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Love Approach

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Album Review

When trumpeter Tom Browne hit the Billboard charts in 1980, one would have thought that he was an overnight sensation. However, the licensed pilot had several years under his belt working with Weldon Irvine, Sonny Fortune, and others. His debut smash single, "Funkin' for Jamaica (N.Y.)," took the music industry by storm. Between Browne's piercing horn intro and his chilling riffs in the vamp, the New York native and his cohorts lay down one jammin' groove. From the thunderous bass of Marcus Miller and Browne's trumpeting trips to the salacious vocals of Toni Smith and the colorful conversation referencing Browne, this single was slick and exhilarating. Smith co-wrote the song with Browne, which claimed the number one spot for four straight weeks. In addition to Toni Smith's outstanding vocals, Browne also employs vocalist Viki Sylva on the serene number "Weak in the Knees." Browne fills the vocal gaps in the verse and echoes Sylva in the chorus as she exudes a Michael Franks ambience. "Her Silent Smile," which features guitarist Bobby Broom and pianist Bernard Wright, who are also featured on "Funkin' for Jamaica," is reminiscent of Chuck Mangione. Aside from "Funkin' for Jamaica," the other selections are of the jazz vein. Browne does not try to redefine jazz or the trumpet; he just lays down some good music.

Biography

Born: 1954 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Tom Browne was a familiar figure on the R&B charts during the 1979-1989 period when he was recording pop-oriented material for GRP and Arista. Browne studied piano for a year when he was 11 and then switched to trumpet, attending New York City's High School of Music and Art. Originally interested in classical music, Browne discovered jazz while in college in the mid-'70s. He worked with Sonny Fortune, recorded with Lonnie Smith, and then signed with GRP. Although influenced by Freddie Hubbard and...
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Love Approach, Tom Browne
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