Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.65
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/8/93, p.55
"...Brown singing these ballads and torch songs provides an emotionallly nourishing experience....Her honesty and craftsmanship should give her a shot at another Grammy..."
Down Beat - 12/93, p.384.5 stars
- Very Good - "...Ruth Brown's latest captures her spirit of sincerity better than any of her recordings since a long-ago meeting with Thad Jones and Mel Lewis...even the spaces Brown leaves between phrases are supercharged with meaning...."
Personnel: Ruth Brown (vocals); Rodney Jones (guitar); Robert Kenmotsu (flute, tenor saxophone); William Galison (harmonica); C.I. Williams (alto saxophone); Mark Sherman (piano, vibraphone); Frank Owens, Mike Renzi (piano); Bobby Forrester (Hammond B-3 organ); Rufus Reid (acoustic bass); Akira Tana (drums).
Recorded at M & I Studios, New York in March 1993. Includes liner notes by Rodney Jones.
As producer/arranger Rodney Jones (who is also Ruth Brown's long-time guitarist) explains in his liner notes, THE SONGS OF MY LIFE is loosely organized like a concept album. All songs heard here were specifically chosen for their relevance to some aspect of Brown's life. Whether the listener will get the connections is open to question.
What is certain, however, is that Brown seems to relate, quite passionately, to every tune. With the exception of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," these are mostly pre-rock standards. The small jazz band that Jones put together for the album all but oozes musicality. Pianist Mike Renzi is particularly good; some of his gently lyrical solos here are worthy of Bill Evans.