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Blues and Other Love Songs

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Album Review

This Charles Brown session from early 1992 finds the singer sounding just as natural as he did in the early '50s. Blues and Other Love Songs was originally released on Muse records and is available as a budget title from the excellent reissue label 32 Jazz. Brown is in a typically soulful mood, crooning like a gritty modern day Nat "King" Cole. Backing up the piano and vocals of Brown are soul-groove saxophonist Houston Person, whose smokey tenor chops were an excellent match for Brown's blues. Danny Caron on guitar, Ruth Davies on bass, and Gaylord Birch round out the rhythm section. These ten tracks consist of five originals and five covers featuring a brief version of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight," showing off Brown's ability to play straight jazz. Person is also heard with Brown on the 32 jazz reissue Lost and Found, which combines the albums Sweet Slumber and Wildflower on one disc.

Biography

Born: 13 September 1922 in Texas City, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

How many blues artists remained at the absolute top of their game after more than a half-century of performing? One immediately leaps to mind: Charles Brown. His incredible piano skills and laid-back vocal delivery remained every bit as mesmerizing at the end of his life as they were way back in 1945, when his groundbreaking waxing of "Drifting Blues" with guitarist Johnny Moore's Three Blazers invented an entirely new blues genre for sophisticated postwar revelers: an ultra-mellow, jazz-inflected...
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