Over the years since Paul Brown became one of contemporary urban jazz's premiere hit makers as a producer and artist, it's become harder to keep track of how many Billboard #1 smashes he has amassed since breaking through producing Boney James in the early 90s. Is it 60? 70? 75?
The two-time Grammy winner makes it slightly (and soulfully, seductively and delightfully easier by gathering a batch of his favorite chart-toppers produced for himself and other artists (Boney, Bob James, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, George Benson) and re-imagining them for his cleverly titled upcoming collection "Ones Upon a Time" - his tenth album as a solo artist.
If the sensual atmospheres and deeply inviting, seductive groove at the start of the set's lead single "Notorious" sound familiar, it's because it was not only a smash for Rick Braun 23 years ago (from his 1997 album Body and Soul), but has been a staple at hundreds of the trumpet great's live shows during that time. And for good reason. In its initial iteration, it offered the perfect combination of sexy and invigorating, a showcase of Braun's bright and sultry energy, combined with Boney's sweet coolness. Brown's new twist, where he carries the moody, slow burning melody on his 1963 Gibson Johnny Smith L5 guitar, takes the song multiple shades deeper both tonally and emotionally than the original version, arriving at a perfect blend of urban jazz and blues.