.
"Morgan fires up traditional hymns with hot chant and spoken reverie, accompanied only by her clanging tambourine. This is divine minimalism, a meaty hallelujah in which you can clearly hear the Delta-church origins of Jamaican Rasta-DJ culture and early Bronx hip-hop." — David Fricke, Rolling Stone