click to enlarge
The Ronnie Laws & Tom Browne Supergroup
November 30, 2012
two jazz-funk legends return
Friday, November 30
8pm $25 & 10pm $20
Ronnie Laws’ name is virtually synonymous with good music. True Laws fans know, this gifted contemporary music artist is by no means a new comer to the business. A native of Houston, Texas, born October 3, 1950, the third in a famous line of four musicians that include his classically trained Jazz flautist brother, Hubert, and his vocalist sisters, Eloise and Debra. Laws taught himself to play alto saxophone at the age of eleven, and later developed a progressive mastery and technique through his studies at Stephen F. Austin State and Texas Southern University.
In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work under the tutelage of such legendary talents as The Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masakela. His formative training also included stints with Jazz pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and organist Doug Cann. He was a member of the 70’s much-revered soul group Earth Wind and Fire, where he played tenor and soprano sax for a two-year stint, before finally venturing out to pursue a solo career.
His first solo hit, “Always There” (credited as Ronnie Laws and Pressure on the original 45), was one of the most popular, sax-driven, cross-over hits of the 70’s Jazz-Funk Fusion era. He ushered in the sensualization of the soprano sax with Quiet Storm gems such as “Grace”, “Karmen”, and “Just Love”. Pressure Sensitive, Fever, and Friends and Strangers (Blue Note 1978), the title track of his third album, all propelled to gold status.
Consider the songs in our hearts that inspire us toward uplifted continence; melodies that ring out in a manner that is soulful ... even funky! Now think of an artist; an artist who George Benson describes as "joy filled in expressiveness" and “believable in any musical style,” topping the jazz and adult contemporary / R & B charts with his kickin' trumpet and rich jazz melodies. That artist ... is trumpeter Tom Browne.
His debut release "Browne Sugar" (1979) dominated the jazz charts for many weeks while "Love Approach" (1980) and "Magic" (1981) each earned gold album status and spawned hits like "Funkin’ For Jamaica," "Thighs High".