Kicks! The Best of Oscar Brown Jr.

Kicks! The Best of Oscar Brown Jr.

by Oscar Brown Jr.Oscar Brown Jr.


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With 23 tracks from all four of Brown's early-'60s albums for Columbia, this is the finest representation of the singer's work on record. It's true that it doesn't include some worthy post-Columbia material, particularly cuts from the 1964 live recording Mr. Oscar Brown Goes to Washington (such as "Brother Where Are You?"). It's also true that some fans might have minor quibbles with the songs selected for this best-of, which omits numbers like "Rags and Old Iron," "Brown Baby," and "Man, Ernest Boy" that could have made worthy inclusions. Yet it's hard to argue with what is here, including as it does standouts like the oft-covered "Work Song" (in two versions, actually); his vocal adaptations of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," Duke Pearson's "Jeanine," and Miles Davis' "All Blues"; "But I Was Cool," one of the most humorous jazz vocal pieces ever; and more serious numbers adapting the work of African-American poetry, "Elegy (Plain Black Boy)," and "When Malindy Sings." The four standards taken from In a New Mood are the least interesting numbers, but at least everything else on the CD is a Brown original, or an adaptation of a musical or literary work to which Brown added new words and/or music. Though he was perhaps a bit too theatrical in his singing and songwriting to get as hip a reputation as gutsier, moodier performers like Nina Simone (who covered several Brown songs in her early days), this remains some of the best music to fuse jazz, pop vocals, and African-American consciousness.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/08/2004
Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp
UPC: 0029667515924
catalogNumber: 159

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Oscar Brown   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Merle Travis   Composer
Nat Adderley   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Quincy Jones   Arranger
Duke Pearson   Composer
Bobby Timmons   Composer
Ralph Burns   Arranger
Irving Mills   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Oscar Brown   Composer
Gwendolyn Brooks   Composer
Michael Berniker   Producer
Nat King Cole   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Hamm   Producer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Bob Morgan   Producer
Floyd Morris   Arranger
Mongo Santamaría   Composer
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes,Interviewer
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Paul Lawrence Dunbar   Composer

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