Tom Browne - The Tom Browne Collection


This best-of-album was overdue. My first contact to Tom's music was in 1980, when his legendary "Funkin' For Jamaica" was overflowing all charts and clubs and all dancers get crazy about its phat groove.  Recently a new version of this song was released by Bob Baldwin on his album "". More about this title is to find on Bob's website 

The bubbling bass on this track would later become a favorite among samplers. The worth of this timeless track is mirrored on the upcoming album "The Tom Browne Collection": "Funkin' For Jamaica" in the orginal version is the starter. Since a long time Tom Browne is one of Hip Bop Records famous artists. So it's obviously that this collection showcases his works for this label and his collaborations with other label mates.

Ghetto Horn is a funk-fusion-rap tune from Tom's album "Mo' Jamaika Funk", which was released in 1994. Further artists playing on this record are Marcus Miller, Najee,Toni Smith and Bernard Wright.

A real turnaround is the next very mellow tune Someday We'll All Be Free. This cover of a Donny Hathaway song is featuring the remarkable Dianne Reeves. The tune was released on Tom Brown's album "R 'N' Browne" (1999), a real Smooth Jazz /R&B highlight. The album contains covers of hits of the 70's to 90's as "Joy and Pain", "Juicy Fruit" or "Un Break my Heart".

Watermelon Man was released on "Urbanator" (1994). The name of this fusion album was created by the Polish violinist Michael Urbaniak, who initiated the Hip Bop Records history. Read more about it at The artists on this album are a who is who of the fusion jazz scene: Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Lenny White, Bernard Wright, Randy Brecker, Kenny Garret, Marcus Miller to name a few.

You can take it word-for-word, the title In A Sentimental Mood. A slowtempo trumpet tune accompanied solely by Larry Goldings acoustic piano and Ron Carter's acoustic bass. This tune was taken from Tom's second Hip Bop Records album "Another Shade Of Browne". This album is unique, cause Tom Brown, who hasn't played jazz music since he left GRP, returned to his roots and released a pure straight-ahead jazz album, which was even highly acclaimed by Scott Yanow. This tune is a cover of a Duke Ellington classic.

Everybody Loves The Sunshine is Roy Ayers' quintessential song from the mid-'70s, which was covered in innumerable versions. Originally released on Roy's same-titled album in 1976, one can listen to an interesting rap-cover taken from "Mo' Jamaika Funk".

All Blues is a landmark composition of Miles Davis, the grandmaster played in on his outstanding album "Kind Of Blue" (1959). The tune is taken from Urbanator II (1996), which is exposed as an avant-garde or fusion album. But one can count this album more to the contemporary jazz genre with strong urban contemporary elements. Sample the album at CDNow.

Freedom Jazz Dance is taken from "Essence of Funk" (1995), revealing Tom Browne 's breathtaking chops as a jazz player. This album is a Hard Bop revival of tunes of the '60s, initiated by Lenny White.

More fusion jazz is to hear on First Flight from "Urbanator". This tune doesn't fullfill a common taste.

That's What Friends Are Fore from "Mo' Jamaika Funk" is a Burt Bacharach classic, which was alienated in an unbelievable way. You should compare this song to the original. Anyway you will like Tom's self-willed interpretation.

Un Break My Heart, a romantic cover of Dianne Warren's earlier hit, keeps the mood of the orginal. Chieli Minucci (Special EFX) is playing the acoustic guitar. But this is more Tom's trumpet solo part.

Back from Smooth Jazz to straight ahead jazz jumps Philly Twist, an uptempo hard bop tune from "Another Shade Of Browne".

Finally a rap: Bluesanova (Browne-Town-Mix). This tune from "Another Shade Of Browne" was remixed especially for this collection.

This album is designed as an overview about Tom Browne's contemporary work of the last decade. It is as multifaceted as his above mentioned albums. For those which are not familiar with his music not an easy approach. This album is not an album for jazz purists, neither from the straight ahead nor from the smooth jazz side. But this collection is unique and therefore will be kept in mind.




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