Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dr. Kathy Brown marks a 'Musical journey'

Contempor jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown is all smiles as she greets Dr Leahcim Semaj at her album launch at the Villa Ronai, Old Stony Hill Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday night. - Photo: Colin Hamilton/Freelance

By Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer

Kathy Brown marked an important stop in her lifetime musical journey at the Villa Ronai, Old Stony Hill Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday night with the official launch of her debut CD.

There was very strong support from those who have been with the pianist along the way to the nine-track instrumental CD, Mission: A Musical Journey.

See Gleaner story:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kathy Brown launch Mission CD

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown officially launches her debut CD Mission: A Musical Journey at a function on Wednesday 26th March at the exotic Villa Ronai.
First released in August 07 ahead of the pianist's first solo overseas performance at the Island Soul Festival in Toronto, The nine-track CD, which conveys influences of Latin American, South African and Jamaican music, has garnered flattering review both inside and outside Jamaica.

“ As the jazz, Latin jazz, and reggae station here in Miami, WDNA 88.9FM Serious Jazz prides itself on playing nothing but authentic music, and Mission: A Musical Journey fits the bill”, testified Howard “Flagga Duperly, disc jockey and Sales & marketing Manager at WDNA 88.9 FM.

According to the host of The Reggae Ride show, several hosts on WDNA FM, who program straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz and reggae, are featuring various tracks from Kathy Brown’s album. Two radio stations in Toronto have been playing cuts from the CD ever since Brown's delightful performance in that city.
At home, interests in Mission: A Musical Journey have been fair where it is being play on the major eclectic music shows.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

James Brown and Pavarotti: The most unlikely duo

Article by Kadene Porter
Abeng News Magazine

It must have been the most unlikely duo of all time. This idea that the disciplined lyric tenor of Luciano Pavarotti, crowned “King of the High Cs”, that note that could bring you to tears, could be somehow intermingled with the raspy funk-infused blues-chantings of the irrepressible “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, would hardly have been conceived for the to-do list of any producer.

Yet Pavarotti had seen the future. For him, globalization meant that the genre of classical opera music, cloistered and exclusive for ages, would become a part of the emerging world music scene, an innovation in harmony where East meets West and seemingly incongruous music genres are fused to produce a new, universal message in sound. Since 1990 when his signature aria “Nessun Dorma” crossed over into the world of pop, the great tenor worked tirelessly to bring classic opera to the masses, performing with other pop stars through a series of concerts for charity, Pavarotti and Friends, with innumerable artistes, from Bryan Adams and Tom Jones to Barry White and Ricky Martin.

See the video :

Yet no other collaboration has so captured the aesthetic of perfection in incongruity as this electrifying duet performed with James Brown in Pavarotti’s hometown of Modena in the spring of 2002. From the sighing strings of the violins mimicking the “bel canto” of the tenor, the steady blues rhythm of the keyboard artist, to the dramatic drummer and the hypnotic swaying and melodious harmony of the backup singers, comes an orchestration of sound that holds all enraptured in the unmistakable magic and an incredible fusion of synergies.

“It’s a Man’s World” was first performed by James Brown in 1965 and though its title may offend the ear of most women today, he confessed that the expressed caveat makes it stark reality. “But he’s nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monty Alexander records Tony Bennett's music

Monty Alexander Trio: The Music of Tony Bennett

Label: Chesky

Monty Alexander Trio:
Monty Alexander (piano)
Lorin Cohen (bass)
George Fludas (drums)

CD Tracks

1. Old Devil
2. To The Good Life
3. Smile
4. Maybe September
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. Just a Little Street
7. Just In Time
8. Emily
9. Put On A Happy Face
10. I Want To Be Around
11. Once Upon A Time
12. Because Of You

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michael Bolton, Air Supply added to St. Lucia Jazz lineup

CASTRIES, St. Lucia (March 15, 2008) - Grammy Award winning American balladeer Michael Bolton as well as soft rock duo Air Supply have joined the line-up for the 2008 edition of St. Lucia Jazz set to celebrate its 17th anniversary from May 2 to 11 in the Caribbean this year.

Organisers announced that the Air Supply and Bolton bookings completed the selection of headliners for the final weekend of concerts, which will feature among others Angie Stone, Anita Baker, Dianne Reeves, Dionne Warwick, Jonathan Butler, Najee and Wyclef Jean, Kenny Barron, Luther Francios.

Considered one of the Caribbean 's premier jazz festivals, St. Lucia Jazz - produced by the St. Lucia Tourist Board in partnership with BET Event Productions - attracts droves of visitors each year to enjoy island-wide musical acts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kathy Brown entertained Prince Charles

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown entertained HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at a private dinner organised by the Jamaican Government in honour of their Royal Highnesses visit to Jamaica .

Dr. Brown stepped aside from her usual jazz improvisation entertaining the Royal Couple with mainly Jamaican folk and Bob Marley music.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Kathy Brown in Toronto

Is there a doctor in the house? Kathy's other job is being a doctor back in Kingston, Jamaica. This was her Toronto debut, and the show went over very well. She was also nice enough to let us interview her for a while on the air, after her set. Good times. See review below

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Concert Review; Kathy Brown & Tabarruk

E Man Grooving; Concert Review

Last week Dr. Kathy Brown played two concerts of Jamaica folk and improvised music to large audiences in Paramaribo, Suriname. But, last year she made her overseas debut at the Island Soul Festival in Toronto, Ontario. The following is a review on the latter.

As part of Harbourfront's "Island Soul" festival, we were treated to several free performances. The first two were afternoon shows, featuring one veteran of Jamaican music and one relative newcomer.

Ernest Ranglin and Kathy Brown both gave excellent performances on this sunny afternoon.

They both played music that is restrained and refined, which was fitting for the mellow atmosphere around Harbourfront. Kathy Brown is a pianist who had a remarkable back-up plan; she is also a medical doctor in her native Kingston, Jamaica. This afternoon was her Canadian debut, and she had the compatible and versatile Jason Wilson and Tabarruk backing her up.

Long time Jamaican-Canadian drummer Everton "Pablo" Paul has been playing percussion regularly with Tabarruk, and the two drummers (Paul plays hand drums in this band) gel seamlessly for a steady rhythm section that did not interfere with Kathy Brown's piano playing.

Brown opened with a tune called "Rasta Journey", which combines elements from older melodies such as "Rastaman Chant" and "Rivers of Babylon". That was followed by a cover of "Get Up Stand Up" that was introduced as a Bob Marley song, but it was barely recognizable. It was a treat to hear a cover like the well worn "Get Up Stand Up" played with significantly different arrangements from the familiar Wailers versions. This was followed by an unusual take of "The Flintstones" theme. Kathy's eclecticism shifted to the appropriately titled "Latin Groove" which, Kathy said, was inspired by Cuban rhythms which used to be very popular in Jamaica.

A cover of "Afro Blue" came next. While the familiar notes trickled out from the stage, Kathy and Tabarruk got to stretch out a little. Kathy described the track as "a song of communication" which seemed fitting. The last song was another instrumental cover of a Wailers hit, "Could You Be Loved?" which featured the pianist and Jason Wilson the organist trading off keyboard licks.

Kathy Brown was very well received by the surprisingly attentive crowd. Daytime Harbourfront audiences are often a finicky bunch, composed of as many tourists out for a stroll as there are fans of the artist performing. Holding this audiences attention was no small task, but Kathy Brown's piano playing provided a rare moment of an audience listening closely to a relatively unknown musician..

Pictures at

Marcus Miller release all-star Marcus CD

Inside of perhaps the most enviable career in all of music, two-time Grammy Award-winner Marcus MIller has been the composer/producer of eight critically acclaimed and genre-defying solo albums. Each project showcases his astounding and singular technique as among the world's most gifted and eclectic electric bassists.
On his ninth and latest CD, simply titled Marcus, he continues to work his one-of-a-kind magic - from the ferocious Middle Eastern funk of “Blast” to the cozy Quiet Storm strains of the Deniece Williams classic “Free,” featuring special guest Corinne Bailey Rae.
As a producer, writer and player, Miller was the last primary collaborator of jazz legend Miles Davis, contributing the composition "Tutu" to the canon of contemporary jazz music. His partnership with Luther Vandross produced dozens of R&B million-sellers, he produced 7 David Sanborn albums, and has worked with musicians including Herbie Hancock, Frank Sinatra, LL Cool J and Eric Clapton.
Guesting on Marcus are Corinne Bailey Rae, Keb' Mo', Lalah Hathaway, Taraji P. Henson- vocals, Shihan the Poet - spoken word, Andrea Braido - guitar, Paul Jackson, Jr. - guitar, David Sanborn - alto saxophone, Tom Scott - tenor saxophone, Chester Thompson - keyboards.