Bless This House was released in 1956 and features Mahalia Jackson and the Falls-Jones Ensemble. This LP is a favorite of the gospel purists who feel alienated by Jackson's collaborations with pop artists like Percy Faith and Harpo Marx. The songs on Bless This House feature great supporting performances by pianist Mildred Falls and organist Ralph Jones. Highlights include a jazzy, swinging "Let the Church Roll On," a dark, bluesy "Trouble With the Word," and energetic versions of "Down By the Riverside" and "It Don't Cost Very Much." Bless This House includes some of Jackson's most serious offerings and reflects the influence of blues singers Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey on her vocal style. A great introduction to Jackson's joyous, religious music and a good beginning for new listeners.
A totally excellent bit of funk from Chico Hamilton – working with a great group that more than helps their leader live up to the album's title! The record's a real lost gem – and it's got Chico working in much funkier territory than before, grooving with complicated rhythms, and a heavy sound that features lots of work on organ and guitar. Lowell George (of Little Feat fame) is playing slide guitar in the group, giving the sound a great, muddy propellant – which only gets stronger with the help of Simon Nava and Sam Clayton on congas, plus heavy organ and piano by Stu Garner, Jerry Aiello and Bill Payne. Includes the killer Latin groover "Conquistadores 74", plus "Stu", "Feels Good", "Fancy", "Stacy", Gengis" and "I Can Hear The Grass Grow".