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Jazz CD Releases

New Release From Toronto Guitarist James Brown, “Song Within The Story”



Guitarist-composer James Brown returns from a 13-year recording hiatus to release, “Song Within the Story”.

Brown’s first release since 2009’s Sevendaze, finds him with his Toronto-based trio featuring bassist Clark Johnston and drummer Anthony Michelli. Respected tenor saxophonist Mike Murley joins the band on three of the album’s 10 tracks—eight of which are original compositions that document Brown’s ongoing intermarriage of jazz and classical music, while two covers explore Canada’s rich folk-rock legacy.

Among the tunes from the new release,“Igor” – named for and inspired by the great composer Igor Stravinsky, a nod to Brown’s classical pursuits. The album’s title track contains echoes of Pat Metheny. But the influences on display throughout Song Within the Story are hardly a jazz-classical binary. “Mbira Kids,” as its title suggests, directly evokes the musical traditions of Southern Africa (specifically, that of Zimbabwe’s Shona people). Meanwhile, the trio passionately renders ballads by Neil Young (“The Needle and the Damage Done”) and Joni Mitchell (“A Case of You”), perhaps the two most revered Canadian singer-songwriters of the rock era.

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