Oscar Brown, Jr. Kicks! The Best of Oscar Brown Jr.

Kicks! The Best of Oscar Brown Jr.
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CD Details

  • Released: March 29, 2004
  • Originally Released: 2004
  • Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp

Entertainment Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) - p.123
5 stars out of 5 - "KICKS! is a hip black history lesson - with buckets of soul."


  • 1.Mr. Kicks
  • 2.Work Song
  • 3.The Snake
  • 4.Straighten Up and Fly Right
  • 5.Hum Drum Blues
  • 6.Signifying Monkey
  • 7.It Ain't Necessarily So
  • 8.Afro Blue
  • 9.Dat Dere
  • 10.Hazel's Hips
  • 11.Watermelon Man
  • 12.Jeannie
  • 13.Tall Like Pine
  • 14.Sixteen Tons
  • 15.But I Was Cool
  • 16.One for My Baby
  • 17.Opportunity Please Knock
  • 18.All Blues
  • 19.Excuse Me for Living
  • 20.Work Song
  • 21.When Malindy Sings
  • 22.Elegy (Plain Black Boy)
  • 23.The Tree and Me

Product Description:

Contains 16 tracks.
Liner Note Author: Dean Rudland.
Photographer: Valerie Wilmer.
Arrangers: Floyd Morris; Quincy Jones; Ralph Burns.
With 23 tracks from all four of Brown's early-'60s albums for Columbia, this is the finest representation of the singer's work on record. It's true that it doesn't include some worthy post-Columbia material, particularly cuts from the 1964 live recording Mr. Oscar Brown Goes to Washington (such as "Brother Where Are You?"). It's also true that some fans might have minor quibbles with the songs selected for this best-of, which omits numbers like "Rags and Old Iron," "Brown Baby," and "Man, Ernest Boy" that could have made worthy inclusions. Yet it's hard to argue with what is here, including as it does standouts like the oft-covered "Work Song" (in two versions, actually); his vocal adaptations of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," Duke Pearson's "Jeanine," and Miles Davis' "All Blues"; "But I Was Cool," one of the most humorous jazz vocal pieces ever; and more serious numbers adapting the work of African-American poetry, "Elegy (Plain Black Boy)," and "When Malindy Sings." The four standards taken from In a New Mood are the least interesting numbers, but at least everything else on the CD is a Brown original, or an adaptation of a musical or literary work to which Brown added new words and/or music. Though he was perhaps a bit too theatrical in his singing and songwriting to get as hip a reputation as gutsier, moodier performers like Nina Simone (who covered several Brown songs in her early days), this remains some of the best music to fuse jazz, pop vocals, and African-American consciousness. ~ Richie Unterberger

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 64,865
  • UPC: 029667515924
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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