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Born to Be Blue

Donald Brown , Kenny Garrett , Wallace Roney , Ravi Coltrane Audio CD

Price: 13.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Bye-Ya (feat. Ravi Coltrane) 7:410.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Daly Avenue (feat. Ravi Coltrane) 6:220.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Just One of Those Things (feat. Kenny Garrett & Wallace Roney) 7:420.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Dad's Delight (feat. Ravi Coltrane) 5:560.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Cheek to Cheek (feat. Wallace Roney) 7:490.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Innocent Young Lowers (feat. Ravi Coltrane) 5:550.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Born to Be Blue (feat. Kenny Garrett) 5:350.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Fly With the Wino (feat. Kenny Garrett) 8:590.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Take My Breath Away (feat. Kenny Garrett) 8:520.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. You Must Believe in Spring (feat. Wallace Roney) 4:580.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. I Cover the Waterfront 6:010.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Donald Brown's 'Born to Be Blue', sees the pianist/composer team up with Kenny Garrett and Wallace Roney for the first time since they were all members of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1980s. This occasion would be illustrious enough in itself but when these titans of today's jazz scene are joined in the front line by a musician of the stature of Ravi Coltrane, then this recording becomes a special event indeed.

A generational concept is woven into Brown's choice of material for the album as he features songs by three of his favourite composer/pianists, each one representing a different era: Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner and Geoff Keezer. Other highlights include the Blues-drenched version of Mel Tormé's title track, the spirited approach to Irving Berlins "Cheek to Cheek" and Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things".

Donald Brown was raised in Memphis and cut his teeth working as a session musician for Hi Records, with artists like Al Green and Ann Peeples. He toured with Stax artists Rufus Thomas, William Bell and the Soul Children, and was introduced to Art Blakey by fellow Memphis pianist James Williams. He has also performed with leading jazz artists such as Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard, to name a few.

Personnel: Donald Brown (piano, keyboards), Kenny Garrett (alto & soprano saxophone), Wallace Roney (trumpet), Ravi Coltrane (tenor & soprano saxophone), Mark Boling (guitars), Robert Hurst (double bass), Marcus Gilmore, Kenneth Brown (drums), Rudy Bird (percussion), Emily Mathis (flute - 6 & 8), Vance Thompson (flugelhorn - 6)


'The title track features Garrett at his acid best and "Fly With the Wind" captures the spirit of the McCoy Tyner original...the fine detail of Brown's arrangements inspire strong solos from a front line.' -- Financial Times, (Mike Hobart), June 8, 2013 * * * *

'Brown's approach to running groups takes them in straight-ahead directions littered with intriguing twists...He wrote three of the tunes heard here. Most of the others are familiar enough but treatments often veer from what one might expect.' -- Jazz Journal, (Ronald Atkins), October 2012 * * * *

'Brown is a powerful pianist with great ideas within the tradition and there's a lot of spirit and many rewarding moments here.' -- Marlbank, (Stephen Graham), May 23, 2013

'On a flying-high 'Just One of Those Things' Wallace Roney's trumpet sets the pace alongside the alto sax of Kenny Garrett, who galvanises the band into headlong urgency...the pianist revives some of the go-for-broke grooving sound of the old Blakey bands, like a fresh wind blowing in your face.'

--Hi Fi News, (Steve Harris), August 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof of Donald Brown's Brilliance 9 Jun 2013
By Renato B. - Published on
I can't think of anything about Donald Brown that a true jazz fan would not like. His music is consistently swinging, bluesy, but also fresh and innovative. His personal musical concept which he expresses at the piano is one of the surest thrills that I am aware of. This album not only features a very inspired-sounding Donald Brown, but personnel like Kenny Garrett, Ravi Coltrane, Wallace Roney, Bob Hurst, all of whom sound on top of their game.

It is difficult to refrain from discussing each individual track because of the sheer variety on this album, but here is what stood out to me:

The first thing a listener will hear on this album is a funky Latin version of Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya," which Donald introduces with a hip harmonic cluster on the upper register of the piano, played with the same rhythm as a clave. The rest of the band joins in as we are welcomed to this immediately likeable arrangement of the Monk standard. The solos Ravi Coltrane and Donald Brown are adventurous, displaying their personal stamp on the familiar tune.

The next track is written by Donald Brown's friend and pianist Geoff Keezer. "Daly Avenue," to me, is a great choice because it has a lot of traits that reminds me of Donald's music: swings hard, a lot of small group orchestration, but most of all, how it is both modern and rooted in the blues.

The lineup changes in the amazing rearrangement of the Cole Porter standard "Just One of Those Things." Saxophonist Kenny Garrett and trumpeter Wallace Roney join Donald in this very uptempo version. Donald's dissonant introduction and vamp reminds me of some of my favorite compositions of his from his album Cause and Effect, and when Garrett comes in with the melody, we know we are in for quite a ride. The soloists tackle this fast tempo with no problem, and the joy one gets from the energy present on this track is one of the best experiences you can have as a jazz listener.

Donald Brown is also very renowned as a jazz composer, and he demonstrates his skill with the bossa "The Innocent Young Lovers," featuring guitarist Mark Boling on the melody, which delicately invokes the romantic moods suggested by the title.

Another huge standout to me on this album is Donald's version of one of my favorite McCoy Tyner songs, "Fly With the Wind." Simply put, I love McCoy's version on the album of the same name, but after listening to Born to Be Blue repeatedly over the past few weeks, I believe I prefer Donald Brown's version. It has the same strengths of McCoy's version, but some of the changes on this version are improvements, especially Kenny Garrett's saxophone playing the melody instead of just strings. The strings on Tyner's version could overpower and obscure the soloists at times, but this doesn't happen on Donald's version. Here, the string synth is subtle, but still pronounced. Also, I think the soloing on Donald's version is more interesting, and Donald's son Kenneth's drumming and interaction with the band is just as fun to me as Bill Cobham's on the original track.

The final standout that I will mention is the second Donald Brown original, "Take My Breath Away." The mellow and reflective atmosphere presented here is spectacular, with only slight percussion and cymbals backing up Donald's piano and string synth. Kenny Garrett takes the melody on soprano saxophone, and the feeling is very bittersweet, but celebratory. The sound expands and the band gets fuller, but they always keep the integrity of the mood they've set up, as it is a very deep and meaningful one.

Given the accessibility of his music, I cannot help but think Donald Brown deserves way more recognition than he gets for his music. Any jazz fan will be delighted with the personal sound Donald Brown has developed in full form on this record, exemplified by his creative reworkings of standards and very strong original compositions, supported by very reputable sidemen. Simply put, I cannot recommend it enough.
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