When: Thu., April 28, 8 p.m. 2016
Veteran soul singer Charles Bradley has grown on each recording he’s cut since Daptone Records capo Gabriel Roth stumbled onto his James Brown tribute act Black Velvet in 2000, and he’s moved beyond his trademark “screaming eagle” wail to convey an impressive range of expressions. His albums, including the new Changes (Dunham/Daptone), tap into familiar old-school soul molds—especially the gritty Stax Records sound—but Bradley has never transcended the deployment of decades-old templates as he does on this latest effort. Punctuated by a buzzing little synthesizer figure, the smoldering midtempo burner “Ain’t Gonna Give It Up” finds him laying his heart bare, his throaty, low-down rasp betraying his vulnerability toward his lover even as he insists he’s not surrendering anything to her. On the album’s centerpiece, a cover of the Black Sabbath ballad “Changes,” Bradley supplies shades of anguish missing from the original. The mournful horn section, which adds layers of depth across the entire album, lends the track a kind of elegiac sadness, and the slow lope of the groove brings to mind the poignant Sam Cooke number “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Written by Bradley’s superb band, the solid new tunes subtly tweak conventions or make sly citations (the horn line in “Nobody But You” quotes a melody line from the Seals & Croft hit “Summer Breeze”).
Price: sold out