Cedric Brown on Higher Ground…

Cedric Brown

Cedric Brown – Vocals
Simon Butler – Guitar
Sam Bevan – Bass
George Bernard – Percussion
Glen Iwaoka – Drums

There is nothing more fascinating that watching an artist in their moment. A music teacher described that moment as being when you feel deep within that everything is just right and you are giving it your all. I stepped into Rasselas Jazz Club in San Francisco, a few week ago, where vocalist Cedric Brown was crooning his heart out as the couples cuddled a little closer.

His set included such classic gems as “Everything Happens to Me” and “Angel Eyes.” He demonstrated his musical diverseness on “Between Two Worlds”, a well-delivered, folksy ballad. He playfully scatted on the opening of an up-tempo rendition of “Autumn Leaves.” Cedric was accompanied by solo guitar on “Like Someone in Love” which gave it a breezy Latin feel as he punctuated with his own percussive rhythms. He moved to a soulful funk groove on “Just the Two of Us” and got the audience singing a cool ad lib. He brought the groove back down to a simmer on “One Day I’ll Fly Away” showcasing his incredible vocal range.

Cedric’s influences include Andy Bey, Billy Strayhorn, Nancy Wilson, and Abbey Lincoln. He featured Abbey’s “Should’ve Been.” The band framed each of his notes with extra care on this tune. He sang words of encouragement on Caron Wheeler’s “Don’t Quit.” He took us to “Higher Ground” for the close of his spectacular performance. After much applause and standing ovations, he encored with a very jazzy “Consider Me Gone” which was the perfect ending.

This was Cedric’s first performance in the backroom of Rasselas’ and we all are hoping this is just the beginning of many great shows to come. In previous performances, Cedric has used a trio but for this show, he had a quartet without a pianist which gave the music a different feel. Sam Bevan was excellent on the upright and elecric bass. Simon Butler on guitars had a couple of moments where I could not figure out where he was heading musically, but for the most part, he was good. George Bernard on percussion and Glen Iwaoka on drums kept the rhythms flowing all night.

So Cedric, when can we expect to hear your music on the radio? Keep walking in the light.

Photo Credit: James Knox

One Response to “Cedric Brown on Higher Ground…”

  1. Joey says:

    Thanks for the review. Overbooked that day so I couldn’t attend. Rats.

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