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Charles Brown Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

Artikel-Nr.: CDNEX133

Gewicht in Kg: 0,107


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Charles Brown: Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

Video von Charles Brown - Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

(1994/CASTLE) 25 tracks 1946-56 ALADDIN (73:01) 'EVERYBODY EXPECT AFTER YOU MAKE A BLUES HIT THEY FIGURE YOU SING THE BLUES. WELL, I WAS MORE OF A BLUE BALLAD SINGER, NOT A BLUES SINGER, BECAUSE MY NUMBERS ARE MORE OF STORY BALLAD NUMBERS. 'DRIFTING BLUES' IS BLUES, BUT IT WAS KIND OF A BALLAD BLUES, IT WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM THESE HARD BLUES LIKE THEY REALLY SING. THAT'S WHY I SAY I DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF CLASS MY TYPE OF SINGING IS, 'CAUSE NAT COLE WAS SINGING MOSTLY POPULAR THINGS, BUT WE WERE ALL IN THAT SAME VEIN. KING COLE, I LOVED HIS WORK BUT I NEVER WENT TO SEE HOW HE PERFORMED UNTIL I GOT SET IN MY WAY BECAUSE I DID'NT WANT TO BE PATTERNED AFTER NOBODY.' The year is 1986. A wonderful, new LP is released on a tiny stateside specialist label named Blue Side. 'But the record is by Charles Brown,' mutter the usually outspoken blues 'mafia'. 'It can't really be that good, can it?' But the LP is that good. So good, in fact, that in the subsequent three years it sees issue also on Demon in England and even the US 'hard contemporary blues' label, Alligator. Why are the blues critics so surprised? Has Charles Brown discovered a radical new style for his most recent studio work? No, Charles is playing and singing in the same style...even down to the type of material and the tenor sax-guitar-bass drums backing musicians.The difference is that, after years and years of bypassing Charles' music in favour of Chicago Blues, blues fans were made to sit up and listen. Born September 13, 1922, in Texas City, a small town not far from Houston, Charles' family, although very musical, were against their son becoming a musician. He therefore embarked in a successful academic course in chemistry and mathematics, eventually graduating to become a teacher and a chemist before his musical heritage finally persuaded him to make a living sitting on a piano stool. He packed his bags and headed down that sunny road to Los Angeles, California, and before long was playing piano with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. It was the summer of 1944 and the west coast was drowning in servicemen who were anxious to spend their war pay. Every other building housed a nightclub or ribjoint and every joint had its resident trio. The Three Blazers soon rose head and shoulders above the competition and made a worthy, though inauspicious, recording debut for the local Atlas label with Charles singing on one side and Frankie Laine (yes, that Frankie Laine) doing a Charles Brown impersonation on the other. 'After we made the first record with Frankie Laine, Johnny Moore was the type of guy who wanted to always see that his trio always got over, so he wanted to make some records of the trio. well, we were singing this 'DRIFTING BLUES'and all the people were wild over 'DRIFTING BLUES' during the war, but we had never made a recording of it. We had a little job at the Copa Club, and clubs were going very late during the war, and about 2:45 a knock was on that door and we looked through the door and a guy had a satchel, it was Sammy Goldberg and Eddie Mesner, and Sammy said, 'I want you to hear this 'DRIFTING BLUES' that Johnny Moore's playing and Charles Brown's singing.' He told us to play it and then asked us to sign a contract to make it for $800. So John said, 'Is that all you got?' He said, 'Yeah, if the record does good I'll give you more. I'll give you a piece of the action in the company.' It was the biggest mistake we ever made in our I ives.' Eddie Mesner released 'DRIFTING BLUES' on his fledgling Philo label, and on the copious proceeds resulting from the record's success in 1946, managed to found one of the most successful independant labels of the 40s and 50s — Aladdin Records. After only a couple of sessions for Philo/Aladdin, The Three Blazers moved on to make dozens of records for other L.A. independents like Modern, Exclusive and Swing Time, but in 1948 internal wranglings between the trio members came to a head and both Charles and bassist Eddie Williams left to form their own trios while Johnny continued to lead his Three Blazers. Strangely, in view of Charles' past dealings with Eddie Mesner, he signed another contract with Aladdin in November 1948 and remained with the company for the next eight years, laying down almost a hundred known masters. Many of these became big hits on the Billboard R&B charts, starting with 'IT'S NOTHING' (No. 13 in 1949), his run of Aladdin successes included 'TROUBLE BLUES' (No. 1 1949), 'HOMESICK BLUES' (No. 5 1949), 'MY BABY'S GONE (No. 6 1950), 'BLACK NIGHT' (No. 1 1951), 'SEVEN LONG DAYS' (No. 2 1951), 'HARD TIMES' (No. 7 1952), 'I'LL ALWAYS BE IN LOVE WITH YOU' was also a big hit (No. 7 1951), but the version on this CD, like the cut Of 'MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY' (Exclusive 63X — No. 8 1948), is a remake from a 1956 New Orleans sesion with Charles being supported by the cream of the Crescent City's musicians. During the late 50s and early 60s with the advent of rock 'n' roll and soul music, Charles' career quietened down, although he continued to record for Ace in New Orleans and King in Cincinnati and made worthy recordings for both labels, including some nice duets with his good friend, Amos Milburn. Over the past twenty-five years Charles has had the occasional LP released on labels like Mainstream, Bluesway, Jewel and Blues Spectrum, while two of his finest in recent years include a live LP on Stockholm and the above-mentioned Blues Side/Demon/Alligator set. This fine collection of the man's classic Aladdin sides is, as far as I'm aware, his first CD issue and deserves a similar reception — it is the Charles Brown collection. Charles believes he cut over 200 sides for Aladdin. 'Maurice King, who used to work in Detroit at the Flame and worked with Berry Gordy at Motown Records, he was one of the arrangers, well he wrote a bunch of tunes for me that I did on that label that were never released. Beautiful numbers. Aladdin had a fire before they sold out to United Artists and it burned up a lot of those masters. That's why a lot of those tunes they don't have no more.' Amos Milburn, Floyd Dixon, Johnny Watson, Ray Charles and countless others all owed a great debt to the innovative style of Charles Brown, so we should be grateful that many of these peerless performances were not lost in the blaze. Unblinker your attitudes, broaden your horizons, and drift off in the coolest of the cool blues. DAVE PENNY


Brown, Charles - Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD) CD 1
1: Driftin' Blues
2: Honeysipper
3: Let's Walk
4: Seven Long Days
5: I'll Always Be In Love With You
6: Black Night
7: Fool's Paradise
8: Again
9: My Baby's Gone
10: Don't Fool With My Heart
11: Still Water
12: Hard Times
13: Love Is A Gamble (Unissued)
14: Homesick Blues
15: How High The Moon
16: Baby Do You Know The Game
17: It's Nothing
18: Trouble Blues
19: Merry Christmas Baby
20: Trees Trees
21: Evening Shadows
22: Cryin & Driftin' Blues
23: Hot Lips And Seven Kisses
24: A Long Time
25: Goodnight My Love (Unissued)


Artikeleigenschaften von Charles Brown: Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

  • Interpret: Charles Brown

  • Albumtitel: Hard Times & Cool Blues (CD)

  • Artikelart CD

  • Genre R&B, Soul

  • Music Genre Rhythm & Blues
  • Music Style Rhythm & Blues
  • Music Sub-Genre 251 Rhythm & Blues
  • Label CASTLE

  • SubGenre R&B Music - Classic R&B

  • EAN: 5017285512338

  • Gewicht in Kg: 0.107

Interpreten-Beschreibung "Brown, Charles"

Charles Brown and His Band

Nachdem sie mehrmals die Nachkriegs-R&B-Charts mit ihrem sanften, kultivierten, urbanen West Coast Club-Blues erobert hatten, trennten sich die Wege von Pianist und Frontmann Charles Brown und Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Moores Bruder, der ebenfalls großartige Gitarrist Oscar Moore, war 1947 dazugekommen). Die persönliche Hitbilanz der Blazers für das Exclusive-Label notierte Sunny Road, New Orleans Blues und den unsterblichen, immer wieder populären Weihnachts-Bluesstandard Merry Christmas Baby. Dennoch kam es zum Bruch.

"Johnny Moore wurde gierig. Sie nahmen eine Menge Geld ein, das aufgeteilt und nach Hause hätte gebracht werden sollen; aber er ließ uns außen vor, mich und Eddie Williams, unseren Bassisten. Also wurde es ein Problem, dass wir uns nicht verstanden, und ich entschied, aufzuhören", sagte Brown. "Ich verließ sie 1948 und organisierte meine eigene Gruppe unter dem Namen Charles Brown & The Smarties. Ich ging zurück zu Aladdin Records."

Die Hits kamen für Brown bei Aladdin sofort: zu den größten Erfolgen gehörten Get Yourself Another Fool und der an die Spitze der R&B-Charts gestürmte Trouble Blues 1949 sowie das schwermütige Black Night, aufgenommen am 21. Dezember 1950 bei Radio Recorders in L.A. mit Jesse Ervins Gitarrenarbeit ganz im Stil der Moore-Brüder. Von der Songschreiberin Jessie Mae Robinson aus L.A. komponiert, blieb Black Night 1951 für 14 Wochen in der Hitparade. "Alles, was ich bei ihnen machte, war ein großer Hit", sagte Charles über seine Zusammenarbeit mit Aladdin. Aber die guten Zeiten hielten nicht an. Im Jahr darauf hatte Brown seine letzte R&B-Chartplatzierung für fast ein Jahrzehnt (ein weiteres Weihnachtslied, Please Come Home For Christmas, brachte ihn 1960 kurzzeitig dahin zurück). Ein Streit mit seiner Agentur im Jahr 1958 führte dazu, dass er jahrelang nur wenige Liveauftritte absolvierte.

"Als Musiker wurde ich zum Streikbrecher", erklärte er. "Ich konnte nirgends auftreten, wenn ich nicht die Gewerkschaft bezahlte. Na ja, ich konnte nicht arbeiten, weil ich niemanden hatte, der mich buchte. Also zog ich mich zurück. So verschwand ich von der Szene." Die Dürreperiode endete in den 80er-Jahren, als Europa nach ihm rief. 1990 engagierte Bonnie Raitt Charles für ihr Vorprogramm. "Das brachte die Dinge dann richtig für mich in Gang", sagte er.

Brown starb am 21. Januar 1999, nachdem er wieder ein Jahrzehnt im Rampenlicht gestanden hatte. "Ich habe etwas gemacht, das ein Teil von mir war, glaube ich, und das die Leute anerkannten", sagte Brown. "Ich kann in mein Grab gehen mit der Gewissheit, etwas gemacht zu haben, das Anerkennung erfuhr."


Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois


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