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Zion Harmonizers - Never Alone

 

Sound of New Orleans owner and producer Gary Edwards and Zion Harmonizers leader Sherman Washington first met in 1969 at an early incarnation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where Edwards provided the sound system and the Zion Harmonizers performed.

The two struck up a friendship that resulted in the establishment of an annual Gospel Tent at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and a commitment by Edwards to record otherwise-overlooked New Orleans gospel music.

For his part, Sound of New Orleans owner and producer Gary Edwards says, “I will always remember my work with the Zion Harmonizers as a special privilege, sharing the lasting excitement in the joyful praising of the Lord.”

And that’s just what this recording offers: 15 classic examples of the art of male-quartet harmonizing in the joyful praising of the Lord. Recorded in 1982 and 1990, this is joyful praising that can take many forms, from old-style jubilee singing to down-home Baptist shouts to contemporary R&B-style crooning.

Check out, for instance, two extreme examples: the gorgeous a cappella treatment of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” a pure blend of jubilee, shout, and doo-wop styles expounded within a stately, deliberate rhythm; or the high-powered, backwoods treatment of “Tied Up (in Jesus),” with hand-clapping, organ swirls, and clipped-chord rhythm-guitar driving the quartet at what seems like an impossible speed.

In the hands of the Zion Harmonizers, both reflect joyful praising that never veers from true Divine Inspiration, always illustrating the group’s belief that “harmony in song can bring about true harmony in mankind.”

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NEVER ALONE

PRECIOUS KING

JESUS (TRUST HIM TODAY)

TIED UP (IN JESUS)

IN THE END

PRAY ON

GOD WILL TAKE CARE (OF YOU)

THIS OLD SOUL (OF MINE)

TRUST IN GOD

GOD’S BEEN GOOD

BUILD ME A CABIN

SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT

STANDING IN THE SAFETY ZONE

BROTHER MOSES

HE NEVER LEFT ME

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