Informed by the spirit-moving soul of Nina Simone, the jaunty jazz of Ella Fitzgerald, the robust R&B of Etta James and the classic blues of Bessie Smith, Sunshine Coast singer/composer Robyn Brown’s expressive voice displays both old-school mastery and modern flair. On this, her self-titled debut CD, Brown is accompanied by some of South East Queensland’s fore most session musicians playing guitar, piano, sax, flute, double bass and drums.
Whether caressing Billie Holiday’s mellow blues ballad ‘God Bless The Child’, Buddy Johnson’s soulful ‘Save Your Love For Me’ or Doc Pomus’ R&B staple ‘Lonely Avenue’, Brown imbues every note with warmth and passion. Her own 12-bar shuffle ‘The Blonde Blues’, playful ‘Don’t Give Your Heart’ and melancholy ‘What Will Tomorrow Bring’ convey a depth of creativity that traverses a broad range of jazz and blues artistry. Heartfelt interpretations of Duke Ellington’s swinging ‘Just Squeeze Me’ and Bernice Petkere’s Brazilian-flavoured ‘Close Your Eyes’ herald Brown’s outstanding, in-the-moment reading of Wayne Shorter’s ‘Footprints’, a one-take CD show-piece where the performers gel together inperfect synchronisation.
A gifted vocalist of sultriness and style who plays off the band sharing a common joy of improvisation, Brown suffuses the blues with elegance and jazz with attitude.
Al Hensley – Rhythms Magazine Feb 2014 – www.rhythms.com.au
Artwork by Luke Fitzgerald – www.lukealexanderfitzgerald.com