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The Gospel at Colonus

  • 79191

News & Reviews

  • The Gospel at Colonus, Bob Telson and Lee Breuer's groundbreaking retelling of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, will be given six free performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, September 4–9, presented by The Public Theater and the Onassis Foundation USA. The musical, for which Nonesuch released the 1985 original cast recording, returns to NYC for the first time since 2004 to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the original production. Set in the context of a black Pentecostal service, it celebrates the myth of Oedipus' redemption with a rousing gospel and blues score, featuring more than forty voices including The Blind Boys of Alabama as Oedipus.

  • Dr. John hits the road with a four-piece band and The Blind Boys of Alabama for the Spirituals to Funk tour, starting tonight in California. Based on the legendary Carnegie Hall Spirituals to Swing concerts of the 1930s, Spirituals to Funk features an integrated show that explores the connections between jazz, blues, and gospel, all under Dr. John's musical direction. "Musical pairings don’t come much more inspired," says the San Diego Union-Tribune. The tour will visit 30 cities and towns in 14 states across the US.

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  • About This Album

    Set in the context of a black Pentecostal service, The Gospel at Colonus is an exuberant retelling of Sophocles' classic Oedipus at Colonus. With book, original lyrics, and direction by Lee Breuer and original music, adapted lyrics, and music direction by Bob Telson, this original cast recording, featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama as Oedipus, was made in a 1985 performance at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. With the ground-shaking thunder of a gospel revival meeting, this Obie-winning adaptation celebrates the 2,400-year-old myth of Oedipus' redemption with a rousing gospel and blues score. The Washington Post called the show "dramatically audacious" and praised the album's "powerhouse performances" and "sheer massed strength of the various gospel choirs." The New York Times calls it "an exhilarating musical celebration."

    The Gospel at Colonus premiered in 1983 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival to great acclaim, earning the Obie Award for Outstanding Musical, and was a 1985 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The groundbreaking musical moved to Broadway, opening on March 24, 1988, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and earning a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical and Grammy Award nomination for Best Recorded Theatrical Score. Since its original Broadway run, The Gospel at Colonus has toured with a majority of the original cast, nationally and internationally with engagements in New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Zurich, Spoleto, Barcelona, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Vienna, and Athens, among others.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Clarence Fountain & The Five Blind Boys of Alabama: Bobby Butler, Sam Butler, J.T. Clinkscales, Clarence Fountain, Rev. Olice Thomas, Joe Watson

    J.J. Farley & The Original Soul Stirrers: Jackie Banks, J.J. Farley, Martin Jacox, Ben Odom, Willie Rogers

    The J.D. Steele Singers: Fred Steele, J.D. Steele, Jearlyn Steele-Battle, Jevetta Steele

    The Institutional C.O.G.I.C. Radio Choir:
    Director: Carl Williams, Jr.
    Soloist: Carolyn Johnson-White
    Guest Choir Director for The Gospel at Colonus: J.D. Steele
    with
    Donald Ballard, Charles Bellamy, Deborah C. Britt, Katie Bronn, Betty Cooper, Carl Cooper, George Cooper, Peggy Cooper, Walter Dixon, Keith Doars, Shari Driskill, Mary Fisher, Beverly Graham, Angie Haddock, Vincent J. Haddock, Jr., William Hines, Mary Hunt, Selene Jones, Shellie Jordan, Zack Kelly, Edgar Ladson, Evelyn Langston, Tyrone D. McCall, Denise Martin, Terrence Moore, Janet C. Napper, Ruth Payne, Lillie Richards, Josie Rogers, Joyce Taylor, Arnita Tillman, Ezekiel Tobby, Brenda Hyman Turner, Cynthia Wainwright, Linda Wilkerson, Monique Williams, Joan Faye Wright

    Little Village:
    Sam Butler, guitar, vocals
    Leroy Clouden, drums
    Lincoln Schleifer, bass
    Butch Heyward, organ
    Bob Telson, piano, synthesizer
    Chris Royal, trumpet
    Marc Johnson, trombone
    John Hagen, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone
    Bob Malach, alto saxophone

    with
    Hugh McCracken, slide guitar and harmonica
    Zev Katz, bass

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Recordings produced for Great Performances, by WNET/New York
    Album produced by Bob Telson
    Engineer: David Hewitt
    Recorded in performance September 19, 1985, at the Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, as part of the American Music Theater Festival
    Mixed at Sync Sound and Remote Recording

    “Lift Me Up (Like a Dove)” and “Sunlight of No Light”
    Produced by Donald Fagen, Gary Katz, Daniel Lazerus, and Bob Telson
    Engineer: Daniel Lazerus
    Recorded summer 1984 at Clinton and Soundworks Studios

    Front cover art by Doug Johnson
    Back cover photograph © 1983 Tom Caravaglia

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Artist Name: 
Bob Telson
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Release Date: 
Friday, April 1, 1988 - 05:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

With book, original lyrics, and direction by Lee Breuer and original music, adapted lyrics, and music direction by Bob Telson, The Gospel at Colonus is a retelling of Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, set in the Black Pentecostal church and featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama collectively as Oedipus. The Washington Post called the show “dramatically audacious” and praised the album’s “powerhouse performances” and “sheer massed strength of the various gospel choirs.” The New York Times calls it "an exhilarating musical celebration." The New Yorker says it's "a masterpiece."

Description: 

Set in the context of a black Pentecostal service, The Gospel at Colonus is an exuberant retelling of Sophocles' classic Oedipus at Colonus. With book, original lyrics, and direction by Lee Breuer and original music, adapted lyrics, and music direction by Bob Telson, this original cast recording, featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama as Oedipus, was made in a 1985 performance at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. With the ground-shaking thunder of a gospel revival meeting, this Obie-winning adaptation celebrates the 2,400-year-old myth of Oedipus' redemption with a rousing gospel and blues score. The Washington Post called the show "dramatically audacious" and praised the album's "powerhouse performances" and "sheer massed strength of the various gospel choirs." The New York Times calls it "an exhilarating musical celebration."

The Gospel at Colonus premiered in 1983 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival to great acclaim, earning the Obie Award for Outstanding Musical, and was a 1985 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The groundbreaking musical moved to Broadway, opening on March 24, 1988, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and earning a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical and Grammy Award nomination for Best Recorded Theatrical Score. Since its original Broadway run, The Gospel at Colonus has toured with a majority of the original cast, nationally and internationally with engagements in New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Zurich, Spoleto, Barcelona, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Vienna, and Athens, among others.

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Recordings produced for Great Performances, by WNET/New York
Album produced by Bob Telson
Engineer: David Hewitt
Recorded in performance September 19, 1985, at the Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, as part of the American Music Theater Festival
Mixed at Sync Sound and Remote Recording

“Lift Me Up (Like a Dove)” and “Sunlight of No Light”
Produced by Donald Fagen, Gary Katz, Daniel Lazerus, and Bob Telson
Engineer: Daniel Lazerus
Recorded summer 1984 at Clinton and Soundworks Studios

Front cover art by Doug Johnson
Back cover photograph © 1983 Tom Caravaglia

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79191

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
112
ns_album_id: 
299
ns_album_releasedate: 
Friday, April 1, 1988 - 05:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597919127BUN
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
603497101665
Price: 
9.00
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Clarence Fountain & The Five Blind Boys of Alabama: Bobby Butler, Sam Butler, J.T. Clinkscales, Clarence Fountain, Rev. Olice Thomas, Joe Watson

J.J. Farley & The Original Soul Stirrers: Jackie Banks, J.J. Farley, Martin Jacox, Ben Odom, Willie Rogers

The J.D. Steele Singers: Fred Steele, J.D. Steele, Jearlyn Steele-Battle, Jevetta Steele

The Institutional C.O.G.I.C. Radio Choir:
Director: Carl Williams, Jr.
Soloist: Carolyn Johnson-White
Guest Choir Director for The Gospel at Colonus: J.D. Steele
with
Donald Ballard, Charles Bellamy, Deborah C. Britt, Katie Bronn, Betty Cooper, Carl Cooper, George Cooper, Peggy Cooper, Walter Dixon, Keith Doars, Shari Driskill, Mary Fisher, Beverly Graham, Angie Haddock, Vincent J. Haddock, Jr., William Hines, Mary Hunt, Selene Jones, Shellie Jordan, Zack Kelly, Edgar Ladson, Evelyn Langston, Tyrone D. McCall, Denise Martin, Terrence Moore, Janet C. Napper, Ruth Payne, Lillie Richards, Josie Rogers, Joyce Taylor, Arnita Tillman, Ezekiel Tobby, Brenda Hyman Turner, Cynthia Wainwright, Linda Wilkerson, Monique Williams, Joan Faye Wright

Little Village:
Sam Butler, guitar, vocals
Leroy Clouden, drums
Lincoln Schleifer, bass
Butch Heyward, organ
Bob Telson, piano, synthesizer
Chris Royal, trumpet
Marc Johnson, trombone
John Hagen, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone
Bob Malach, alto saxophone

with
Hugh McCracken, slide guitar and harmonica
Zev Katz, bass

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