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R&B legend Charles Brown passed away in 1999 at the age of seventy-seven as his career represented something of a paradox. The pianist/vocalist/songwriter enjoyed success with a string of hits in the 40’s then seemed to drift into obscurity until his talents were rediscovered in the 90’s as he also became the recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Subsequent tours with singer Bonnie Raitt and a few blues recordings rekindled awareness of his enormous talents and with Blues and Other Love Songs which was recorded in 1992 and released here for “32 Jazz”, Brown performs a series of originals and standards. And along with the estimable saxophonist Houston Person and a tight-knit rhythm section, this newly released recording effectively showcases or highlights Brown’s soulful ruminations as an endearing vocalist and stylish pianist!
Brown’s soothing vocals, understated elegance and crafty blues oriented piano work shines on his solo rendition of the standard “Who’s Beating My Time” while his upbeat demeanor, poise and expressive vocalizations surge forward on, “I Put Myself Together”. With this piece, saxophonist Houston Person establishes his presence towards the final minutes as he performs bright soulful lines to compliment Danny Caron’s softly stated chord voicings. The musicians turn in an affable, mid-tempo swing version of “Mint Julep” as Person pursues rich lyricism sparked by gritty lines atop Brown’s rollicking and rolling piano work while the pianist gives Monk’s classic, “Round Midnight” the stride piano and R&B treatment in altogether animated fashion.
Like so many of his peers and predecessors, Charles Brown enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence later on in life yet his influence and significant legacy remains documented thanks to fine recordings such as Blues and Other Love Songs.
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Charles Brown; Vocals, Piano: Houston Person; Tenor Saxophone: Danny Caron; Guitar: Ruth Davies; Bass: Gaylord Birch; Drums
Track listing: 1) Do You Want Me? 2) Fool That I Am 3) Who
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com