Related Reviews
HMV Choice
A deeply satisfying experience
more >>
Gramophone
one soon forgets Robeson and simply enjoys Willard White
more >>
The Inverness Courier
The life-like recording is of demonstration quality
more >>
Crescendo & Jazz Music
an extremely enjoyable recital
more >>
The Times
Pure velvet
more >>

The Paul Robeson Legacy - Gramophone


01 June 2004
Gramophone
John Steane

Though it evokes the mighty dead, let it stand now. The songs run the range from passionate intensity (Go Down Moses) to sun-day relaxation (Lazy Bones). The voice has depth humanity; the style is natural and goes in for nothing-too-much. The arrangements: now they really are something. That trumpeter, he can make it talk in two dozen voices, male and female. The bass slips you an informal triplet and pads away with soft-shoed stealth across a shadowy dance-floor. The pianist is modest in his own contribution and can afford to be: he arranged it all. The other two players, I'm sure, are just as good, but these three - Guy Barker, Geoff Gascoyne, Neal Thornton - fully deserve to have their names up with the star.

But of course it does send you back, and before long there you are with the Robeson of the 1930s, with Mood Indigo (1938), Lazy Bones (1933) and so many others. And when they say 'incomparable', that's what they mean. The special resonance, the caress of portamento, that innate dignity which knows just the moment for the common touch: for 'The Robeson Legacy' there is, after all, nothing like the Robeson Legacy, on records. But I like these arrangements, the sound is newly attractive on this SACD-hybrid reissue, and if we're to have a singer of the present day in these songs, then, sure, Willard White is the man.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Sir Willard WhiteSir Willard White
The Paul Robeson LegacyThe Paul Robeson Legacy
The Paul Robeson LegacyThe Paul Robeson Legacy