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Chanticleer have always had a wide repertoire, their records include discs of Palestrina (a rare outing for the lovely Missa pro defunctis), John Tavener and Purcell; contemporary music, popular music, jazz and spirituals all play a large role in their repertoire.

To sing such a wide range of music, a group must either be chameleon-like or impose their own style on everything. The singers in Chanticleer are chameleons in the best American manner, managing to create a distinctive style for each type of music that they sing. My best comparison for their sound world is not another choir but a 5-man cabaret group from the 1990s, The Flirtations, who specialised in a cappella ensemble singing.

This show business element is to the fore in Chanticleer's sound on this disc as they sing a programme of contemporary arrangements of spirituals and gospel music. They are joined by Bishop Yvette A Flunder who provides powerful solos on a number of the tracks. Bishop Flunder has released a number of discs with gospel groups from her own churches.

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Copyright © 4 December 2005 Robert Hugill, London UK


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