Tom Browne
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Tom Browne

Jamaica, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1981 | INDIE

Jamaica, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1981
Solo Jazz Funk

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"Tom Browne at 62: Jamaican Funk and Flying Packages"

In the mid-1970s, a young trumpet player from Queens got a scholarship for the High School of Music & Performing Arts in New York. At that stage, nobody could have imagined he was going to provide one of the greatest Funk hits ever, or that he would come up with some of the most brilliant Jazz-Funk sounds ever recorded.

Tom Browne learned from Freddie Hubbard and other fellow trumpet heroes. Downbeat Magazine used the expression “warm trumpet” very accurately, while describing his playing. Jimmy Boyd, who used to manage George Benson, Earl Klugh and other top shelf Jazz musicians, believed in him, just like his audiences in all of those New York Jazz clubs did.

Two gentlemen by the names of Larry Rosen and Dave Grusin, who had just founded their record label GRP, believed in Tom Browne as well. This appreciation for his style and approach led to the recording and release of one of the most brilliant Jazz-Funk albums ever, “Browne Sugar”. Similar to flutist Hubert Laws, Tom Browne managed to build the fascination of Funk into romantic Contemporary Jazz tunes. And he redefined Jazz-Funk by coming up with some of the genre’s best tunes ever.

Tom Browne‘s “Browne Sugar” is significant, since it contains several compositions, which are too good to be true. The intro track, “Throw Down”, is so brilliant, packed with off-beats and innovative ideas, that it became one of the best Jazz-Funk pieces ever recorded, even from today’s perspective. Almost four decades later, it is safe to say that hardly anyone has come of with a Jazz-Funk piece as well composed, well arranged and convincing as this one. The British Jazz-Funk act Beggar & Co. interpreted the piece much later.

“Herbal Scent” and “Promises for Spring” are two of those more romantic pieces, which are literally breathtaking, because of Tom’s unique approach, his trumpet, the bass lines, and absolutely everything. These are the kind of tunes which can make connaisseurs cry, with all their beauty.

He meant the Jamaica quarter in Queens, New York, while Tom‘s fans always associated it with the country of Jamaica. His Straight Ahead Jazz tunes are more than great as well. Let’s not even mention “Lazy Bird”. Dammit! What a killer tune! One of the most funky tunes ever, entitled “Thighs High”, is his too.

More killer albums followed while Tom Browne took to the skies, as a commercial pilot. He flew freighter planes for FedEx affiliates quite a lot, when he should have been on stage and at the studio. But flying was his second love. And he never completely gave up on music. Even today, he does gigs, with Patrice Rushen, other brilliant colleagues, and with his own group.

A happy and funky 62nd birthday to Tom Browne, the master!

By Imanuel Marcus - Magazine 79


"A Jamaica funk jazz legend at Vino Godfather"

VALLEJO — Jamaica funk jazz legend Tom Browne performs at the Vino Godfather wine-tasting room outdoor concert venue on on Mare Island from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 6.

Browne is an American jazz trumpeter who rose to prominence with two major hits, “Funkin’ for Jamaica” and “Thighs High” in the early 1980s. Browne will feature guest vocalist Camille Cotton, and the show is directed by James Early.

With more three decades of recordings and sharing the concert stage with luminary figures of jazz music, Browne continues to captivate listeners as an entertainer who has successfully mixed stage presence and musical artistry with a sincere audience connection and warmth.

“People don’t just come to hear your music,” said Browne. “They come to connect with you!”

A multi-gold album artist and Billboard “Best Of” award recipient, Browne has a passion for new music, one that has kept him on tour and in the recording studio of late.

He has shared the concert stage with Bob James, Dave Grusin, Najee, Roy Ayers, Joe Sample, Melba Moore and a host of others.

Sought early on by Columbia Records, Warner Brothers and CTI, Browne was introduced (by Earl Klugh) to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, and subsequently signed his first recording contract with the newly formed GRP Records label.

GRP and Browne produced some of the label’s best hits including “Fungi Mama”, “Let’s Dance” and “Secret Fantasy.” To date, Browne has 16 solo projects on the market, including the recent neo-soul/ jazz work titled Legacy, which had Browne up for Grammy nomination consideration in several categories, and the 2019 single release “Mi Amor.”

Tickets are $30-$40 per person, and can be purchased at vinogodfather.com, or by phone at 707-479-5912.

Vino Godfather is at 500 Walnut Ave. on Mare Island in Vallejo. - Napa Valley Register


"The Story behind Tom Browne’s “Funkin For Jamaica (N.Y.)” (1980)"

One of Queen’s finest, jazz trumpeter, Tom Browne, recorded what would become a Billboard #1 R&B chart topper back in 1980 – a funky, soulful laden track titled “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)”

This is a nice little feature giving us some insight into the studio when Browne and his band mates recorded his hit single. At the same time, we get an illustrated take on the history of some of the places and artists within his neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens.

To expand on his career, Mr. Browne sheds some light on the highs and lows he encountered, and where he decided to project himself for the future and stability of his family.

Watch The Video
https://youtu.be/y_5iCs20VMg

and the full video in all its glory
https://youtu.be/uuUy2ShGLyo - Music Is My Sanctuary


"Mike Parlett & Tom Browne 3-24-2019"

The Mike Parlett Radio Show featuring special guests, classic and cutting edge new contemporary Jazz, Funk and soul. Broadcast live from Los Angeles, California each week this show brings an exciting and eclectic approach to the world of soul, Jazz, funk Rn'b and world music.

This week Mike's special guest is the legendary trumpet man Tom Browne of "Jamaica Funk" fame - The Mike Partlett Show


"Tom Browne Releases “Mi Amor” Featuring Joyce San Mateo"

Tom Browne delivers a perfectly lush piece of jazz pop on the soothing “Mi Amor Featuring Joyce San Mateo”. Full of life, the trumpet playing has an exceptional quality to it, opting for a vivid take. Vocals courtesy of Joyce San Mateo imbue the entirety of the track with a true sense of love. When paired together the stream of consciousness casual cool of the work simply stuns. With nods to such jazz pop greats like Astrid Gilberto, the entirety of the track feels outright joyful. A tremendous amount of sun rests within the radiant hues of the song basking the listener in an overall feeling of optimism.

Glistening keys introduce the piece. Upon the trumpet entering into the mix the song truly begins. Vocals have feeling of pure happiness. The tempo has a laid-back mellowed air about it while it rolls forward in an unexpectedly peaceful way. Layer upon layer comes into the mix adding to the melodic richness of the whole track. Easy to get lost in, the hypnotic quality of the song is undeniable. Highly mysterious, the piece has such a blissed out take to it as it all comes together in a wonderful way. Small details matter a great deal, from the little flourishes of melody to the additional percussive elements filtering in and out of the mix.

Melodically rich and rhythmically precise, Tom Browne’s “Mi Amor Featuring Joyce San Mateo” has a deliriously carefree attitude.

http://www.tombrowne.org/

About: Tom Browne is a Gold Record Recording artist that hails as far back as the late 70’s. His smash hit “Funkin For Jamaica (GRP/ARISTA) from 1980 sent his name and music into worldwide radio play and this was the genesis of a number of successful hits like “Thighs High” and Forever More. As a Jazz Trumpeter, his new Single ” Mi Amor” featuring Joyce San Mateo is a visit into the world of R&B, Contemporary Jazz, and Smooth Jazz . At a time when the Smooth Jazz market is permeated with many up tempo style songs, this slow and sultry song is close to “bed room” romance grooves and definitely stands out. Browne utilizes his flugelhorn on this song and this song is the first single from his forthcoming spring release “Come What May” - Skope Magazine


"Tom Browne returns with a Christmas gem"

December 6, 2019) We first got to know trumpeter supreme Tom Browne with his across the board smash song, “Funkin For Jamaica” back in the day, and we admit we’ve kind of lost track of him over the past few years. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been grinding. He is a headliner at smooth jazz concerts around the world and most recently issues the album Legacy three years ago.

Now Mr. Browne is back for the holidays with a cool new jam that takes the traditional song “Angels We Have Heard On High” in a whole new direction. With the help of Gail Jhonson, Joyce San Mateo & Michael Parlett, he creates a song that is both holiday joyful and completely jamming.

Check out “Angels” below and welcome Tom Browne back to SoulTracks!
https://youtu.be/zFQPSx6PudI - Soultrack.com


"We Luvv Rare Grooves Guest Tom Browne"

Enjoy the replay as we welcome to the Groove Studio multi-gold album artist and Billboard “Best Of” awards recipient Tom “Jamaica Funk” Browne.
With over three decades of recordings and sharing the concert stage with luminary figures of jazz music, such as: Bob James, Dave Grusin, Najee, Roy Ayers, Joe Sample, Melba Moore Earl Klugh, Roy Ayers Lonnie Liston Smith and a host of others.

To date, Tom has over sixteen solo projects on the market, including the very recent Neo-Soul/Jazz sizzler entitled Legacy, released in mid 2016. (The Legacy project did extremely well on the charts, and had Browne up for Grammy nomination consideration in several categories.) His NEW CD "Come What May" is due in early 2019, with the first single "Mi Amor" scheduled for 2019 release. - We Luvv Rare Grooves


"Trumpeter Tom Browne brings “Funkin’ for Jamaica” and other hits to Vino Godfather Winery"

Multiple gold album selling jazz/funk trumpeter Tom Browne, who’s 1980 song “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)” was a a #1 hit on the R&B charts, will perform all his classic hits plus new material at Vino Godfather Winery on Saturday, June 6 from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Recently Tom Browne answered some questions via telephone from his home in North Carolina.

Q: When did you start playing trumpet?

TB: I was 9 or 10 years old and I didn’t take it that seriously at first. But I just loved the sound of the instrument and gravitated towards it. I managed to take lessons from Ray Copeland and I didn’t really know who he was. I realized he was a phenomenal jazz trumpet player and great teacher, but what I found out later was that he had recorded with jazz greats like Red Garland and Phil Woods—he was very well-known in the jazz community.

Q: How did you break into the music industry?

TB: I was doing it more or less as a hobby. I went to college as a physics major with the goal of becoming a professional pilot and meanwhile started playing as a sideman for Weldon Irvine. Weldon wrote “Young Gifted and Black” for Nina Simone and “Mr. Clean” recorded by Freddie Hubbard–he was a pretty prolific songwriter. I also played with Sonny Fortune for three or four years. In 1978 I was playing at a club in uptown Manhattan and it was owned by George Benson’s manager. It was a matter of just being in the right place at the right time and I ended up getting offered two or three record contracts at that club. I looked at my flying career and the music career and I thought “I can always go back to flying.”

Q: How did your style develop?

TB: I grew up in a community that had jazz and funk musicians living there. We literally had James Brown on one block and Count Basie on another. The vibe in the community was this whole jazz/funk thing.The musicians I came up with were well versed in both. So the club scene developed that way also with people like Donald Blackman, Najee, myself, Marcus Miller—we all came up with that and it is reflected on our records.

Q: “Funkin’ for Jamaica” was a huge hit for you.

TB: I’m still paying with my house from that today! (laughs)

Q: Who are some of the musicians you’ve played with over the years?

TB: I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some great, great musicians. George Benson, for one. George is not only a great musician, he’s a personal friend. Let’s see…also Bob James, Dave Grusin, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock when “Rockit” first came out–there’s really too many for me to remember.

The one musician who shaped and molded me when I had the chance to work behind him for about four years is Roy Ayers. Roy taught me how to perform–how to relate to an audience. I would go out there and play my instrument and that goes well for about five minutes or so, but if you’re in front of 10,000 people, they want to see you perform. So Roy taught me the art of being cool. Roy, we call him Papa, is just cool like that. He can go out there and just have fun with people. I gleaned so much form him and I respect him to this day.

Q: Now, back in the day it was about musicians recording what they actually played or going out on a stage and playing every single note—what are your thoughts on some of the technological enhancements some artists lean on these days?

TB: Technology was always meant to enhance artistry, to enhance ability, it was never meant to replace it. So when it gets to the point to where what you are doing depends on that or that is the extent of what you are doing, artistry suffers. In all honestly, I don’t see the same level of artistry that I did years ago. I don’t see the same mastery of the instrument that I did years ago. I see a lot of sampling. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great monetarily for me because “Funkin’ for Jamaica” has been sampled many times, but when you get to the point that the whole song is sung using Autotune, it’s not what it should be in my opinion. On my upcoming CD, we use technology to make it sound modern and to get certain sounds, but that’s not what the whole song is about. We’re trying to merge the new sounds with the artistry.

Q: So at this point in your career, what’s the best part of it for you—recording or performing?

TB: Thanks to Roy I’ve learned to have fun on stage and I enjoy performing more than ever now. I enjoy recording too. These days you can do it at home. I don’t have anything elaborate, but it works great and I put out records that way. If you get an idea at 2 o’clock in the morning, you can get up and work it out. I enjoy both recording and performing.

The record labels that were dedicated to this art form we call jazz are still trying to figure out what to do. Jazz radio doesn’t have the listenership it used to–it’s a different day. Still, the artist has more direct control and more input. I used to make a record for Arista and it was over for me as soon as I recorded it and put it in their hands. Now it’s in my hands from the time I record the first note through the marketing, sales, everything—my team and I do it. I like it and I don’t like it. But’s it’s an opportunity that God has given me and that’s the way I look at it.

Q: So I understand that at one point you went back to your first choice as a career and became a pilot: compare and contrast what you receive from flying with what you receive from being a musician.

TB: I’ve concluded that is a left brain/right brain thing. The musical side lets me be free, lets me express myself as I feel. I can just close my eyes and get into it and create. The flying thing, however, is very structured and disciplined and I need them both. One thing that drives me crazy is if I tell the band we have a sound check at 4 o’clock. Now, for me if I’m sitting in the cockpit and we are scheduled to leave the gate at 4 o’clock, 4 o’clock is 4 o’clock.But the band may show up at 4:30 or 5. Working those two aspects keeps me sane.

Q: Tell me about your new stuff.

TB: Our single “Mi Amor” is doing well, it is number 6 on top 40 indie chart in Europe. We have a new album coming out called “Come What May” and it’s dedicated to my wife Martha and her victory over breast cancer. It’s a victory lap and pushes the idea of getting checked and following through and receiving healing. The next single we just released is a new version of the 1978 Heatwave classic “The Grooveline.” We slowed it down to a funky tempo and it took on a whole new kind of vibe.

Q: So what can people coming out to Vino Godfather Winery except on Saturday?

TB: Definitely “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” I tried not playing it once and it was not pretty. I’ll never ever do that again. They can expect to hear the hits and the new stuff and mainly have a really fun time. My wife said this is the entertainment era. People don’t just want to sit and listen to music. People want to feel you and know what you’re about and be a part of what you do. Thanks to Roy Ayers, that’s what I do now.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com

Jeff Trager and A-List Musiq Circle Present

Tom Browne

with guest vocalist Camille Cotton and MD James Earley

Saturday, July 6, 2019 4 p.m.

500 Walnut Ave

Vallejo, CA 94592

https://vinogodfather.com/event/jazz-funk-trumpeter-tom-browne - www.dailyrepublic.com


Discography

Singles 

Albums & EP's
  • Browne Sugar (GRP, 1979)
  • Love Approach (GRP, 1980)
  • Magic (Arista, 1981)
  • Yours Truly (GRP, 1981)
  • Rockin' Radio (Arista, 1983)
  • Tommy Gun (Arista, 1984)
  • No Longer I (Malaco, 1988)
  • Mo' Jamaica Funk (Hip Bop, 1994)
  • Another Shade of Browne (Hip Bop, 1996)
  • R 'n' Browne (Hip Bop, 1999)
  • S'up (Cheetah, 2010)

Photos

Bio

Like you, multi-gold album artist and Billboard “Best Of” awards recipient Tom “Jamaica Funk” Browne has an unstoppable passion for new music, one that has kept him on tour and in the recording studio of late. Is it timelessness that keeps the music flowing? Indeed!

With over three decades of recordings and sharing the concert stage with luminary figures of jazz music, Tom Browne continues to captivate listeners as an entertainer who has successfully mixed stage presence and musical artistry with a sincere audience connection and warmth. “People don’t just come to hear your music,” says Browne, “they come to connect with you!” 

Tom is perhaps best known for what music icon George Benson said of his “believability in any musical style; his ability to communicate!”   This ability to immerse ones-self into the musical era, style and dreamscape of a composition, and then artistically create as though you are perfectly at home in that location, is a rarity among musicians. Perhaps this ability is resultant of Browne’s upbringing near Jamaica, New York where greats like Count Basie lived on one block and James Brown on another. “It was the merger of so many musical influences and styles that created the Jamaica scene, and certainly my approach,” says Browne. 

Tom has certainly worked with the industry’s best and brightest, having shared the concert stage with Bob James, Dave Grusin, Najee, Roy Ayers, Joe Sample, Melba Moore and a host of others. Sought early on by Columbia Records, Warner Brothers, and CTI, Browne was introduced (by Earl Klugh) to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen, and subsequently signed his first recording contract with the newly formed GRP Records label. GRP and Browne produced some of the labels best hits including Funkin’ For Jamaica, Thighs High, Fungi Mama, Let’s Dance, and Secret Fantasy.  To date, Tom has over sixteen solo projects on the market, including the very recent Neo-Soul/Jazz sizzler entitled Legacy, released in mid-2016. (The Legacy project did extremely well on the charts, and had Browne up for Grammy nomination consideration in several categories.) His NEW CD "Come What May" is due in early 2019, with the first single "Mi Amor" scheduled for March 4, 2019 release.

Today, Tom Browne can be found on tour regularly. After selling out late summer concerts in The United Kingdom (Pizza Express and CLF Arts Cafe) and The Netherlands (North Sea Jazz Club), he went on to headline The Capital Jazz Cruise, Oxnard and Hub City Jazz Festivals, all receiving glowing reviews. 

It would seem indeed … that Tom Browne’s passion for great new music … is unstoppable!