Just A Lucky So And So
Brown’s new Bullseye Blues album adds to the fine body of his recent recordings. The centerpiece of the backing is his excellent band with Danny Caron’s guitar, with its echoes of Oscar Moore as well as T-Bone Walker, and Clifford Solomon’s tenor saxophone, whose solos here show him to be the strongest horn player working in this idiom, with his solo on the remake of Black Nights, being particularly notable.
The big band charts add considerable punch with Wardell Querzergue’s arrangement on Drifting Blues building upon embellishments found in Johnny Otis’ treatment of the song. Song For Christmas is one of several non-blues and the strings add to Brown’s description of holiday times and spirits. Querzergue’s charts are never stodgy nor syrupy. Gloomy Sunday suggests Billie Holiday’s influence in how Brown delivers the vocal, although this performance sounds a tad lethargic. The Quintet shines on Danger with its New Orleans rhythms and superb solos from Caron and Solomon. Brown continues to show his considerable piano talent here and throughout the record.
There is no claim that this is Charles Brown’s best recent recording, but the handsome production insures that this is not simply more of the same (although excellent) music found on his recent albums.
I am pretty sure I received my review copy from Rounder Records at the time. This review appeared in the April 1994 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 190). Here is a love performance from Charles Brown and his band.