That recording turned out so well that Brickey suggested they add two other vocalists and a rhythm section to delve further into the jazz-gospel convergence. At their first rehearsal, in 2008, the seven members clicked perfectly—and decided to form a permanent group. Brickey has been Come Sunday’s musical visionary, says Allemana: “He introduced me to all the gospel artists, he brought the music to me, and he also trusted me totally so I was able to write whatever I wanted.”
Brickey, who has an avid interest in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, was struck by how some of the songs on “Crosscurrents”—“Keep Your Hand on the Plow” and “I’m on My Way to Canaan Land,” in particular—had been adapted during the freedom struggles of the 1960s to lift spirits during demonstrations and the mass jailings that often followed. “The singing was powerful, and it gave unity to the people,” he says. Come Sunday’s next recording project will expand on these themes and focus on old gospel tunes that became Civil Rights-era anthems.
“Emotional integrity is the common thread that brings all these musics together,” Brickey states. “In music inspired by gospel, the musicians rely on genuine emotions to help them convey meaning vocally and instrumentally. It is the essential characteristic of ‘emotional integrity’ that gave birth to blues, jazz, r&b, and finally rock ’n’ roll. We owe an entire culture of musical diversity to African gospel music.”