Sweet & Lovely
This CD was produced in Paris, France, where Larry Browne and his quintet are based. The group's success is due in large part to it's use of arrangements, avoiding the formula of vocal melody /instrumental solos /vocal melody /ending. For example, composed passages of trumpet and trombone are peppered between solos as shout-choruses and backgrounds, or the rhythm section drops out, or a solo begins by trading fours with the drums... These and other simple devices keep the audience and musicians alike on their toes, the music is as surprising and pleasing to tried and true jazz fans as to newcomers. The following are the liner notes from the disc itself, penned by Jean Szlamowicz of France's famed JAZZ HOT MAGAZINE: Apprehension usually surrounds any discussion of a 'Jazz Singer', one is always suspected of being an easy-listening, superficial crooner. Rest assured, Larry Browne will not let you harbor that concern for long. Nor as a trumpeter does he take the easy road; on the contrary, he constantly challenges himself. Larry Browne cultivates the garden common to all jazz connoisseurs, but with his own methods. Certainly, he sings songs that have long since been recorded many times, but his versions are sophisticated arrangements - steeped in swing - that revive and re-affirm standards with his be-bop enthusiasm. His own five compositions are particularly melodic and sound like standards themselves. He doesn't hesitate to assemble five versions of 'Take the 'A' Train' to create a richly caloric compilation. He mixes 'Evidence' with 'Just You, Just Me' (the former based on the latter). He writes jewels for trumpet and trombone (the 'Sweet and Lovely' tutti passage, 'Some Adventures of a Morning Glory'). In short, he's not content on the assembly line of chorus after solo chorus, like a factory worker. If Mark Murply is among Larry's vocal models (his soft side, hear 'Little Girl Blue' and 'Detour Ahead'), Eddie Jefferson is omnipresent as is Clark Terry (Larry 'mumbles' on 'Wait 'till it Happens to You', a blues recounting the incomprehensibility of free advice). What will above all please listeners is the natural balance between singing and accompanying ensemble sections (trumpet and trombone haven't often been so happily partnered). And are there solos! The vibrant sound of Jerry Edwards, the nervous phrasing of Ludovic de Preissac and the dynamic rhythm section hit the mark of jazz albums that rest on nothing false. With a sensibility for crossing swing, bebop and nonchalant melody, Larry Browne has the sincerity to lovingly make music that says something, with modesty. Jean Szlamowicz, JAZZ HOT.