Paul Brown – The Funky Joint

The Funky Joint by guitarist Paul Brown (Woodward Avenue Records, 2012) may be misleading in its name. However, as a release in the smooth jazz genre, it’s right on the mark.

For better or worse, Brown’s name became synonymous with “snooze jazz.” No doubt, that’s largely due to his input as producer on some releases by a few WB Jazz artists back in the 1990s, when the drive to appeal to fans who weren’t necessarily in to smooth jazz and to increase the probability of getting more play on commercial radio – a lesson in failure – led to a lot of formulaic, cookie-cutter music. As a front man, though, Brown holds his own quite well.

An assortment of smooth jazz names appear as guests in various configurations. Among them are keyboardist and programmer Jeff Caruthers, bassist Roberto Vally, horn arranger Jerry Hey, saxophonist Boney James and drummer Ricky Lawson.

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