Originally put out by EMI in 1992, this roundup of Charles Brown's 1945-1956 Aladdin sides is essential listening for all R&B fans -- and that goes for jazz and pop lovers as well. Sticking mostly to an exquisite after-hours mode, Brown delivers one smooth blues gem after another until this 20-track disc comes to a close. Backed for the most part by guitarist Johnny Moore and his Three Blazers, Brown effortlessly lays down such standouts as the title track, "Black Night," and "Get Yourself Another Fool." Yes, the mood here is evocative of Nat Cole's classic trio sides, but Brown and Moore -- unlike Cole -- infuse their lush surroundings with a healthy dose of sophisticated West Coast blues. Capped off with the original version of Brown's classic Yuletide cut "Merry Christmas Baby," Driftin' Blues is the perfect way to get cozy with this venerable blues performer.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook