Jewel Brown – Thanks for Good Ole’ music and Memories (ENG review)

Blues, Country, Folk, Jazz
Jewel Brown - Thanks for Good Ole’ music and Memories:

As often happens in this musical genre, my discoveries come thanks to my friend Gilbert Guyonnet from Radio Clapas in France. So, as soon as I received it, I started listening to this CD that I would have a hard time classifying into a well-defined genre, just like my iTunes which displays ->genre (blues, country, folk). Jewel Brown has an immense musical culture, so there’s no risk with her wonderful voice, and I’m off on a nice acoustic journey…
From her biography: it all began before her teenage years. Like most musical talents of the time, Jewel started singing in church. But she didn’t take long to start a career as a commercial singer. In fact, she played her first show at just 12 years old, and was recording records since her adolescence. Brown recorded a few successful songs with Clyde Otis in the mid-1950s for Liberty Records, and in the early 1960s, she played in jazz clubs across the country, many of which were owned by Jack Ruby. Yes, that Jack Ruby.
But Jewel Brown was and still is best known for her work with Louis Armstrong and his All-Star Band. She sang with Satchmo from 1961 to 1968, until Armstrong fell ill. She continued to sing for a while after her time with Armstrong, headlining shows mainly in Vegas. She stepped out of the spotlight in the early 1970s, not because there was no demand for her talent, but because it was time for her to take care of her aging parents.
But her success didn’t stop with showbiz. Jewel created numerous businesses and had a successful career as an insurance agent, a profession she nurtured until her retirement in 2000. Jewel still receives calls from people looking to buy insurance from someone “they can trust”.
On the second track of the album Pain & Glory, she becomes an actress, storyteller, before taking us on a very jazz/world African title Why Did You Do That, and the whole album is a parade of soundscapes that take you to every corner of the world or the USA, the singer’s formidable legacy, both in some of the lyrics of the original songs and in the choice to revisit two songs that touch on important parts of her musical history, “Jerry” (Did You Hear About Jerry?), once her emblematic song, and “Song of the Dreamer” written by her ex, Eddie Curtis.
“Jerry” (with RADS Krusaders & Live! In the Clutch) is all about Latin jazz/soul-jazz funk magic and boldness as she tells the colorful story of “Arkansas Mule’s” violent life. Through several mood variations and rhythmic changes, Brown brings a touch of sweet intimacy to “Song of the Dreamer”, arranged as an R&B ballad. It’s a song about returning to her beloved; metaphorically, we can apply it to her long-awaited return to music.
It’s hard to find a more authentic, admirable, and enjoyable album, as well as exciting and danceable. We should also congratulate the musicians, both for the quality of their performance, but also for the beauty of the arrangements.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, April 28th 2023


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