Bubbling Brown Sugar

Original Broadway Cast, 1976 (Amherst) No stars, not recommended. This is arguably the least necessary Broadway album ever. Yes, the show was a hit (766 performances), and it served as the template for many black music revues to come, but this musical tour of Harlem in its renaissance days is the rough equivalent of one of those compilation albums that used to be hawked on cable TV. Jazz fans, who already know many recordings and arrangements of these songs, won’t be interested in over-theatricalized renditions of such standards as “Sophisticated Lady,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and “God Bless the Child,” while others will be puzzled by the occasional original number — one of which keeps reminding us that “Bubbling Brown Sugar is the stimulating Harlem treat.” This is one A train you don’t have to take — David Barbour