Two decades into a multi-faceted career marked by dynamic explorations of the possibilities of contemporary jazz and R&B, two-time Grammy Award winner Paul Brown keeps his grooving momentum going with an amped-up visit to The Funky Joint—his sixth solo album and Woodward Avenue Records debut. The guitarist and composer’s eagerly anticipated new collection features performances by many of the artists that he has produced or played with over the years, including Boney James, Bob James, Euge Groove, Marc Antoine, Bob Baldwin and Darren Rahn; several tracks also feature Marco Basci, who plays keyboards with Brown when he performs live.
As part of Brown’s deal with the label, he is also serving as an A&R consultant.Brown
’s dynamic, R&B driven vibe has been a trademark of smooth urban jazz since he produced saxophonist Boney James’ hit debut Trust in 1992. In addition to scoring more than 50 #1 charting airplay hits as the genre’s top producer since that time, Brown has enjoyed extraordinary success as an artist in his own right since the release of his debut album Up Front in 2004.
The multi-talented performer had the unique experience in 2006 of scoring #1 Radio & Records chart hits as both an artist and producer. “Winelight,” the second single from his sophomore album The City, was ranked by Mediabase as the genre’s most spun track of that year. Radio & Records and Mediabase declared “The Rhythm Method,” the first single from Brown’s third release White Sand, the most played song of 2007. The title track from saxophonist Jessy J’s Brown-produced debut Tequila Moon earned the same distinction for 2008. Foreign Exchange, a dual collection with acoustic guitarist Marc Antoine, was a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart in 2009. Brown followed this with Love You Found Me, a Top 20 album that featured more of the guitarist’s soulful lead vocals than ever before.
He earned a nomination for “Best Vocalist” at the 2011 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, where he had the opportunity to sit in with one of his all-time guitar heroes, Larry Carlton.
This past year, Brown performed his first European shows, including appearances with Antoine at Pizza Express in London and a set at the 2011 Smooth Jazz Festival Augsberg (Germany), which featured guest appearances from Jessy J, Gerald Albright and keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen. Stateside, Brown headlined numerous gigs with saxophonist Darren Rahn, a successful genre producer who has scored multiple hits for artists like Eric Darius, Dave Koz and the late Wayman Tisdale. “The Producers” tour found Brown and Rahn playing each other’s songs as well as hits they produced for other artists. The two will be performing more dates together in 2012.
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