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Paul Brown - Love You Found Me (2010)

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Paul Brown - Love You Found Me (2010)

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01 Sugarfish [3:38]
02 Toast And Jam [4:33]
03 Strollin' [4:23]
04 Love You Found Me [4:01]
05 In The Shadows [3:57]
06 Let Me Love You [4:56]
07 The One You Lean On [3:26]
08 Right Back At Ya [3:43]
09 Midnight Kiss [4:00]
10 End Of The Day [3:11]
11 Shine Shoes [3:57]

Paul Brown - guitars, drums, percussion and vocals
Jeff Carruthers - keys, bass, drums, rhythm guitar
Greg Adams - flugel horn
Jessy J - flute, tenor sax
Marco Basci - keys, drums
Richard Elliot - sax
Euge Groove - keys, drums, bass, sax
Roberto Vally - bass
Michael Ripoll - rhythm guitar, bass
Brandon Coleman -keys
Philippe Saisse - keys
Cedric Anderson - drums
Dax Reynosa - vocals
Nick Tashjian - bass, drums
Marc Antoine - nylon guitar, bass, keys
Jerry Hey - horns
Tommy Kay - rhythm guitar
Al Jarreau - vocals, background vocals
DW3 - background vocals
Boney James – arrangement

 

For the past fifteen years, many in the contemporary jazz community turned to Paul Brown for his production, sound engineering and composer. From Al Jarreau, to Boney James, to his major guitar hero, George Benson, Brown brought his very keen ear behind the boards. His technical skills were also utilized outside the jazz realm; such as the pop-dance hit for Paula Abdul, “Straight Up,” for singer/songwriter Jennifer Warnes and modern rock band Oingo Boingo. But where Brown got his feet wet was his engineering time spent with R&B legend Luther Vandross. Though he came into the business as one who appreciated a wide variety of music from The Grateful Dead to Peter Gabriel, Vandross’ stylish vocals certainly rubbed off on Brown’s work with Benson, Jarreau, Gerald Albright and his own solo projects. There is no doubt listening to his effortless way with a melody and his masterful ability to see the big musical picture, that Brown has no trouble creating the ultimate smooth jazz tapestry. This is reflected in numerous number one hits from one of the genre’s most reliable architects.

When Brown finally stepped up as an artist in 2004, it was the appropriately dubbed Up Front for GRP Records. Listening to his body of work, his gentle strokes on his Gibson guitar are what most fans expect. As he progressed and matured as a performer, Brown added disco, blues and adult contemporary rock to the mix with The City (2005) and White Sand (2007). Brown also joined fellow guitarist Marc Antoine in a meeting of jazz and gypsy music on the 2009 release, Foreign Exchange.

Just like his previous recordings, there are plenty of friends by Brown’s side on his latest, Love You Found Me, presenting his usual sweet palette of jazz. In a firm nod to Benson, "Sugar Fish," co-written by Jeff Carruthers (a featured keyboardist on White Sand) is a snap your fingers kind of groove, capped with Brown’s subtle scats and his oh-so-squishy guitar work, and Richard Elliot’s sax curls all over Brown’s guitar on Strollin’. Two of Love You Found Me’s bright spots are because of Brown’s opportunity to display an earthy tenor voice that echoes Boz Scaggs and Van Morrison; the title track which is given the vocal production treatment by Brown’s wife - Jacqui and “End of the Day,” reflecting his influences of vocal stylist Jackson Brown. It is only fitting that smooth jazz and romance work are bosom musical buddies, as evidenced on Paul Brown’s special dedication to Jacqui, “Let Me Love You” featuring Euge Groove providing some gospel fiery saxophone darts (Brown played on Groove’s Sunday Morning disc). For stereophonic guitars, Antoine takes the acoustic and Brown the electric for “Right Back at Ya” in a reunion of their Foreign Exchange days. “In The Shadows” takes a bite out of contemporary blues, suitably framed by the airy keys by Brandon Coleman.

Overall, Love You Found Me is quite inviting with the exception of the usually tantalizing vocals of Al Jarreau being rushed on the lackluster R&B flavor of “Shine Shoes.” Otherwise, Love You Found Me provides a valid reason to hear Brown in another capacity; as a performer who consistantly demonstrates his suave guitar lines and steady vocal chops. ---Peggy Oliver, reviews.theurbanmusicscene.com

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