||Chariot -- Gospel Cantata (11:30)
The idea that a chariot of fire would sweep down out of the heavens and carry off a man in a mystical spiritual process called “ascension” has fascinated me since childhood. When I first heard the story in the Bible of the master Elijah and his devoted disciple, Elisha, probably in Sunday School, I tucked the tale away in the back of my mind for further imaginary consideration.
Around 8 years ago I began to set that story to music. Three iconic songs kept coming to mind as I worked. The first, naturally, was Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Swing Down Chariot Stop And Let Me Ride was one from my early folk days first heard by me performed by the Chad Mitchell Trio. Also, among many other songs considered, Ride The Chariot In The Mornin’ Lord stuck as well. The rest I wrote myself, weaving these three iconic songs in and out.
Here is the result of years of work on this Gospel Cantata performed splendidly by as formidable a group of singin’ folks as you could find in NYC led by Jenny Burton, Angela Clemmons, Cat Russell, John James, Darryl Tookes and Margaret Dorn who also did vocal arrangements.