Boston Globe correspondent Karen Campbell tells us that McFerrin's father – Robert McFerrin, Sr. – was "the first African-American to become a member of the New York Metropolitan Opera and the singing voice of Sidney Poitier in the film of 'Porgy and Bess…'" His "great baritone" was especially prominent within "his renditions of classic Negro spirituals."
McFerrin (who is no slouch in his own right, Wikipedia tells us that he's been a "ten-time Grammy award winner") is therefore dedicating this recording to his dad. However, McFerrin did not simply want to recreate his father's interpretations of the spirituals. He instead strove to take "a distinctly different, cross-genre approach to the material…"
This unique approach produced such results as an "up-tempo" Joshua and a bluesy Whole World. Altogether there are seven spirituals, six original McFerrin songs, plus a cover of Dylan's I Shall Be Released.
Plenty of material to stop worrying and start being happy about…
Copyright May 21, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved