City Paper is not for tourists
Few recordings boast the intoxicating mix of offhand urbanity and bluesy pithiness that characterize Charles Brown classics like “Drifting Blues.” (Not even those of the early Ray Charles, whose Brown influence was readily apparent.) On his latest, These Blues, Brown doesn’t settle for attractive reproductions of his own back catalog. The 11 titles on Blues find Brown’s rich vocal understatement and ever-tasteful piano moving closer still to technical and emotional perfection. This is best illustrated by the the wondrous “Save Your Love for Me” and the sublimely swinging “May I Never Love Again”—the latter graced by former Ray Charles musical director Clifford Solomon’s dry tenor sax.