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Beautiful Life

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Album Review

Beautiful Life was an album very much in progress when Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go Go," passed away in May of 2012. It doesn't fall into the trap that many posthumously released offerings do, however. As a selection of Chuck Brown/Chuck Brown Band tunes, it is an exercise in continuity rather than a cynical attempt at making a trip to the bank. Brown appears on only five of the set's nine tracks, but his band and guests are up to the task he left. The title track features Brown in fine vocal form, rapping and singing about love and family in this rugged life. Guest Wale brings a short tribute to the bridge. Brown's signature music meets a modern soul groove on "Best in Me," which is just monstrous. He holds his own in a duet with Faith Evans as Raheem DeVaughn helps out on the chorus. The tune features a nasty, trademark keyboard bass winding out the groove with layer upon layer of percussion. The middle of the set features three tracks by the band. All are serviceable, but "Pop That Trunk," with Sugar Bear and KK going at one another vocally, is a go-go killer. Brown's love for blues, jazz, and gospel is well-known. It's displayed here on a stirring and utterly contemporary arrangement of Edwin Hawkins' "O Happy Day," with Brown getting deep into the grain of the lyric in duet with Y’Anna Crawley, and backed by the Howard University Gospel Choir and the CBB. Another nod to his lifelong appreciation of great Black music lies in the closer, a deeply soulful vocal read of Kenny Gamble's and Leon Huff's "You'll Never Find a Love Like Mine," filtered through the eternal groove of go-go and a canny horn chart. A Beautiful Life is a fitting sendoff for the big man.

Customer Reviews


R.I.P. god father of go go. i still have you as number 1. in the crank sessions of go go bands nobody will ever touch your spot.

Love me some Chuck!!!

RIP And Heaven!!! Heard single “beautiful life” on WHUR in DC a few weeks ago and had to preorder. Listening now. This is a great project. Love the Collabs with Sugar Bear, Wale, KK, Faith etc…Miss you Chuck!!

Father of GoGo music

This is a really good cd it shows th
GoGo music at its best mostly in a jazzy tempo with R&B. beats. This cd is a must have. Well done. I love it. R.I.P. Chuck


Born: August 28, 1936 in Washington D.C.

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Washington, D.C., bandleader, performer, and songwriter Chuck Brown was a prominent figure on the city's go-go scene. Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers were also one of the rare go-go acts to gain national attention, even though they were short-lived. The Soul Searchers included trombonist/keyboardist John "JB" Buchanan, trumpeter Donald Tillery, saxophonist/flutist Leroy Fleming, bassist Jerry Wilder, percussionist Gregory Gerran, organist Curtis Johnson, keyboardist Skip Fennell, drummer Ricardo...
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Beautiful Life, Chuck Brown
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