CD Review – Mel Brown – Love, Lost and Found
7 out of 10 – Electro-Fi Records
The late Mel Brown was very much an unknown figure outside of the blues, but that was the world’s loss. Players from the blues firmament knew his importance though, from Buddy Guy to many of the music magazines that wrote of his talent, as a guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, and this anthology of work from the last ten years is both a fine introduction, and sadly, a fitting tribute to the man’s talent. From the instrumental title track, which opens the album, which features Mel Brown on guitars and keyboards, it is a classy package. A number of guest artists add to the mix, from Enrico Crivellaro’s guitar on the co-written ‘Red Wine and Moonshine’ to ‘My Baby wants to Boogie’ and ‘Feel like Jumping’ which both feature Snooky Pryor on vocals and harmonica, to Sam Myers who makes a telling contribution to ‘Little Girl from Maine’ to Miss Angel who’s soulful vocals add a lot to ‘Blues in the Alley’. This is blues, but it is closer to Jazz in some places, with Mel Brown’s guitar playing not just playing the normal first, fourth and fifth changes, but finding new notes and chords to bring something distinctive to the sound. Blues from the standard songbook is also included, from the piano and vocal version of Freddie King’s ‘You were wrong pretty baby’ or the similar treatment of Ray Charles’s ‘Come Back Baby’ to the version of ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ which finishes the album. This is a fine showcase for a much missed blue musician, but it is a fitting way in which he can be remembered.