(5 / 5)
Ohhhh, now this is talking my language. Tom Browne is a superb artist and his classic track “Funkin’ For Jamaica” was a cut I played to death as a night club DJ back in the day. I still dig that one out and stick it on full blast in my house now and again, and have a little boogie – until I realise that at my age; my back goes out more times than I do!
That absolute banger is included in this collection, in fact we get it three times across these two discs. Track six on CD #1; “Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.), then the first disc closes with a 1991 extended remix and the second CD ends with a 1991 Jam Dub Mix. The latter cut is gorgeous. Both remixes are by the UK’s Driza Bone.
“Brother, Brother: The GRP/Arista Anthology,” offers 29 tracks in total, 15 on CD #1 and 14 on the second disc. A wonderful anthology by renowned trumpeter, musician and songwriter Tom Browne, covering his five-year tenure (1979-1984), firstly with GRP Records then with Arista Records.
From Jamaica, Queens, New York, Tom grew up in a creatively-fertile environment among other budding musicians, including drummer Omar Hakim, bassist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Bernard Wright, drummer Lenny White and songwriter/musician Lesette Wilson. After being courted by several labels, Tom opted to sign with the then-fledgling GRP label, created by top jazz production team of Dave Grusin (one of my personal musical heroes) and Larry Rosen.
Following the critically-acclaimed “Browne Sugar” LP, Tom got his commercial breakthrough with 1980’s “Love Approach”, which included the massive global hit, the now-timeless funk groove, “Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.)”, a number one R&B US hit.
Tom’s third album, “Magic” kept the momentum going with charted hits, ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Thighs High (Grip Your Hips And Move)’ and ‘Fungi Mama/Bebopafunkadiscolypo’, all featured here – and the 12 inch version of the title track – along with later hits, ‘Bye Gones’, ‘Rockin’ Radio’ (produced by Maurice Starr and Michael Jonzun), ‘Cruisin’’, and ‘Secret Fantasy’ (featuring Siedah Garrett).
With key cuts from each of his four GRP and two Arista albums, this excellent anthology is remastered by Donald Cleveland, and includes notes by renowned US writer Kevin Goins; with quotes from Tom Browne himself, Marcus Miller and Lesette Wilson, and comments by the late Larry Rosen. Here is the perfect summer soundtrack for ya’all…………………….
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’