Music helps create and heighten the tone of ceremony and ritual. It’s important to understand that this music was written for a church service, but nonetheless this tone, and the emotional response it evokes, can resonate in the secular world as well, whether we call it Spiritual or Gospel Jazz. The opening bars of “Introduction/Lord Have Mercy” are solemn, with horns calling the listener to attention and acting as a clarion call. The track has a distinct, dramatic quality, signifying the transformation from the mundane to the spiritual. When Carrington’s voice first enters, towards the end of the composition, it instills a slightly unnerving sense of foreboding in his passionate baritone.
“Lord Have Mercy” aside the rest of the album has a lighter tone, a mixture of songs and instrumentals, rich in melody and harmony
It is exactly what the title promises, being a sincerely spiritual experience that also takes in the developments in jazz at the time