Urban-jazz guitarist dee Brown remembers his late fiancée with songs of love and joy

dee Brown

Urban-jazz guitarist dee Brown remembers his late fiancée with songs of love and joy

His fourth album is a celebration of life chronicling their time together with fun and spirited songs such as the new chart-bound single, “Pop the Question.”

SOUTHFIELD (22 June 2018): Two years ago, soul-jazz guitarist dee Brown was preparing for a summer wedding to his fiancée, gospel singer Shaunia Edwards. When her young life was tragically cut short by an unexpected illness, he was devastated, leaning on his strong faith to endure. Shifting his mindset from a mourning period during which he sought meaning by asking “Why?” to a perspective of positivity, Brown turned to writing, honoring the sweet, lasting memories of Edwards and their romance by composing lively, intimate and playful stories of love, laughter and hope. He shares his fond remembrances via the ten new songs that constitute his fourth album, “Remembering You,” his second release for Innervision Records.

Determined to make “Remembering You” a joy-filled affair, Brown imparts his charming recollections by setting his lyrically expressive, loose and improvisational cool jazz fretwork amidst ebullient pop nuances, pulsating dance beats and sensual R&B grooves. He picks, plays and scats soulfully throughout, inspired to celebrate his season with Edwards by deriving meaning from her lingering place in his heart, not in the loss of her physical presence.

“Shaunia was the reality of my dreams, a woman heaven sent to make me whole. ‘Remembering You’ celebrates her life and our life together. It’s purposely an upbeat celebration, not a mourning. The meaning that I derived from this experience and a message I think everyone can relate to is that we should exalt those in our lives as well as remember those who are no longer in our lives for whatever reason. Tomorrow is coming, but not necessarily for you. Share our love with those with us in the here and now because tomorrow is not guaranteed,” said Brown, who coproduced nine of the album’s tracks.

A loving, encouraging greeting from Edwards opens “Hey Baby,” the sweeping, feel-good first single illuminated by fervent guitar and alto sax banter on the cut that presaged the set’s arrival. Brown’s frequent writing and producing partner, pianist-keyboardist-programmer Valdez Brantley (Usher’s former music director), uses the vocoder to tantalize and tease on “Pop the Question,” the current chart-bound single that appears on the record in both album and d-Funk remix versions. Other noteworthy contributions are made by keyboardist Bob Baldwin, who also produced and cowrote the sleek and sophisticated “I Will”; Althea Rene, who adds fanciful flute flourishes to the vibrant escapade “Our Summer”; and keyboardist Nate Harasim, cowriter and producer of the sultry reflection “Beauty Within.”

A Detroit born and based guitar man who got his start in music as a vocalist, Brown launched his solo career in 2007 with “No Time To Waste.” Teaming with Valdez and Kern Brantley (Lady Gaga’s former music director and bassist who plays on “Remembering You’s” opener, “I Want You Too”) two years later for his sophomore outing, “A Little Elbowroom,” proved formative to his sound and style. Brown dropped his first recording for Innervision Records in 2014, “Brown Sugar Honey-Coated Love,” spawning the Top 15 Groove Jazz Music chart single, “Natural Love.”

Brown performs regularly on the Motor City music scene backed by Valdez Brantley, saxophonist Dezie McCullers Jr. and drummer Ron Otis, his core band that appears on the new album. Brown is looking forward to performing cuts from “Remembering You” in a big setting at the River Raisin Jazz Festival on August 11held in nearby Monroe, Michigan. One week later, his summer wedding will finally take place when he takes marriage vows with “a beautiful child of God.”

Brown’s “Remembering You” album contains the following songs:

“I Want You Too”

“Hey Baby”

“Pop the Question”

“Our Summer”

“I Will”

“Follow You”

“So Much”

“Pop the Question” (d-Funk remix)

“Beauty Within”

“Remembering You”

For more information, please visit http://deebrownmusic.com.

Keyboardist Bob Baldwin’s “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” is a sprawling urban-jazz exploration through Rio

Bob Baldwin

Going for gold: Keyboardist Bob Baldwin’s

“The Brazilian-American Soundtrack,” released Friday, is a sprawling urban-jazz exploration through Rio.       

ATLANTA (1 July 2016): As the eyes of the world focus on Rio de Janeiro this summer, Red River Entertainment released a generous 26-song double disc of authentic Brazilian jazz rhythms and distinctly American R&B grooves on Friday from keyboardist Bob Baldwin entitled “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack.” The Grammy-nominated artist had a hand in writing twenty tunes for the collection that he produced in two movements, Movement I: Rio-Ipanema and Movement II: New York, that were recorded in Rio, New York City and Atlanta over a three-year period. The first single that will be serviced to radio stations for airplay is the pulsating club music meets sultry Latin music blend “Ipanema Fusion.”

“The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” is Baldwin’s second foray into Brazil expanding on the territory he mined on his 2004 album, “Brazil Chill.” This time out, he purposely incorporated more American nuances into the mix. Supplementing his own compositions, he elected to honor a few of the iconic artists who influenced his artistic muse including Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Corcovado”), Ivan Lins (“Anjo De Mim,” “The Island” and “Love Dance”) and Djavan (“Eu Te Devoro”). Another formative inspiration was Maurice White, the late Earth, Wind & Fire creator and leader who Baldwin remembers with a heartfelt spoken word tribute that closes the album, “The Message,” and on two musical numbers, “Maurice (The Sound Of His Voice)” and “The Greatest Lover,” the latter of which was recorded in the spirit of White’s hall of fame band. Meticulously produced, performed, composed and arranged, most of the tracks on “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” are tightly segued, maintaining a smooth flow and graceful transition from cut to cut through more than two hours of music.

Baldwin’s winning team that bolsters his pliable piano gymnastics and effervescent keyboard finesse on “The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” consists of an international ensemble that includes noted Brazilian and Latin players Café Da Silva (percussion), Torcuato Mariano (guitar), Rafael Pereira (percussion) and Armando Marcal (percussion). Canadian trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, veteran saxophonists Marion Meadows and Freddy V, and emerging flutist Ragan Whiteside add soulful horn solos while guitarists Marlon McClain and Phil Hamilton contribute compelling runs throughout the date that showcases a handful of charismatic vocalists: James “Crab” Robinson, Porter Carroll II, Gigi, Zoiea Ohizep as well as Baldwin himself. In fact, Baldwin demonstrates remarkable dexterity by singing lead and background as well as playing piano, Rhodes, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, Moog bass, Melodica, strings and clave on the album.

“My love for Brazilian music runs deep. It started with the infiltration of samba in the 1960s courtesy of Stan Getz, who brought with him Astrud Gilberto and the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim. So many other American artists have embraced Brazil, including Quincy Jones, who signed Ivan Lins to his publishing company, and Djavan, who I refer to as “The Brazilian Sade“, who goes as far back as 1973 when he sang on a Stevie Wonder track. There are so many others – like Maurice White, Ramsey Lewis and George Duke – who all caught the Brazilian music bug and were hooked,” said Baldwin, who made the record in part via crowdfunding for which a number of unique opportunities remain available (www.pledgemusic.com/bobbaldwin). “Musicians like Cafe da Silva, Armando Marcal, Torcuato Mariano, Delia Fisher and Rafael Pereira give the tracks on ‘The Brazilian-American Soundtrack’ authenticity and the green light to deliver the sound of Brazil to the project.”

A Mount Vernon, New York native who has become a longtime resident of Atlanta, Baldwin debuted in 1988 with “I’ve Got A Long Way to Go” and his 22 albums – eight of which climbed into the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Top 20 – are jazz, R&B and gospel outings. Over the years, he’s worked as a producer, songwriter and performer alongside George Benson, Gerald Albright, Euge Groove, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Pieces of a Dream, Paul Taylor, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Chuck Loeb. Since 2008, he has hosted the nationally syndicated radio program “The NewUrbanJazz Lounge,” which attracts nearly 500,000 listeners weekly. His City Sketches, Inc. is the umbrella entity that houses a production and event planning company, the radio network and NewUrbanJazz Hats. Baldwin is also the author of two books about the music industry, “You Better Ask Somebody” and “Staying On Top of Your Career in the ‘Friggin’ Music Business.” For more information, please visit www.BobBaldwin.com.

“The Brazilian-American Soundtrack” contains the following songs:

Movement I: Rio-Ipanema

“Funky Rio”

“Ipanema Fusion” featuring Café Da Silva

“Teardrop” featuring Ragan Whiteside

”Caipirinha” featuring Torcuato Mariano

“Corcovado”/”The Redeemer” featuring Torcuato Mariano

“Greatest Lover” featuring Zoiea

“Boa Noite”

“Lookin’ At Me” featuring Gigi

“Anjo De Mim”

“The Island” featuring Leo Gandelman

“Eu Te Devoro”

“Oasis Of Love”

“Love Dance/May I Have This Dance?”

“Children Of The Sun”

Movement II: New York

“Home From Work”

“Maurice (The Sound Of His Voice”)

“My Soul” featuring Marion Meadows

“For You” featuring Porter Carroll II

“Summer Madness” featuring James “Crab” Robinson

“Yesterday” featuring Freddie V

“South Of The Border”

“Mobile & Global” featuring Gabriel Mark Hasselbach

“Summer’s Over”

“I Need The Air (You Breathe)”

“State Of Mind”

“The Message (A Maurice White Tribute)”