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CD Album Reviews

Included on your rock’n’roll platter this month are new releases from Kim Lenz, Pete Pritchard and Steve Hooker, retrospectives from The Everly Brothers, Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers and Guitar Smith – and even an album of Finnish bluegrass. Oh yes…

Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers

THE SINGLES COLLECTION 1945-55

ACROBAT

★★★★

Chuck Berry consistently referenced Charles Brown as a vocal influence. But it wasn’t the Chuck Berry of Johnny B Goode and Sweet Little Sixteen, but the ballad side of Berry as instanced by Havana Moon and Drifting Blues. Brown was lead singer for much of the 10 hit-making years of Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers despite getting sparse credit for it, and wrote and first recorded Drifting Blues, as revived by Chuck. This whopping three-CD collection gives you nearly all the early Charles Brown recordings, and, fair warning, don’t expect much in the way of out-and-out rocking. Instead, think Nat King Cole, cocktail jazz, fine piano and warm, understated vocals.

Brown was fated to have not one, but two Christmas hits, notably Merry Christmas, Baby – as revived by Elvis himself – included here, and he had no option to include these in his live sets no matter what the season.

This is highly recommended for late night, mellow listening, preferably with a nice bottle of wine. Oh, and some company…

Various

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