Charles Brown

Since I Fell for You

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So much of Charles Brown's work is available on CD that novices can have a hard time knowing where to begin. Ideally, novices should start out with his most essential stuff, and Since I Fell for You falls short of essential even though it is quite rewarding. This 1999 reissue focuses on a 1963 date that Bob Shad produced for Mainstream. With Brown on vocals and organ, Roy Coleman on electric guitar, Freddie Simon on tenor sax, and Charles Brady on drums, Since I Fell for You emphasizes torch singing. Brown revisits the classic "Driftin' Blues," but most of the time he sticks to ballads -- and the end result is a thoroughly pleasing collection of mood music. From Steve Lawrence's "Go Away, Little Girl" (which subsequently became a hit for Donny Osmond and Marlena Shaw in the 1970s) and Ruby & the Romantics' "Our Day Will Come" to Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," a smoky jazz-noir ambience prevails. So why would a novice not want to start out with a CD that is so pleasing? Because as strong as these 1963 performances are, Brown's Aladdin output of the 1940s and 1950s is even stronger. Nonetheless, Since I Fell for You is well worth acquiring if you're a confirmed Brown addict who already has his essential work and wants to dig deeper.

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