Some say that there is a boundary line to art but few true artists and visionaries conform to that notion. It is no surprise that two-time Grammy-winning guitarist and producer extraordinaire Paul Brown cites both Jerry Garcia and Wes Montgomery as founding influences. Brown, who has amassed 75 #1 Contemporary Jazz radio hits and who has engineered for R&B divas Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, is somewhat of a free-spirited musical chameleon who comes by it honestly.
“I grew up listening to rock and blues and my parents were jazz musicians, so I heard a lot of that music in the house,” reflects Brown. “I have always loved soul music and have worked as a producer with many greats like Luther Vandross, Al Jarreau and George Benson.”
July 15, 2022 Shanachie Entertainment will release Paul Brown’s second recording for the label, Promised Land. “The music is very free and open,” confides the guitar wizard who took advantage of the downtime the pandemic presented. “There wasn’t the normal pressure to make ‘hit’ songs. Instead it was more of a ‘let’s take this time we’ve been more or less forced into and write and record some great music.” Brown’s relaxed and organic approach resulted in one of his strongest and most authentic recordings to date. The ten-track uplifting and jubilant sonic journey unites Brown with an all-star Contemporary Jazz line up including labelmates Marion Meadows and Euge Groove, as well as Shane Theriot, Jeff Carruthers and others. Danny Weiss, Shanachie Entertainment’s Vice President of Jazz A&R states, “Before launching his career as an artist, Paul Brown absolutely dominated the Contemporary Jazz format as its premier producer. Now, amazingly, he has achieved great heights as a solo artist as well. We’re honored to be associated with him!”
“Music is my spirituality and has been my entire life. Everyday I’m either writing, playing, recording or performing and I’m still loving it,” confesses Paul Brown. Born in Los Angeles to musician parents who sang with Mel Tormé, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, among others, Brown started playing drums at age five and picked up his first guitar two years later. His influences are as far reaching as Wes Montgomery, Peter Gabriel and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Brown has been a foundational artist in Contemporary Jazz from since the late 80s. As accomplished as Brown is center stage as a guitarist, he is equally revered for his Midas touch as a producer. Brown’s inaugural recording for Shanachie was Love You Found Me in 2010 followed by Soul Searchin’ with Larry Carlton in 2021. Promised Land is Paul Brown’s 12th album as a leader. Brown plays a mix of guitars on Promised Land including his Stratocaster and his beloved Gibson L5. “The guitar that really changed things for me as an artist is the Gibson L5,” explains Brown. “I got it in 1993. I started recording melodies to songs I was writing for other artists and they started to sound like a solo artist all of a sudden in 2004. That guitar turned out to be my soul mate!”
Paul Brown has managed to take us to the mountaintop to see the Promised Land, but for Paul there are still many more miles to log. “I love music and enjoy helping other artists recording and building their careers…there’s rhythm and melody to everything in life. It’s cool identifying and finding those rhythms and melodies,” concludes Brown. “In the end I just try to be positive. Like my Mom always told me, “Reach for the stars!”
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