There is a story behind this concert – from the liner notes:
"In the 1940s Esquire magazine was one of the most popular news magazines of the American East Coast. Every year it organized a poll among its readers, who voted for the top musicians of the last year. Then all the winners were invited for a great concert which was a major event of New York's nightlife. This is the recording of the first Esquire Jazz Concert. You find, joined for one night, the most popular American Jazz musicians in a night-long jam session."
Bless This House was released in 1956 and features Mahalia Jackson and the Falls-Jones Ensemble. This LP is a favorite of the gospel purists who feel alienated by Jackson's collaborations with pop artists like Percy Faith and Harpo Marx. The songs on Bless This House feature great supporting performances by pianist Mildred Falls and organist Ralph Jones. Highlights include a jazzy, swinging "Let the Church Roll On," a dark, bluesy "Trouble With the Word," and energetic versions of "Down By the Riverside" and "It Don't Cost Very Much." Bless This House includes some of Jackson's most serious offerings and reflects the influence of blues singers Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey on her vocal style. A great introduction to Jackson's joyous, religious music and a good beginning for new listeners.