Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartet: Stand By The Bedside Of A Neighbor


Stand By The Bedside Of A Neighbor


Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartet


Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 6: 1937-1940 (Document 5386)

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Individually unnamed male vocal quartet


Composed by S. Williams


Recorded: North Carolina, 1938


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Jubilee quartets were early 20th-century male vocal groups who sang Negro spirituals a cappella. What differentiated Virginia's NJQ, aside from superior close harmonizing, resonant bass and clear Tidewater falsetto, was their jazz-inflected phrasing. Cross-pollination has always characterized jazz, but usually it's jazz fertilizing itself from other genres, not vice versa. Here, comforting a neighbor about to cross over, the NJQ moves and mesmerizes us. It's a pity the NJQ's individual membership went uncredited, for they were exceptional artists. Yet they sang not for personal glory, but to glorify God. Maybe more of us should think that way.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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