Mahalia Jackson?

Just heard the remarkable Mahalia Jackson on NPR. Looks like there's quite a few recordings out there. What's recommended in terms of both performance and sound?

She does some vocals on Ellington's Black Brown and Beige Suite that are out of this world. Get the CD version with the extra takes of her parts.
Unfortunately, most of her great early stuff is pretty dreadful on the SQ front (at least those that I've heard). The SQ is better on the later recordings, but the performances are less striking. "Live At Newport" has some great perfomances and better than average (for MJ) SQ.

Good luck.

Thanks! I'll try these out. John