On his Innervision Records debut Dee Brown, whose tasty melodies, grooves and vibe perfectly reflect its unforgettable title: Brown Sugar, Honey-Coated Love collaborates with some of Detroit’s best local talent including Desi McCullers, Jr. The son of one of the original Motown “Funk Brothers”; Valdez Brantley, longtime keyboardist and MD for Usher; his brother, bassist Kern Brantley, Musical Director for Lady Gaga; Chip Dixson, a notable gospel player, “soul trumpeter” and instrumental recording artist Lin Rountree and DJ Shannon Weiss.
Realizing that jazz comes out tastier when he’s inspired by and bouncing ideas off musicians and songwriters he admires, Brown co-penned with Dixson “Honeycomb and “I’m Here For You (I’ll Never Leave You), ” featuring the soulful vocals of co-writer Shaunia Edwards. In addition, the guitarist co-wrote seven new tracks with Valdez, including “My Love’s Forever” (with McCullers); “Smile Again” (with lead vocal by co-writer Arnell Carmichael); “Pleasurable Dream” (featuring Brown on scat vocals); “Ice Cream Sunday”; “Natural Love”; and the infectious title track featuring Rountree’s soaring trumpet and flugelhorn. Brown includes a glorious, old school cover of The Intruders’ Philly Soul hit “I’ll Always Love My Mama” as a dedication to his beloved mother, Roceal Brown.
Where does all the sweetness on Brown Sugar, Honey-Coated Love come from? Same place Brown’s music always has-his faith in God. Raised in church, Brown plays gospel music every Sunday at his congregation Baptist World Changers in Detroit. To that end, Brown happily offers thoughtful and dynamic music that stands apart in today’s crowded contemporary urban jazz landscape. The guitarist also notes that just as honey is natural sugar, his sound and his tunes come from an organic, soulful place.