Maurice "Mobetta" Brown & Soul'D U Out"
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Maurice "Mobetta" Brown & Soul'D U Out"

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Band R&B Hip Hop

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Jul
12
Maurice "Mobetta" Brown & Soul'D U Out" @ Festival

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

May
01
Maurice "Mobetta" Brown & Soul'D U Out" @ New Orleans Jazz Festival

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Apr
05
Maurice "Mobetta" Brown & Soul'D U Out" @ Rose Live Music

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

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Music

Press


I recently had the good fortune of being able to review Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble DVD, The Messenger, which features the prodigious trumpeter, Maurice Brown. This young musician left such an indelible impression that I immediately resolved to get out and see him perform live if I ever had the chance.

Downbeat Magazine has referred to Brown as "one of the most exciting young trumpeters in jazz—be it New Orleans or New York. His improvisations are fresh, his chops dynamic and he’s writing what could very well become a new generation of hard-bop-meets-new-grooves standards.”

Born in Chicago in 1981, Maurice displayed an early affinity for the trumpet and was invited to perform with composer/pianist Ramsey Lewis at the Symphony Center in Chicago while still attending high school. He later received a full music scholarship to Northern Illinois University.

Brown won first place in the National Miles Davis Trumpet Competition in 2001 and continued his studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to headline weekly at Snug Harbor, a premier jazz club where the only other names that held down a coveted weekly spot were Marsalis and Neville.

His self-produced debut album, Hip to Bop, released in 2004, has been steadily gaining international attention. Maurice says, “Hip to Bop reflects my music itself. I try to make sure everything is swinging and you can really move to it—that hip-hop groove feel.”

When I heard that one of Maurice's projects, the "hip-hop" collective, Soul'd U Out was scheduled to perform at the Blue Note, I made sure I got tickets as soon as they went on sale. For anyone who is turned off by the "hip-hop" classification, do not be deterred for this group is so not your standard hip-hop band. The ten plus musician (with additional guest musicians) line-up not only bends the genre rules, but totally breaks through all the boundaries when it comes to blending various styles of music. From tight, funky, soul sounds to smooth R&B, to electrifying hard bop stylings, this groovefest had it all and more!

Brown's innovative wah-wah trumpeting is sheer genius and his energetic stage presence (both on the stage and dancing around the room with his audience) is delightfully captivating. He is charming beyond description and his original compositions more than abundantly illustrate his brilliant technical acumen.

The ten song set included originals such as their own anthem, "Soul'd Out" (which has such an infectious groove I'm still finding myself caught up in the pulsing rhythm of the deep, dark piano, hard edge guitar riffs and sinewy saxophone and trumpet blasts repeating in my head), and a couple of compositions from Brown's aforementioned more classically-oriented jazz solo effort, with even an interesting twist on a Jay-Z tune thrown in for good measure.

Surrounded by an amazing bunch of amply talented musicians, including Jeremey Most on Guitar, Joe Blaxx on drums, Chris Rob on keys, vocalist Maya Azucena, not one, but two saxophonists and not one, but two emcees -- and further enhanced by (for this performance) the legendary James Brown bassist, Fred Thomas -- Maurice Brown's musical vision is not only hip, but it's totally fresh and inspiring with enough momentum to carry jazz into a completely new evolutionary direction.

Definitely a worthwhile experience all around, Soul'd U Out put on a great show that's highly recommended. I'm sure we'll be hearing and seeing a lot more of Maurice "Mobetta" Brown's work in various forms and incarnations for many years to come.
- Jazz Review.Com -- Veronica Timpanelli


This weekend Chicago welcomed back one of its most popular and successful native sons when young trumpet wonder Maurice Brown returned for a two night engagement at the Green Mill Lounge. This date was eagerly anticipated by jazz afficianados, many of whom had experienced the artist's scintillating concert with Corey Wilkes at last summer's Chicago Jazz Fest (a concert named Best of the Year by www.JazzChicago.Net). A highly accomplished player across many different styles of jazz - Brown featured his more danceable side for this gig, featuring the soulful, funk-infused, hip-hop directions of his "Soul'd U Out" combo. Saturday night's show was three sets of electric energy and bone deep groves that shook the foundations of the Green Mill to the core and had the audience enthralled and completely in the enigmatic trumpeter's spell.

Brown's enthusiasm is contagious; dancing, swaying, twirling his trumpet and exhorting his bandmates on - he is an explosive Roman candle of nearly primal energy on the stage. And when he smiles it lights up the room with the sheer joy and love of life and making music. He is not just a fantastic entertainer though, the young man possesses a vast array of skill on his instrument and can range from a soft sobbing grace on a ballad to explosive bursts of power to effect-laden Eddie Van Halen /Jimi Hendrix riffing seemingly at will. As a humorous example of how he combines his incredible playing with entertainment, Brown will sometimes glance at his watch while extending a trill - something that never fails to generate a laugh from the crowd.

Brown was joined this night by an extremely talented group of players who deserve mention in their own right. Tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard was the perfect compliment to Maurice, exchanging solos that were cool, and thoughtful - a direct contrast to Brown's exhuberance. Chicagoan Chris Rob's organ shimmered, his keyboard work was deft and his soulful vocals added a significant and pleasant touch to the evening. These three were assisted by a bedrock rhythm section from ferocious local band ZZAJE: guitarist Mike Gallagher - who showed able support on rhythm and nimble fingers on his skittering solos; mighty drummer Brandon Collins - who kept the James Brown beats hot and heavy; and Energizer Bunny bassist Marshall Knights whose fretboard will no doubt soon need replacing from his non-stop rampaging across every inch of it.

The song list was eclectic, and ranged from Brown originals, James Brown covers, a funked-up version of Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance," improvised acid funk, and Duke Ellington - a soul'd out "In A Sentimental Mood," and a hot version of "Caravan" where bassist Knights nearly dug a groove straight through to China. The surprising song choices made for a most entertaining time for the audience, while several songs featured call and response and hand clapping which - along with Brown's jungle squeals on his trumpet and enthusiastic rapping - got the crowd's energy involved. A great example was when the band suddenly pulled out a sizzling hot, mostly instrumental version of Gnarls Barkley's hit single, "Crazy," which had the entire crowd frenzied and singing along.

All in all, it was an evening that pulsated with a mix of jazz, funk, hip-hop, pop, improv, rock, soul, etc... - presided over by the presence of one of the jazz world's finest young musicians and entertainers; and within the cozy confines of the Green Mill, the sense of good-will and positive energy between the audience and the artists was palpable. As it was noted - Maurice may have moved on from Chicago to New Orleans and now to New York City, but he saves his best energy for his hometown of Chicago, and the result was clearly a good one for all present. - JazzChicago.Net -- Brad Walseth


Even when he plays in a straight-ahead band, virtuosic twentysomething trumpeter Maurice Brown can't turn his back on the electric funk and hip-hop that have shaped his generation of jazz players. And when he sails outside the mainstream--as he does with this new sextet--those influences make the trip intoxicating. Soul'd U Out gives full vent to his passion for contemporary pop--neosoul, funk, rock, psychedelia, and especially hip-hop, which makes itself felt not just in the beats but in the sampled electronics and Brown's melodic trumpet hooks (which other people ought to be sampling themselves). Of course, his love for jazz is evident too: the tune "Funk Hop" (streaming on his MySpace page) quotes from Miles Davis's famous 1966 recording Miles Smiles amid its tossed salad of waka-waka guitar, James Brown rhythms, and radio static. And the song relies on the sweetness of tone and playful phrasing that have made Brown one to watch since his high school years in Chicago. Though his music now bristles with the almost manic energy of New York, his post-Katrina home base, it retains its youthful soul and liberating grit. - Chicago Reader --Neil Tesser


Discography

Maurice Brown "Hip to Bop" (Brown)

Hip to Bop can be found in music stores across the country!

Chicago Tribune (Dec 2004)
All About Jazz -- New York (Dec 2004)
Offbeat Magazine -- New Orleans (Dec 2004)
The Times-Picayune -- New Orleans (Dec 2004)
Gambit Weekly -- New Orleans (Dec 2004)

Maurice is featured on:

Aretha Franklin "Crown of Jewels" (Arista Records)
Talib Kweli "Ear Drum" (Warner Bros. Records)
Roy Hargrove "RH Factor" (Verve)
Young Bleed "Carleone's Vintage" (Da'Tention Home)
Ernest Dawkin's New Horizon "Mean Ameen" (Delmark)
Fred Anderson "Back at the Velvet Lounge"(Delmark)
George Freeman "At Long Last George" (Savant)
Michelle Carr "Change" (Salt Box)

Photos

Bio

Even when he plays in a straight-ahead band, virtuosic twentysomething trumpeter Maurice Brown can't turn his back on the electric funk and hip-hop that have shaped his generation of jazz players. And when he sails outside the mainstream--as he does with this new sextet--those influences make the trip intoxicating. Soul'd U Out gives full vent to his passion for contemporary pop--neosoul, funk, rock, psychedelia, and especially hip-hop, which makes itself felt not just in the beats but in the sampled electronics and Brown's melodic trumpet hooks (which other people ought to be sampling themselves). Of course, his love for jazz is evident too: the tune "Funk Hop" (streaming on his MySpace page) quotes from Miles Davis's famous 1966 recording Miles Smiles amid its tossed salad of waka-waka guitar, James Brown rhythms, and radio static. And the song relies on the sweetness of tone and playful phrasing that have made Brown one to watch since his high school years in Chicago. Though his music now bristles with the almost manic energy of New York, his post-Katrina home base, it retains its youthful soul and liberating grit. --Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader

One of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene, Maurice "Mobetta" Brown grew up in the south side of Chicago. Showing a remarkable affinity for the trumpet, Brown performed with Ramsey Lewis at the Symphony Center in Chicago while still a student at Hillcrest High School. Following graduation, he received a full scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University, and later continued his studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where he worked with famed clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Brown relocated to New Orleans shortly thereafter, preforming with numerous jazz veterans and urban contemporaries such as Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Ellis Marsalis, and Lonnie Plaxico, Bilal, DJ Logic, John Legend, and Kanye West. He has recorded with Curtis Fuller, Fred Anderson, Roy Hargrove, Talib Kweli, Ernest Dawkins, and Aretha Franklin. In 2001 he won first place in the National Miles Davis Trumpet Competition and in 2004 he released his first album as a bandleader, heading his Maurice Brown Quintet for Hip to Bop, which showed an amazing affinity for Bop-inflected jazz, along with a willingness to expand the genre's lexicon through innovative techniques like playing trumpet solos through a wah-wah pedal. Brown lived in New Orleans until being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and has since relocated to New York City. He continues to head his quintet and a hip-hop/funk combo called Soul'd U Out.

Band Members