Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Chuck Brown;Eva Cassidy;Eva Cassidy|
The Other Side
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop
Only in America could an album like this have come together: Eva Cassidy, a young vocalist who, had she lived, might have gone on to become her generation's favorite song interpreter, trading verses with Chuck Brown, seaso... more »
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Only in America could an album like this have come together: Eva Cassidy, a young vocalist who, had she lived, might have gone on to become her generation's favorite song interpreter, trading verses with Chuck Brown, seasoned godfather of the D.C. underground funk movement known as go-go. By the time this was recorded in 1992, the go-go trend had long since peaked for Brown, while the twentysomething Cassidy was still an unknown local session vocalist. Yet, on this set of standards, the two collaborate as if they were picking up where they'd left off decades earlier, from easy-riding versions of "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" to near-definitive renditions of "Over the Rainbow" and "Dark End of the Street." And while it's easy to focus on the posthumously acclaimed Cassidy, Brown's haunting solo turn on "You Don't Know What Love Is" suggests that unjustly overlooked talents are still making music in the shadows of our nation's capital. --Bill Forman
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An Incredible Debut Album
Christopher Norbury | Owatonna, MN United States | 04/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Grabbing you from the first notes of "Let the Good TimesRoll" and holding you until the last chord of the immortalrendition of "Over the Rainbow" and then some, this CD showcases the incredible talent of Eva Cassidy. Chuck Brown proves to be a perfect foil to Eva's sultry, haunting, wailing, bluesy alto voice. His gravelly bass/baritone reminds me a bit of the great Johnny Hartman, but with more of an edge. They seem to be a perfect match on all their duets and obviously had great chemistry and synergy. Their musicianship is outstanding and the arrangements are first rate. "Let the Good Times Roll" sets the stage for what is to come, swinging perfectly, both singers flexing their chops, getting your toes tapping right away with a terrfic horn arrangement in the background. One of several excellent duets, "You Don't Know Me" is a tender, wistful ballad. Eva and Chuck trade verses and phrases, never coming together until the very end. "I Could Have Told You So" gets back in a nicely grooved jazz big band setting. Eva shows that she can scat with the best of them- and my god, this is her first featured album! She sounds like she has been scatting with Ella Fitzgerald for decades. "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You" is a bluesy, "last call" type of tune. It's easy to imagine the two singers sitting around the piano in an intimate little club, just tossing this one off effortlessly. One of the joys of listening to Eva is hearing tunes where she sings backup vocals as well as lead. "Drown In My Own Tears" features Eva on backup vocals and here she sounds like a choir of angels floating on the clouds. There are several standards covered on this CD, including "The Shadow of Your Smile", "Fever", "You've Changed", all which are done very well, but the two standouts are "God Bless The Child" and "Over The Rainbow". WOW! Eva solos on both and these two alone are worth buying the CD for. Billie Holiday wrote, and up until now had sung the definitive version of, "Child". I love Billie Holiday's music, but she has given up her spot as premier interpreter of this song to Eva. She starts softly, gently; builds gradually, bending notes pefectly, singing the bluesiest notes at the right time, then shrieking, shouting, crying in agony as she bemoans the fate of the blessed child. A three minute master class in how to sing a bluesy ballad. The crowning masterpiece of this CD is "Over The Rainbow". I've discussed this tune in another review of Eva's music, but suffice it to say, musical perfection such as this comes along once or twice in a lifetime, if one is lucky. If Eva's music EVER gets heard by a wide enough audience, this will go down in history as THE definitive version of this song, and one of the great works of popular music ever recorded. So buy this CD and start spreading the word. It may be the best money you ever spent on music."
Fabulous, stylish duets by two legends of Washington, DC
J. Bransfield | 10/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was Eva Cassidy's first CD, and her collaboration with Chuck Brown was an artistic leap for both of them. Cassidy had been singing backup for other artists and Brown was known locally as the "Godfather of Go-Go" for his particular brand of danceable soul. They came together on this album of jazz standards, which would be an asset to any record collection. Brown said in an interview (I think it was with the Washington Post) that he was thinking about the classic combination of Louis Armstrong and Peggy Lee, with the raspy-voiced, worldly man and the sweet-voiced, soulful woman into the perfect duo. This is the CD to put on when you've spread the bearskin rug in front of the crackling fire, and poured the wine. (Although for this particular purpose you might skip past the rollicking opening number, "Let the Good Times Roll.") Some of the best romantic duets on "The Other Side" are "You've Changed," "Drown in My Own Tears," and "You Don't Know Me." Cassidy's fans will not want to miss her solo "God Bless the Child" which is simply mesmerizing, and if you haven't heard her famous "Over the Rainbow" (which is also found on the CD "Songbird") you're in for a treat.Brown recently released a solo jazz CD called "Timeless," which he dedicated to Cassidy's memory."
Eva Cassidy shows her proficiency with jazz and standards
Catherine S. Vodrey | East Liverpool, Ohio United States | 08/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As noted in the August 12th, 2002 edition of the NEW YORK TIMES, both Eva Cassidy and Chuck Brown benefited from having recorded this album together. Put together in 1992 when Cassidy was 29 (four years before her death from melanoma at the age of 33), this was apparently the first album on which Cassidy "cut loose" and showed her belter side. Known for doing only material which meant something personally to her--instead of being pre-packaged into songs chosen by a record company--"The Other Side" is an especially good look at Cassidy's jazzier, sultry side. On "Fever," Brown's mellow baritone is a super counterpoint for the yearning Cassidy. "You Don't Know Me" makes you think Cassidy should have given up on the Simon & Garfunkel and other folk tunes she sometimes favored--she is so superb here with the bluesy, rueful lyrics and the quiet despair of the song that she seems made to have sung it. "I Could Have Told You So" has a nice big-band feel to it (with an electric organ thrown in), and "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You" is a sultry striptease of a song. "The Shadow of Your Smile"--made famous by so many other better-known singers--deepens its melancholy flavor here in the hands of Brown, who packs a world of love and regret into the spare lyrics. The thirteenth track--luckily, not unluckily--is Cassidy's spare rendition of "Over the Rainbow." No female singer in her right mind would want to compete with Judy Garland's world-famous version, and Cassidy neatly avoids that trap by making the song her very own. Sidestepping the sometimes-sugary lyrics (with talk of lemon drops and sunbeams), Cassidy imbues this standard with a blend of mournfulness and hopefulness that fairly quivers with emotion while still managing not to be overwrought. Judy Garland's version will never be forgotten, or supplanted, but what Eva Cassidy does with the song may rightfully take its place alongside Garland's recording.Brown has a nice mellow tone that acts as ballast for the times when Cassidy's inclined to soar above it all. There is something pure and true about Cassidy's voice--a serenity and a sense of straightness and correctness that might wrongly lead you to think, from the evidence of her other albums, that she's limited to merely pretty songs. This album dispels that notion altogether. Her voice moves easily from sexy rompiness to a dark and knowing cynicism and back then to wistful longing. She's effortless, and that makes her effortless to listen to."