Native Son – a Jeremy Pelt Composition exclusively on Brown Brothers Recordings

yes, that LP

Eons ago, on a planet called Man-Hattan – when the sun was hot as Scotch bonnets, a band was formed to realize a project called The CO-OP. A veritable dream-team was assembled : D. Hodge (basses and perhaps keys), W. Gordon (trombone), J. Pelt (trumpet), W. Wolf (mallet percussi

One of the songs recorded during those sessions (held in the big room @ the majestic but now defunct Clinton Recording Studios in Hells Kitchen, Man-Hattan) is titled “Native Son” – a madcap electric circus penned by the estimable Mr. Pelt – with bombastic contributions by Messieurs Hodge, Gordon, Scott and Wolf.

Lo and behold, in sequencing the record – as much as the browns were enamored with this song, it was left on the cutting room floor. …but no longer friends – now you have it – right here to stream unlimited on yer device of choice.

Please sit back, relax and unwind. And turn it up LOUD.

all is full of love,

Blotto West, somewhere over Man-Hattan Fall’19

Open Up the Window and Let Me Breathe…

We think about things here @ Brown Bros. Industries – a lot of things. Like why are some of the great Artists of our time (seemingly) destined to be heard by so few ? Those that have trained and accomplished like the most elite athletes who are lionized by billions – toil in relative anonymity creating @ the highest level.

Well we couldn’t feel more strongly that this situation needs to be rectified with all our hearts and souls. That is why we think, think some more, and then create a plan that endeavors to succeed.

We appreciate the long-time loyalty that many of you have shown us and take yer trust and engagement very seriously.

We heartily look forward to blowin’ yer mind.

Blotto West, Chief Compliance Officer and Brown Brother #1

We’re as Hard, as Hard as nails …

Go back to yer Gold Sounds…

I think it happened around ’91, somewhere round Mexico, or was it New Mexico? Could have been both. The earth was undulating w fire back then, and everything was golden up ahead, but only if you looked ahead.

I can still remember those hills – brown and desolate – even by the highway – they were beautiful too.

Yes my friends, we are the Brown Brothers – but the world evolves, and with that evolution a change in the order of things occurs. Like a Phoenix, watch us rise again…

Brown Bros. Year in Review 2018

2018 was a transitional year for the Brown Bros. It started eventfully with the brothers booking 2 nites @ An Die Musik Baltimore for a label mashup featuring local heroes and BBR alums’ Cyrus Chestnut and Warren Wolf.

These 4 sets over 2 nites: 1/12 – 1/13 were standing room only. They were deeply emotional sets, with the duo performing both originals from their own catalogs and music from luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, and Pavement.

The brothers, upon being blown away during nite 1 called an audible, and found a talented Maryland based recording engineer named Doug Benson, to come record the 2nd nite’s performance.

Label confidant David “Sir Davey Jones” Slitzky trained down to Bawlmore to supervise the recording. A commitment by a talented young man that will not be forgotten.

Benson sent the brothers the following note along with the digital files a few weeks later “The raw audio is very good, clean, quiet and transparent.  I think you have a lot to work with.”

To date, the brothers have not aligned on releasing a live document of the recording, but discussions are ongoing, and there is reason for optimism that this project will see the light of day.

Chestnut and Wolf are all-time talents, and having them on the BBR roster is not taken lightly. Bros are actively working on a 2019 follow up.

After the good time experience in Baltimore, there was a looming crisis on the horizon, the titanically named “Jazz-Ageddon”. The Browns, with assist from label Head of Sound, Steven “Val” Mandel, had booked what was intended to be 3 nites of celebration, fusing artists from the Brown Bros. and sister label JMI Recordings.

The excitement was quickly battered by reality tho as infighting ensued, leaving all participants bloodied and worse for wear.  Musically, the 6 sets over 3 nites 1/22 – 1/24 went better than could ever have been expected – live magic really.  Lineups were packed with champions of today, and were led by Musical Directors Ray Angry and Warren Wolf.  Mandel brought his unique talents to bear during the engagement by booking comics that opened each set.

One of the Brown Bros. principals wrote the following ecstatic analysis of the shows:  “Some initial thoughts…Monday energy was due in part to novelty but still very exciting. Music was sloppy but involving like a jam band composed of musicians greater than any jam band. By second set group dynamics tightened up and took the entertainment value from novelty to serious all star set up. Highlights were James Carter first set and Wycliffe second set for their best of combo showmanship, technical ability and playing to my taste. Tuesday was the apogee. One of my favorite nights of live music of last few years. First set was chock full of surprises like Tia Fuller finding her footing, Ray finding his sea legs as leader and Marcus Gilmore sparking fires all over the place. Myron and Sean emerging as powerful horn harmonies and judicious soloing. Warren as always leaving the cumulative impression that he is a supreme leader and accompaniest with bursts of soul, be bop, swing and r and b. Willie finding his way in and Ali playing like he had something to prove and proving it.
Second set Tuesday was the top of the top. Most raucous crowd despite not being biggest. Bilal and Keyon almost stole whole show and Jmi originals getting people to move. Willie quietly asserts himself and Ben starts taking some of the best bass solos I’ve ever seen live.
Last night was the true aficionados’ show. Ray fully assumed command ironically by ceding announcing duties to Warren. Ray originals evolve into strongest and most consistent material graded on their technical complexity and challenge to band and audience. Energy seemed low first set but on reflection it was just crowd dealing with the challenges of Ray’s composition and a slightly more melancholy bilal. New vocal elements and daru spiced things up. Second set last night was the elegy…”

As of January 25, 2018, things have slowed some – there’s the talk related to the Live Cyrus and Warren record, a nascent Joe Pernice project, and a Gold Sounds vinyl reissue + re-think (the record was released in 2005 on CD only) being driven by Mandel.

Whatever happens, it’s never dull in the hallowed hallways of Brown Brothers Recordings. We genuinely wish you the best of everything in all of your endeavors, and thank you for your continued support.

Blotto West, December 2018, Somewhere in NYC

Got live if you want it

Live albums are always a dicey proposition. The allure of a concert is that the experience can’t be reproduced. Otherwise why be inconvenienced by travel and interaction with a host of unpleasantness?  However, there are a number of live albums which so successfully capture musicians in rare moments of supreme creativity that they are indispensable.  We’re working on one such album. As always if it’s not as perfect as we can make it we won’t release it. Stay tuned to this space for updates.

Let me up

To quote the late, great Tom Petty -or was it Bob Dylan-the saturation in modern society can “jam” you. Money: jam.  Family : jam.  Friends: jam. Internet: jam. When it all gets too much, one thing which works for us is a good spin of (self promotion alert) The Co-Op. We created this album to be a lasting artistic beacon.  A way to force us to immerse ourselves in something other that clicks of a finger or disappointment at inevitable human failures, our own and others’.  Although it’s widely available online-which we promise has not earned us a penny-we prefer you do what the great DJ Bob McWilliams does: savor and spin. Repeat. Let us know how it goes for you. We’re sincerely interested.

Try to make the magic last

By now anyone paying even the remotest attention here and elsewhere in the Brown Brothers universe knows our predilection for physical over virtual media.  Here’s another entry in that swimming-upstream effort.  Back in 2008 Elvis Costello released a solid-if-unspectacular album called Momofuku.  One gorgeous highlight is the song Flutter and Wow, one of his most earnest love songs. The album came with a dowload card because the appearance of offering convenience and being technologically current seems to matter to some folks. The card was only valid for part of 2008.

We’re still listening, enjoying and learning from the beautiful lp.  How many people can say the same about digital copies of the record?

The album is the thing

We come now to compare the joys of owning and listening to records versus attending a live concert.  Apples and oranges for sure but there must be some basis for comparison.  Here goes: a record is a virtually permanent artifact which you can study, replay and learn from for as long as you can hear and see.  Indeed the best records are layered in a way which reveal more with virtually each listen, no matter how many times you’ve heard them before. Their art and text can burrow deep in your mind and you can share them with friends and family virtually at will.  Concerts, while they have the undeniable uniqueness of offering the possibility of once in a lifetime experience, also have the great potential to subject the concertgoer to the wretched masses, the loud talkers, cold weather and just plain impermanence.

For those of you working with budgets which require you to choose very efficiently how to allocate your music spending dollars, think of these considerations.  Now click the “shop” tab above and pick up an album. It will be with you forever.

Listen Here Now: “Community Theme Song” by Wycliffe Gordon


Turn it UP!

“Community Theme Song” – titled “The Theme” on The CO-OP LP (2017) exclusively on Brown Brothers Recordings, is a late 60’s sounding (but wholly original) soul-jazz burner written by the great Wycliffe Gordon.

This song is featured on Side A (track #2) of the LP, and with beautiful communal backing by Derrick Hodge on bass, Warren Wolf on Vibraphones, Kendrick Scott on drums, and the soulful stylings of Mr. Jeremy Pelt on Trumpet.

This song was performed live and during both sets (to our knowledge the only “live in front of an audience” performances ever) on 1/22/18 @ The Blue Note in NYC during the flagship Jazz-Ageddon engagement (wait a second, did he just say Jazz-Ageddon?).  This live performance was backed by Ray Angry on Keys, Warren Wolf on Vibes, Ben Williams on bass, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, James Carter and Tia Fuller on saxophones and Marcus Gilmore on drums (or was it Ali Jackson on drums)….

We hope you enjoy this one and check out the other music we’re sharing on this site and elsewhere.  If the music moves you, please share liberally with yer friends and loved ones.  This is music that makes the heart and soul stronger, performed by a cast of elite gentlemen and artists.

#NowJazz forever.

the brown bros. ’18


wycliffe live (2)

New York Times, New York History

Jazz-Ageddon started out as a hazy idea in Steve Mandel’s apartment in Summer, 2017.  It evolved into one of the most bitterly disputed executions in label history.  But over 3 nights in January 2018 it took on a life of its own.  Thanks to the glue of modern day BBR, the world class vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and many, many others this wily live beast refused to die.  The New York Times highlighted its first-day, first set as one of its monthly selections of standout shows.  Jazz writer extraordinaire Gio Russonnello also singled out My First Mine from our Gold Sounds cd and The Theme (whose title underwent a name-ectomy to The Community Theme Song) from our vinyl lp and digital stream and download The Co-Op as noteworthy.