Ruth Brown: Here’s That Rainy Day

Ruth Brown steps away from her usual rollicking R&B combo to perform a varied program in front of a full orchestra. At the core, she also has some heavy jazz-hitters like pianist Roland Hanna and Hank Jones, bassist Richard Davis and trumpeter Clark Terry. Brown certainly knows her way around as a jazz and jump singer and these sensibilities are displayed on songs like “Table for Two.” Unfortunately, the concept of the album-Brown the jazz vocalist with a large ensemble-is greater than the product. With all the tunes less than three minutes, there is no real stretching either vocally or instrumentally. This idea could have worked if it had been done with a more serious attitude and minus songs like “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”