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Savoy Blues Legends: Nappy Brown

Colin Escott, Savoy Records, 2000

INCIPIENT SOUL. There's no other way to describe Nappy Brown. It's true that he gets into the statistic books for a couple of numbers that shaded closer to pop than gospel, but these two shiny discs set the record straight, leaving no doubt that he belongs in the first chapter of any book on Soul Music. His story is a strange one, and the long unaccounted-for gaps might mean that it's stranger than we know. It is, in some respects, an unappealing story, yet if any music can rise above, maybe even redeem, some odious personal behaviour and some rapacious business practises, this music surely can.

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