Jubilation IX – Goin’ Up Yonder

(Thomas A. Dorsey, Mary Gardner) Unichappell Music Inc.


(Traditional) Serena Voltaire, soloist


(Curtis Burrell) Revelation III, soloists


(Walter Hawkins) Bud-John Music Inc. Janique Montreuil, soloist


(Traditional) Serena Voltaire, soloist


(Curtis Burrell) Savgos Music Inc. Revelation III, soloists


(Edwin Hawkins) Kama Rippa Music Inc. Serena Voltaire, soloist


(Traditional - South African)


(Alex Bradford) Martin and Morris Music Inc.


(Walter Hawkins) Copyright Management Inc. Janique Montreuil, soloist


Jubilation IX – Goin’ Up Yonder
Just 183-2

Recorded ‘live’ December 6, 7, and 8, 2001 at
St-James United Church, Montreal (Canada)
Karisma Audio Mobile
Recorded by Ian Terry, assisted by Marcel Gouin

Produced by Jim West and Trevor W. Payne
All musical arrangements by Trevor W. Payne
unless otherwise stated

Mixed at Studio Victor by William Szawlowski
Assisted by Louis Legault
Photography – James St. Laurent
Design – Reid Morris
Liner notes – Andrew Jones
Trenslation – Marc Chénard

Album Details

It’s tempting for the armchair musicologist to regard gospel as a fake book for the home of plenty of African-American popular music. An early ’50s vintage fake book was a cheaply mimeographed and bound book of chord changes that would allow the aspiring (and often penniless) jazz musician to tackle any standard of the day that might be called out during a gig. Gospel is commonly seen as this Cliff’s Notes of Black music, the font of styles from soul to R&B, from hard bop to hip hop.

There are of course many missing vari­ables in this simplified musical equation. Blues and swing, field hollers and free jazz, Miles and Bob Marley have all added depth, nuance, and history to Africa’s musical Diaspora. Yet it’s still a compelling analogy. Gospel remains one of the purest distilla­tions of the African-American musical and social experience, something the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir has dedicated its book to for the past 20 years, educating, enlightening, and getting audiences on their feet worldwide.

On a good night (and here we have an example of several very good nights) the choir is capable of showing just how deep most popular music is rooted in gospel, com­manding a musical compass wide enough to rock the ages. The good listener need listen no further than Curtis Burrell’s He Brought Us, whose devotional message has a sly, Paisley Park-style arrangement that wouldn’t sound out of place on an old LP by the artist with a former name. The traditional I Want to Be Ready is powered by the infectious rhythm and blues beat Motown would later secular­ize. And Walter Hawkins’ Changed has a joy­ous, declamatory soul that has been the stock-in-trade of singers from Aretha to Alicia. The effect is bracing, like listening to Samuel L. Jackson as DJ Senor Love Daddy reel off a lengthy and impressive list of semi­nal African-American performers from Duke Ellington to Public Enemy in Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing.

The highlight of the roof-raising 2001 con­certs that produced these recordings was the perfom1ances by Revelation III -three Montreal vocalists whose voices fom1 a pyramid of soul: Samantha Hinds, Janique Montreuil, and Serena Voltaire.These ladies are far from today’s airbrushed ‘divas who like to give as much props to their product sponsors as they do to the Lord. There are no Pro Tools melismas here, only courage, joy, and soul. Samantha hits R&B highs on the Curtis Burrell’s ~Don’t Peel) No Ways Tired, Serena scales the Jubilation evergreens Over My Head and 0 Happy Day, while Janique Montreuil’s stunning showstopper perfor­mance on Goin’ Up Yonder burns on in memory long after the evening is finished. Revelation III is a new project for Choir Director Trevor W. Payne. After leading the good ship Jubilation for 20 years, Payne has charted several new destinations, also form­ing the Canadian Gospel Music Association to spread the Word. If the Choir has indeed decided to “Go Up Yonder,” this will be remembered as the concert that marked the debut of three uniquely talented singers. But I suspect, like gospel itself, the Choir will be a joyous presence for many years to come.
-Andrew Jones, August 2002