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Gate Swings

Clarence "Gatemouth" BrownAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 1997 --  

Amazon's Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Store


Image of album by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown


Image of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown


Brown started crossing boundaries -- both musical and geographical -- at a very young age. He was born in 1924 in Vinton, Louisiana and raised in Orange, Texas. He learned guitar and fiddle from his father, a strong multi-instrumentalist who taught his son to play Texas fiddle music, traditional French tunes and even polkas. Gate began his professional career at the age of 21 as a drummer in ... Read more in Amazon's Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Store

Visit Amazon's Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Store
for 40 albums, photos, and 8 full streaming songs.

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Gate Swings + Standing My Ground
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 15, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000047F0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Midnite Hour
2. Honey Dew
3. Toughen Up
4. Take The 'A' Train
5. Too Late Baby
6. Gate's Blues Waltz
7. Caldonia
8. Bits And Pieces
9. River's Invitation
10. One O'Clock Jump
11. Take Me Back Baby
12. Since I Fell For You
13. Flying Home

Editorial Reviews

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's tough-minded approach to the blues, country, Cajun, and jazz insures a minimum of nonsense and a maximum of variety, while his virtuosity on the guitar and fiddle insures the highest standards. Nonetheless, Brown's 1997 album is a landmark for the 73-year-old picker who won a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award. All 13 tunes on Gate Swings find Brown working with his regular road quartet plus a 13-piece horn section, enabling him to prove that Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton have been as important to his music as any bluesman or Creole fiddler.

Gate Swings includes tunes by all three of those big-band leaders as well as compositions by Buddy Johnson, Percy Mayfield, Louis Jordan, and Brown himself, and they all swing with the massive force that only a big horn section can muster. Brown has leaned in this direction before, but Gate Swings is special, because it features the horn arrangements of Wardell Quezergue, an alumnus of the Dave Bartholomew band who arranged many of the best New Orleans R&B hits in the '60s and '70s.

Quezergue creates big, brassy riffs and thick, sliding harmonies, but he's sympathetic to singers and knows how to clear out space for Brown's vocals and guitar solos. Brown's voice isn't as strong as it once was, but his playing is sharper than ever. He phrases his guitar solos in long, legato phrases like a trumpeter, with few parenthetical embellishments. His solos have never sounded more at home than they do in the context of Quezergue's New Orleans big band. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swing It January 20, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Veteran blues artist Clarence Gatemouth Brown takes us back to a bygone era on his cd Gate Swings. Brown refers to his music as American music rather than blues and does not like to be pigeon-holed. This cd celebrating Brown's fifty years in the music business, displays his skill at playing swinging blues like the great big-bands of the forties. It is no surprise that he does this so well. Clarence Gatemouth Brown first instrument was the trumpet and he says that he plays the guitar like a trumpet, fitting in nicely with a big-band.
He pays tribute to many leaders of American music Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Count Basie and Percy Mayfield. I love his version of "Caledonia." What makes that good girl so bad anyway? I also am fond of his tough version of "Since I Fell for You." It beats the numerous saccharine versions which I had previously heard.
This cd is great for a mellow morning or afternoon of listening. I wouldn't be without it in my collection.
If you like big band music, this is a must.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gatemouth takes it home September 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
My husband played drums with Gatemouth in the early 70's. He always raved about him so I went out and picked up "Gate Swings." I'm surprised the CD still works I've played it so much.

Today, 9/15/05, I read that last Saturday, 9/10/05, at the age of 81, Clarence Gatemouth Brown died, shortly after his home in Slidell, LA was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. We believe his heart was broken.

This album is a swinging, riveting performance that grinds into the heart of the true music lover and keeps you tapping your foot and swaying your whole upper body to the beat saying, "Oh yeah, play it for me again Gatemouth!" long after Gatemouth has taken it home. Big horns, Big Band, big music, big music man.

Pick up the CD and swing with us.

Good night Gatemouth. Play it for me again next time...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Stars December 12, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Everybody gets this for Christmas. I wish I had tickets for the tune-up sessions. I'd be stunned if there was a human on the planet that, after listening to the first cuts, did not get up and... move.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gatemouth Rocks !! October 8, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'm familiar with Gatemouth Brown for his blues but this is by far some of the best swing music I've ever heard !!
Hearing hundreds of swing/blues songs at dance conventions these songs go to the top of my list of favorites. Not all are dancible for West Coast Swing, but Midnite Hour and Toughen Up get my feet going, and for a slower blusier groove try Take Me Back Baby. A couple of excellent Lindy Hop songs are Honey Dew and Caldonia. I bought this along with American Music Texas Style and they make a great combination (a lot of the same musicians on both cd's). Both cd's are full of great dancing music, so get them both. If you're a fan of big band jazz and swing this is guaranteed to make you very happy, these are two of the best cd's in my collection, and if my house was on fire I'd run inside to grab them !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gatemouth is the essense of fun music March 25, 2007
Format:Audio CD
A good friend of mine from Slidell introduced me to Gatemouth's music many years ago. He lived on the same stretch of Hwy 11. While I only saw him in live performances in local venues, I never got to meet him personally. In Louisiana, we have enjoyed many a patio party with Gatemouth providing the musical entertainment. My favorite CDs are "Gate Swings, Long Way Home, The Man". I was saddened over his death; yes, he may have been heartbroken as his house was destroyed, but I believe the pain of seeing the totality of Katrina as it affected his neighbors and friends was too much to bear.
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