Ron Brown

From My Eyes Only

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Be careful when you pick up Ron Brown's Discovery Records' debut From My Eyes Only that you don't mistake it for something from the George Howard catalog. From his shaved head to the cool way he weaves punchy sax licks around slick, easy urban grooves, Brown reminds one of the man whose success helped create an audience for this type of easygoing jazz/funk. Ironically enough, however, for a player who focuses on the soprano, Brown's hardest hitting moments come on uptempo throw downs like "Why" and the down-home swing of "It's a Texas Thing," where he's blowing hot and heavy on the tenor. While by the numbers covers of recent soul hits "You Are Not Alone" and "Why Does It Hurt So Bad" may attract radio interest, too much attention to these would take away from the more playful moments which allow Brown to stretch out and challenge the limitations of the format. Most notable of these involve pals Patrice Rushen and Bobby Lyle, who solo as if they are on a live, straight-ahead date. More of this type of energy from Brown himself would have made this an even more impressive first time at the plate.

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