Liz Mc Comb
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A blinding light glares down from above, piercing through the shadows on the stage and ricocheting off the forehead of the woman who is about to burst into song. Her fingers alight on the piano : ebony and ivory, black and white keys, African trance and European harmony, the flip side of the American dream, a sublime moment of a universal music...

Dazzled, the audience is spellbound. People slip silently into the last available seats.

Tonight, like every night, Liz Mc Comb has worked her charm. In the space of a few minutes, each member of the public becomes a child once again ; their inhibitions gone, they clap in rhythm, smile without restraint, shed tears without bitterness. The music is everywhere, flowing irresistibly, like a current unleashed from Johann Sebastian Bach to Jimi Hendrix, sweeping everything up in the "Love Supreme" celebrated by John Coltrane.

Liz Mc Comb sings Gospel : not catechism, but Gospel with a capital G, religion in the true meaning of the term, by which all beings are United...

Cast into the New World, the uprooted descendents of Africa breathed back into Christianity all the passion it had been lacking since the Middle Ages. From blues to rap by way of soul music, spirituals and gospel songs forged the identity of the "African-American" people, and paved the way for the explosion of rock'n'roll. Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Prince and so many others learned to sing while sitting in church pews...

A pastor's daughter, Liz Mc Comb is a rock star in spite of herself. Alone, or accompanied by her bassist-guitarist Titus Williams, she swings from Nina Simone's tragic accents to Tina Turner's frenetic exuberance. Each syllable is an invitation to dance, in its most exalted state.

However, Liz has the faith of a true believer : faith in the adorable little girl who at the age of 3 already had the congregation of the Cleveland Pentecostal Church eating out of her hand. Her repertoire is as personal as it is traditional : in her own inimitable style, with instinctive and exquisite taste, she remodels Gospel "classics", those ageless canticles by forgotten or little-known composers that on Sunday mornings still work their magic with the American people.

Because today Gospel, the equal of rap and country, is the liveliest and most popular music in America. Top-selling Gospel titles reach millions, and Europe still has much to learn about this fabulous heritage.

Liz Mc Comb has become Gospel's finest Ambassador, worthy of those who preceded her : Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Marion Williams, Bessie Griffin...

Like her illustrious elders, Liz is a vocal phenomenon, a self-taught virtuoso whose stunning technique is always transcended by pure emotion.

This album, recorded "live", makes her recent European concert tour available to all, a tour that took her from Paris celebrated Théâtre des Champs Elysées to Lyon's Opera House by way of an overwhelming appearance at the prestigious Midem.

Liz reaches out to every audience as if it were the close-knit community of her local Ohio church. Every evening, the concert unfolds like an immutable and unpredictable ceremony, an ancestral ritual as contemporary as any rock concert. An ultimate offering that is worlds removed from ordinary entertainment. And does it matter whether she is adressing God or merely the senses ?

Her voice, authentic and generous, seems to merge from the depths of time, taking us on an unforgettable journey.

Gérald Arnaud (translation Jerome Reese)

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