November 29, 2023

Alexander Hamilton, RIP: Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’ Choir Director/Arranger Remembered by Documentary Producer

Alexander Hamilton, who passed on Jan. 28 at age 77, was a guide and arranger who had the option to add “celebrity” to his credits somewhat recently of his life. His work on Aretha Franklin’s 1972 “Astonishing Grace” collection – affirmed as the top of the line collection of her vocation – was heard by millions over a time of very nearly fifty years before Franklin fans really got to consider well as hear Hamilton’s craftsmanship as the arranger and guide of that music. Whenever the film delivering of that recording at long last turned out in 2018, Hamilton lingered as almost as huge a character on-screen as its apparent stars, James Cleveland and Franklin herself.Until the disclosure of the film of “Astonishing Grace,” the virtuoso of crafted by Alexander Hamilton was not too known as it is presently. For those recognizable, Hamilton’s co-featuring job leading the ensemble is unadulterated satisfaction. Extraordinary music and incredible records frequently appear as though they’ve existed all of the time. We underestimate it – it’s like air or water. Furthermore like a Michelangelo mold, audience members may accept that the recording comes out nearly all in all. Yet, getting an extraordinary recording: that wizardry is interesting.

Alex’s misfortune to well known music and to the gospel local area is monstrous. Alex played, led and organized scores for a long time symbols, including Lola Falana, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Lou Rawls, the Staple Singers, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole, Etta James, James Cleveland, Bessie Griffin, Shirley Caesar and Mahalia Jackson. He additionally co-composed the gospel hit “He’s a Miracle Worker” with Eddie Kendricks.

Also… Aretha Franklin and the Southern California Choir.With “Astonishing Grace,” Alex concocted a language of music that an age grew up with as though it were sacrosanct and blessed – in light of the fact that it is.

That collection mixed in to turn into a piece of the texture of well known music. Like the air we inhale, we underestimate that a game plan like “Mary, Don’t You Weep” or “How I Got Over” simply exists, since how should it not? Without Alex, our ears and our spirits would not have known what we were absent! As ensemble part Mary Hall said, “Alex made the sound of ‘Astonishing Grace.’ He was incredible.”Jerry Wexler [co-maker of the “Astounding Grace” album] said, “I took a profane mood segment and put it in a hallowed spot.” Alex was Jerry’s converse, taking his holy voicings, voices, rhythms, understandings and energy and fusing that profane cadence segment of Bernard Purdie, Chuck Rainey, Poncho Morales, Cornell Dupree and Kenny Luper.

Alexander Hamilton is a star in our film, Alex desires, coaxes, prods the ensemble – and the cameras (he knew how to perform!) – to exultancy. Riding the peak of melodic energy like a harmony surfer, Alex drew out the most incredible in his ensemble and in doing as such uncovered a typical recuperating melodic experience that united the world.

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