|King Britt would make a great Music Appreciation professor since his career proves he knows his aural history from his collaboration with jazzy hip-hop crew Digable Planets to paying homage to the slinky grooves of 1970s blaxploitation films via Sylk 130 and his numerous remixes. Britt’s latest album offered him the challenge of collaborating with someone who would never step foot in the studio. The resulting tracks are unforgettably haunting with a voice echoing the pained cries of Nina Simone and the ragged but strong melodies of old blues singers. That voice belongs to Sister Gertrude Morgan.
Sister Gertrude’s an intriguing folk artist, preacher and poet who lived in the deep south early in the century and she thought she was a prophet whose purpose was to sing. The tapes from the single gospel album she recorded in the 1960s re-emerged recently and Britt was the person to relay her sounds to a new generation. He brought in a killer ensemble band to support the haunting voice of this mythical figure. Like Moby’s groundbreaking Play album, vintage vocal-sampling tracks by Fatboy Slim and a the recycled beats rampant in cool hip-hop cuts, the Sister Gertrude Morgan project marries timeless body-shaking grooves with next level musical creativity from the mind of Philly’s finest.