DEE BROWN: Remembering You (Innervision)


Most artists make records ‘cos they love to make music; some because they have a point to make or a story to tell; sadly, some enter the studio just to fulfil contractual obligations. dee (not a typo, he doesn’t capitalise that forename) BROWN’S latest long player was created for none of those reasons. Sure, he love’s making music but his 11 tracker that is ‘Remembering You’ was born out of real tragedy. You see a couple of years back the Detroit-based jazz guitarist was engaged to gospel diva, Shaunia Edwards. As the couple were finalising marriage arrangements, Ms Edwards was stricken with a serious and sudden illness; tragically she died.

Grief stricken, dee went through the classic stages of mourning but as he emerged he decided to remember, embrace and celebrate what he’d had rather than to dwell on what he was missing. He was confident that was what Shaunia would have wanted. And what better way for a consummate musician to celebrate than to make music; so dee turned to writing and recording a suite of tunes to honour and celebrate his fiancé’s life and ‘Remembering You’ is the result.

Given that, you won’t be surprised to learn that ‘Remembering You’ is a joy-filled affair and amongst that joy perhaps the jauntiest cut is ‘Hey Baby’ which poignantly features a bright if short intro from Ms Edwards. The vocoded ‘Pop The Question’ rides a solid soul vibe too – both tunes classic examples of guitar-led smooth jazz. however, the D-funk remix of ‘Pop’ shows that dee can do “tough” too. The set’s only vocal is the gentle ‘Follow You’ which features sweet and minimal cooing from Ester Todd and Winzell Kelly. Amongst the other album collaborators is Valdez Brantley (one time Usher’s MD) who delivers some tasty keyboard parts.

REMEMBERING YOU is out now on Innervision Records

(BB) 3/5