Charles Brown: In A Grand Style
In A Grand Style is a typically mellow collection from Brown, but it's the first time we've heard him alone at the piano. These 10 tunes were recorded during the early '90s when Brown began his fruitful relationship with Bullseye Blues. Brown's vocals are as velvety smooth as ever, but his piano playing impresses the most in this intimate setting. A master instrumentalist, Brown combines the jazzy elegance of Nat King Cole with some roadhouse touches.
There's a frilly, Gershwin-like polish to his fingerwork on "Stand By You," a charming original. He injects Little Walter's "Give Me A Woman" and Van McCoy's "Sorry Baby" with ingenious outbursts of decorative blues, and even shows his classical training on the arpeggio-laden "Charles' Chopin Liszt," which ends all too quickly.
My favorite track is the CD's closer, "Wouldn't It Be Grand." Like John Lennon's "Imagine," this is a poetic plea for brotherhood and civility from one of the 20th Century's most influential musicians. It's a fitting swan song from a true gentleman whose music will live on for many years to come.
Record Label: Bullseye Records