Kicks! The Best of Oscar Brown Jr.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2004
  • Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp
  • UPC: 029667515924
  • Catalog Number: 159

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Work Song
  2. 2 The Snake
  3. 3 The Snake (2:41)
  4. 4 Straighten Up and Fly Right (1:51)
  5. 5 Hum Drum Blues (2:01)
  6. 6 Signifying Monkey (4:00)
  7. 7 It Ain't Necessarily So (2:29)
  8. 8 Afro Blue (2:42)
  9. 9 Dat Dere (2:53)
  10. 10 Hazel's Hips (2:43)
  11. 11 Watermelon Man (2:40)
  12. 12 Jeannie (3:04)
  13. 13 Tall Like Pine (2:36)
  14. 14 Sixteen Tons (2:21)
  15. 15 But I Was Cool (2:56)
  16. 16 One for My Baby (3:48)
  17. 17 Opportunity Please Knock (2:52)
  18. 18 All Blues (4:11)
  19. 19 Excuse Me for Living (2:57)
  20. 20 Work Song (2:40)
  21. 21 When Malindy Sings (2:35)
  22. 22 Elegy (Plain Black Boy) (3:54)
  23. 23 The Tree and Me (3:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Oscar Brown Jr. Primary Artist
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Merle Travis Composer
Nat Adderley Composer
Miles Davis Composer
Quincy Jones Arranger
Duke Pearson Composer
Bobby Timmons Composer
Ralph Burns Arranger
Irving Mills Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Oscar Brown Jr. Composer
Gwendolyn Brooks Composer
Michael Berniker Producer
Nat King Cole Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Al Hamm Producer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Bob Morgan Producer
Floyd Morris Arranger
Nick Robbins Mastering
Mongo SantamarĂ­a Composer
Dean Rudland Liner Notes, Interviewer
DuBose Heyward Composer
Paul Lawrence Dunbar Composer
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