Classical and jazz worlds blend together and produce a sound that can only be defined as pure music on classical music piano superstars The 5 Browns' Browns in Blue. The Juilliard-trained Brown siblingsDesirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody and Ryanall began studying piano at an early age. As their musical proficiency developed, these young Mormons each debuted with major symphonic orchestras, going on to popular media coverage. Their professional careers began taking off, highlighted by the release of two critically acclaimed classical recordings and sold-out performances in college auditoriums and concert halls, largely to audiences of their peers.
Browns in Blue is the quintet's third recording for Sony Classical. The 5 Browns appear in differing settings throughout the CDfrom individual performances to duos, trios and, ultimately, the full quintet. While heavy on classical works by composers including Brahms, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Schubert, Blue also features the works of Gershwin and W.C. Handy. What is most impressive about Blue is that it offers an insight into how these young phenoms hear music. Their sound yields more than technique, a quality that makes this recording highly enjoyable.
On W.C. Handy's "Aunt Hagar's Blues, Gregory Brown plays solo with thoughtfulness and warmth, as though he wants to rid Aunt Hagar of her blues by comforting her with his music. Gershwin's "Embraceable You sounds delicate and sweet at the hands of Desirae Brownlike what every woman has at some point imagined an embrace would feel like coming from someone they loved or wanted to love. "Home Blues from An American in Paris, featuring a guest performance by trumpeter Chris Botti along with the play of the full piano quintet, is fun and energetic. Botti fits in nicely with the family, and the sounds constantly dance from piano to trumpet to piano (and piano and piano and piano again). The bonus track, "Everybody Loves Somebody, includes the vocals of rat pack favorite Dean Martin. The quintet manages to make Martin come alive, potentially sparking a rumor that either Dean Martin still lives among us or that these five have lived before.
Browns in Blue is fine work. These are young twenty-somethings who are deserving of a headline.
Track Listing: 18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Carnival of the Animals-Aquarium; Retrato de Alfredo Gobbi from History of the Tango; Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque; Aunt Hagars Blues; Romance from Suite No. 2, Op. 17 for Two Pianos; Intermezzo in A Major; Gretchen am Spinnrade; Reflections on Shenandoah; Embraceable You; Nocturne in C Minor; Fantasia on Dives and Lazarus; Carnival of the Animals-The Swan; Ich liebe dich; Home Blues from An American in Paris; Everybody Loves Somebody.
Personnel: The 5 Browns: Desirae Brown: piano (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16); Deondra Brown: piano (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16); Gregory Brown: piano (1, 5, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16); Melody Brown: piano (1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16); Ryan Brown: piano (1, 3, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16). Guests: Chris Botti: trumpet (15); Dean Martin: vocals (16); Gil Shaham: violin (2).
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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