10 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the ‘60s, artists such as Horace Silver, Ramsey Lewis, and Cannonball Adderly incorporated elements of R&B, blues, and gospel into their sound; the popular style came to be known as Soul Jazz. Trumpeter and composer Maurice Brown is doing something similar in the 21st century as he subtly brings elements of modern R&B and hip-hop into his music. On 2010’s The Cycle of Love, Brown fronts a quintet that includes tenor saxophonist Derek Douget, pianist Chris Rob, drummer Joe Blaxx, and bassist Solomon Dorsey. The opener, “Fly By Night,” delights with a theme that, at points, seems to slow down before speeding back up. The catchy “Good Vibrations” has a soulful vibe, while on “Time Tick Tock” zigzagging horn lines dance over the locked-in rhythm, and Brown’s trumpet hints at Miles Davis. “Merry Go Round” has a sense of forward motion that evokes an amusement park ride turning in slow motion. “Lovely” is a nice, old school-style ballad, while the title cut spotlights another one of Brown’s striking heads. Throughout the album, solos are sharply focused; there isn’t a wasted note in earshot.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the ‘60s, artists such as Horace Silver, Ramsey Lewis, and Cannonball Adderly incorporated elements of R&B, blues, and gospel into their sound; the popular style came to be known as Soul Jazz. Trumpeter and composer Maurice Brown is doing something similar in the 21st century as he subtly brings elements of modern R&B and hip-hop into his music. On 2010’s The Cycle of Love, Brown fronts a quintet that includes tenor saxophonist Derek Douget, pianist Chris Rob, drummer Joe Blaxx, and bassist Solomon Dorsey. The opener, “Fly By Night,” delights with a theme that, at points, seems to slow down before speeding back up. The catchy “Good Vibrations” has a soulful vibe, while on “Time Tick Tock” zigzagging horn lines dance over the locked-in rhythm, and Brown’s trumpet hints at Miles Davis. “Merry Go Round” has a sense of forward motion that evokes an amusement park ride turning in slow motion. “Lovely” is a nice, old school-style ballad, while the title cut spotlights another one of Brown’s striking heads. Throughout the album, solos are sharply focused; there isn’t a wasted note in earshot.

TITLE TIME

About Maurice Brown

One of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene, Maurice Brown was born on January 6, 1981, in Harvey, IL. Showing a remarkable affinity for the trumpet, Brown performed with Ramsey Lewis at the Symphony Center in Chicago while still a student at Hillcrest High School. Following graduation, he received a full scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University, and later continued his studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where he worked with famed clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Brown relocated to New Orleans shortly thereafter, sitting in with numerous jazz veterans, including Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Ellis Marsalis, and Lonnie Plaxico, as well as recording as a sideman with Curtis Fuller, Fred Anderson, Roy Hargrove, Michelle Carr, and Ernest Dawkins, among others. In 2001 he won first place in the National Miles Davis Trumpet Competition and in 2003 he released his first album as a bandleader, heading his Maurice Brown Quintet for Hip to Bop, which showed an amazing affinity for bop-inflected jazz, along with a willingness to expand the genre's lexicon through innovative techniques like playing trumpet solos through a wah-wah pedal. Brown continues to live in New Orleans, playing both with his quintet and a hip-hop/funk combo called Soul'd U Out. ~ Steve Leggett

HOMETOWN
Harvey, IL
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
January 6, 1981

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