It’s fascinating how musical genres can be used for different purposes, outside of their traditional uses. When we think of Black Amercan musical genres, such Rock N’ Roll and Hip Hop, we traditionally think of a live concert or houseparty. It’s the same with House music. Jazz, R&B, and Neo-Soul (Soul) takes us into the real of Cafe’s and Soft concerts, where relaxation resides. And, of course, Gospel music permits us into the special world of the Black American Church setting.
There was one particular time, during Black American Her/History, when performing Blues rhythms was considered secular music; and therefore, separate from the sanctity of the Church. Even playing a particular style, while performing Gospelic lyrics, was considered, taboo! We can save the her/history lesson for another time, and place. Needless to say, secular and Gospelic musical forms, were viewed as, separate. Each had their place. More importantly, they were not considered to mix. Another day, a different time!
Fastforward into the current time, and one is likely to find mixtures of Gospel and Jazz, Gospel and Hip Hop, Gospel R&B, and Gospel and House music. An odd combination, should we say so? NOT REALLY! One of the things, which should be addressed is that all Black American, musical forms stem from the Black American Church. Authentic Black American culture, that is! Culinary. Fashion. Linguistics. Social Justice. And, of course, the Music!
The period of The Great Migration established a unique pattern of re-creativity, as Black Americans traveled North, in order to escape racial hostilities of the South! That’s the truth of it. My, how intriguing the pattern of movement and how it nourishes the very performance of creativity! Movement, coupled with their Southern traditions permitted them to produce (and re-produce) new art forms, through their matriculation, with the land. That’s the gist of it. Therefore, Black American musical styles are truly intertwined with each other, through space and time!
So, what happens when you mix together House, Gospel, and Jazz music? First, you get the breaking down of old taboos! That’s for one. Then, you get to understand how the Most High is very creative. Very creative, in more ways than we can imagine! The Creator can use different platforms to manifest the message. It is not simply relegated to one.
“Praise Him (Lift Your Hands Up)!” Yes! Halleluyah and High Praise! Now, imagine putting that in a funky beat; making it appealing to the younger generation. It’s a spark of magic! Attracting more people from the secular world, into knowing the truth. Giving praises, as usual! Another trick of the mind? House parties, which provide spiritual healing, with praises to the Most High! Now, that’s something new!
Having been born in New York City, the song, “Praise Him (Lift Your Hands Up)” resonated for this particular dame. Coloring her vocals on the track, she made it cool for Gospel lyrics to be immersed with a House in Jazz! Many do not remember her name, or legacy. Nevertheless, her contribution to the mixture of Gospel, House, and a taste of Jazz will never be forgotten, once heard. She is none other than the late. . .