Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kenneth Brown - 3 Down (SPACE TIME RECORDS 2017)

"He's a great player" -Essiet Okon Essiet

Knoxville, Tennessee-3/17/17- Knoxville Tn. based drummer, educator, composer, he wrote 6 of the tunes here, and band leader Kenneth Brown, son of jazz visionary, pianist Donald Brown is set to release his debut CD 3 Down on Space Time Records.

Born into a musical family Kenneth's household was filled with music led by his father. and later his brother Keith also a pianist. It was also during this same time period that Kenneth starting to gain exposure to all kinds of music which has always paid big dividends! 

By the age of 4 Kenneth was already playing drums and within a couple more years was studying piano "to gain a harmonic foundation in the music". With lots of practice and informal playing by the age of 14 Kenneth had established himself as a working musician and has since maintained a steady career within the genres of jazz, R&B, blues, funk, and rock with performances with David "Fathead" Newman, Curtis Fuller, Steve Nelson, Warren Wolf and Greg Tardy to name a few!

His performance background in those varied musical settings along with his musical influences of Prince, Elvin Jones, Stevie Wonder and Tony Williams to name a few has prepared Kenneth Brown and readied him to record 3 Down! 

Prior to recording his debut CD Kenneth has appeared on recordings with Ravi Coltrane, Wallace Roney, Kenny Garrett and Donald and Keith Brown to name a few! 

While 3 Down is foundation-ally a jazz recording Kenneth has been able to infuse elements of some of his other musical influence's and has created a sound that's musically interesting with diversity while being cohesive and prov-active! 

A great example of the "infusing" of elements is the R&B song Weak. Led by Ashlee Varner's very jazzy but tender lead vocals, brother Keith Brown adds a very appropriate talk box solo that works wonderfully in this context! That's proceeded by a very lyrical and inventive Will Boyd soprano solo and then Jamel Mitchell adds a soul filled tenor solo. Kenneth Brown could have laid back and played pocket but instead he's extremely adventurous and progressive here and its in-creditable! 

On Better Late Than Never a tune composed by Kenneth that captures the best of Art Blakey's Jazz Messenger's with a ferocious tempo, hot crisp breaks and burning solo's by Greg Tardy sax, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and a dazzling piano solo from brother Keith. While bassist Daryl Hall adds a full and round sound. Kenneth has everything locked down and swings it madly! 

Continuning with his sound shifting Kenneth leads the team to the title track 3 Down sort of a polyrhynmic tune as Kenneth moves and shifts patterns and riffs, while keyboardist Keith Brown and bassist Darryl Hall lay low with a haunting groove. Jeremy Pelt begins with the trumpet but plays with the depth of the flugle horn and quickly lifts, soars, and then segue's to Keith Brown's soloing, here with the dexterity of Chick and Herbie but with his own idea's and imagination! Greg Tardy continues to amaze! 

Grovin is a tune Kenneth says "I wrote it for Roy Hargrove so it's a play on his name". Another example of exceptional writing by Kenneth and interesting as well is Greg Tardy playing clarinet seemingly as it 's a soprano, it makes for some very fun listening. As much as Grovin is heavy on the groove via the pulsating Daryl Hall on bass is as much as it swings. Jeremy Pelt returns with another stroling solo and Kenneth shifts gears as easily as the varying tempo's dictate. 

I'm gonna venture to say that you may have never heard an arrangement, here Keith Brown, of Dukes In A Sentimental Mood performed with such energy and emotion, I'm sure the great composer would appreciate this modern version. 

3 Down is simply loaded with great tunes and perhaps none better than bsassist Daryl Halls Back Then. With its break neck tempo, such magmificant soloing and bullet proof drumming from the thunerous Kennneth Brown. That's followed by Cool, a slower tempo but just as dynamic! 

Be on the look for It Could Have Been The Blues with it's Charles Mingus mood! On Encounters Behind The Gate the double saxophone front line of Jamel Mitchell and Will Boyd break through the gate and deliver extremely compelling solo's as Kenneth's roaring drum's seals it off! 

Kenneth Brown's debut CD 3 Down is loaded with in-creditable musician's and in-creditable music! It seems all the musican's got the memo bring your A game to the session, ripped it up and came with their A+ game!! 

It feels like you're hearing Elvin, Max and the aforementioned Art Blakey when in fact you've heard composer arranger and drummer Kenneth Brown!

01. Grovin
02. Better Late than Never
03. Weak
04. Interlude 1
05. Scenic Route
06. Back Then
07. It’s Cool
08. Interlude 2
09. Encounters Behind the Gate
10. It could’ve been the Blues
11. 3 Down
12. Interlude 3
13. In a Sentimental Mood
14. Some Place Familiar
15. Interlude

Kenneth Brown : drums
Jeremy Pelt : trumpet
Greg Tardy, Will Boyd, Jamel Mitchell : saxophone
Keith Brown : piano, keys
Darryl Hall : double bass, bass
Donald Brown : keys
Dorothy Brown : flute
Ashlee Varner, Mina Bradley, Cynthia Brown, Donald Brown Jr. : vocals