«Holy Roller» by Libby Larsen – Kyle Mechmet

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The longest running revival meeting in America took place on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California and lasted from 1906 to 1909. Night after night, the Reverend William Seymour preached so passionately that he brought about an ecstatic outpouring from all that were there. They wept, shouted and dropped into dead faints. They spoke in tongues. They jerked uncontrollably. They danced in the aisles. It is said that the Pentecostal movement in the United States was born of this three-year revival meeting.

Holy Roller is inspired by classic revival preaching. To me, revival sermons are stunning musical masterpieces of rhythm, tempo, and extraordinary tension and release. The music flows directly from the language, cajoling, incanting and repeating, at the same time magnetizing and mesmerizing the listener with its irresistible invocations. The music is the language, the language is the music and the result moves the spirit to other states of being.

I love the way the saxophone speaks. Because of its incredible dynamic range and its flexibility a fine performer can make the listener hear words, abstract though they may be. Holy Roller is a revival sermon captured in the sounds of the alto saxophone and piano.

— Libby Larsen

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