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Derek Brown: Beatbox Sax

Dan McClenaghan By

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One man bands are something of a novelty: some guy with a half a dozen instruments (or more)—guitar, drums, harmonica—affixed to his body in various ways. Saxophonist Derek Brown blows the one man band route with just the saxophone on Beatbox Sax.

The first reaction on spinning the disc, opening with Brown's original composition, "Catch 'Em Up," could understandably be: "That's not live, he's slipping in loops and salting the saxophonic sonic stew in the studio with electronics." However, that's not the case, and Brown can be found on YouTube proving the point.

Sam Newsome (and maybe nobody else) cooks with similar ingredients, in his case with a soprano sax, and more of a strictly jazz approach. Brown stirs up jazz with Johann Sebastian Bach ("Cello Suite No. 1") and Ben E, King ("Stand by Me"), George Gershwin ("I Got Rhythm"), Herbie Hancock ("Chameleon"), Elvis Presley ("Can't Help Falling In Love"), Sting ("Every Breath You Take") and Justin Bieber ("Baby").

The multitude of ingredients that comprise Brown's artistry are made by "slap tonguing," "multi-phonics," "double tonguing," hitting the sax with rings, and placing an egg shaker inside the horn. Brown, apparently, has no problem veering away from the traditional.

While all this is going on, the saxophonist also occasionally sings ("Stand By Me," "Can't Help Falling In Love," "Baby") while, improbably, maintaining the modernistic, saxophone/electro-percussion-like flow.

Quite amazing, and surprisingly engaging.

Track Listing: Catch "Em Up; Cello Suite No. 1: Every Breath You Take; The People's Tune; Can't Help Falling In Love; What Is Love?; Chameleon; Human Error; Blueberry Jam; Air On A G String; Stand By Me; Uptown Funk; I Got Rhythm; Baby.

Personnel: Derek Brown: saxophone and beatbox sounds.

Title: BEATBoX SAX | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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