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Up Front

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Album Review

Known in the music industry as the "Babyface of Smooth Jazz" due to his enormous success as a top-ranked producer/composer/arranger/engineer for some of contemporary jazz's most recognized talent, Paul Brown steps Up Front with his debut for GRP Records. The Grammy award-winning producer, who has had over 38 Number One hits on the smooth jazz charts offers his solo perspective with special guests Rick Braun, Boney James, Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Peter White. Additional production from Jeff Carruthers, Jerry Hey, and many others support the style-guru's interpretations that listeners have come to appreciate. Brown's vocals and smooth jazz guitar offer listeners a winning combination of original songs and great covers that have style, control, that excellent smooth jazz pitch, and a wonderful sense of rhythm. With "Wes Coast Swing," you'll hear Brown with Jeff Lorber on vibraphone playing a breezy blend of shimmery vibes/keyboards and swinging guitar. Brown changes the mood with "My Funny Valentine," and offers a beautiful duet with Peter White, who's playing nylon-string guitar over a percolating Latinesque backbeat. "Phat City," one of two songs co-written with Jeff Carruthers, gives you a soulful, head bobbing, multi-hued feeling. This song features the dynamic Boney James on saxophone doing what he does best. But the writers do a 360 degree turn with their radio hit "24/7," that features the cool muted trumpet of Rick Braun, and more than one reason to head to the dancefloor. "Dear Ndugu," is a quiet ballad and obvious tribute to the great drummer and educator Ndugu Chancler. The set closes with the Van Morrison hit "Moondance," and Paul Brown gives it that same enduring smooth jazz essence, with right-on vocals and superb guitar magic. With Up Front, Paul Brown gives listeners 12 excellent reasons to add this to their contemporary jazz collection.


Born: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Brown's talents as producer/engineer have earned him two Grammy Awards and an impressive string of more than 40 number one hits on Radio & Records' smooth jazz chart. In an illustrious career spanning over two decades, Brown has worked on projects for such influential artists as George Benson, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Euge Groove, Boney James, Rick Braun, and Peter White, among many others. Born in Los Angeles to musician parents...
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Up Front, Paul Brown
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