Review:Individuals unaware of the prolific nature of guitarist Paul Brown’s career have missed out on his talent as an artist, arranger, producer and two-time Grammy award winner. In addition, Paul has scored 15 #1 hits for such notable artists as Rick Braun, Jeff Golub, Boney James, Patti Austin, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Patti Austin, Larry Carlton and Peter White. As an artist, Brown is one of the most dynamic guitarists in contemporary jazz today. His latest CD entitled ‘White Sand’ on the Concord Jazz Record Label is but another recording that pushes the envelope towards elevating the consciousness of jazz as a significant form of entertainment.
‘White Sand’ is Paul Brown’s second CD as a solo artist. Paul’s first album entitled ‘The City’ was a recording that went to #1 on the smooth jazz charts and propelled him into the spotlight as an artist. This time out, Brown optimizes the successful ingredients of his first CD by including the talents of Al Jarreau, Boney James, Bobby Caldwell, David Benoit, Euge Groove and a host of other sidemen to record another jewel of an album. On ten tracks, Paul oversees a series of melodic grooves coupled with a host of rhythmic riffs. Overall, the influence of George Benson on Brown’s career as a guitarist is heard throughout, especially on such tracks as “For What It’s Worth” and “Ol Skoolin.” But make no mistake about it, Paul Brown’s sound is not an imitation of Benson’s; in his own way, Paul has merely expanded upon all of his previous influences to create a voice of his own.
On a track entitled “R’ n’ Bump,” Boney James and David Benoit jump out swinging with some funk-laden vibes that provide energy of a different sort. On another track entitled “I Say A Little Prayer,” vocalist Lina provides a unique spin to the Dionne Warwick classic. In hindsight, everything about Paul Brown’s latest foray into melody and rhythm puts another jewel in his crown of accomplishments. Although jazz as a form of musical entertainment is illuminated differently than has been in the past, at the end of the day, ‘White Sand’ is a CD that will definitely stimulate the listening palate as one of the best CD’s of 2007.
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