MP3 Big Brooklyn Red - Foreword
Original Soul; smooth, sexy, seductive and funky. Apollo Champion, Big Brooklyn Red IS the definition of SOUL. An improvisational lyrical master... this is real music of substance. Listen and you will believe...
8 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Soul, URBAN/R&B: Funk
Big Brooklyn Red''s first release, "Foreword," doesn''t seem like the work of a neophyte. The tones of this album are deep and mature. His vocal skills are complimented by soulful, organic tracks that resonate with his passionate and powerful voice. The comparisons to great voices like Marvin, Stevie and Donny that seem to accompany every new release of every new male vocalist in the genre actually fit Big Brooklyn Red. Not that he sounds like anyone other than himself but you can feel a presence in his talent, a presence that predates him.
Big Brooklyn Red is an improvisationalist. Freestyling is Brooklyn''s trademark. Aside from singing select songs from his album his live performances are complete improvisations. There is no conversation about the music prior to the downbeat and rarely is the same configuration of musicians repeated. Music is freedom. Big Brooklyn Red''s music is an expression of that freedom and of the power in letting the creative spirit flow. It is a deeply spiritual and transcendent experience for Brooklyn to share with his audience. His performances are his place of worship, a time where he can communicate both from and to the soul in a language he calls "the Mother Tongue." Music is the Mother Tongue as well as God''s first and best language and is meant to be shared with the whole world.
To see him live or in the studio is akin to witnessing a Shaman commune with spirits long past. He hardly ever writes a song in the traditional sense. The usual recording process is for him to (once the track is ready) just open his mouth and let out whatever is in him or coming through him. Editing is rarely necessary and saved for a final "Golden Take." If he does "write" a song, it is when and wherever the inspiring force grabs him. People have often seen Big Brooklyn Red walking down the street chanting lyrics like some kind of monk until he can get to a pen and pad. Most of his best written work appears on cocktail napkins and brown paper bags.
Big Brooklyn Red is an artist unlimited by the conventions of the industry. He can apply his style to any music because his approach is organic, he feeds off of what is happening at the moment. That kind of gift is a two edge sword. On the upside, is that you can hear Big Brooklyn Red''s voice on many different and diverse projects. He has recorded house tracks, three of which, "Shine your light on me" and "I''ve got sunshine," and "Be Mine" are getting serious play and recognition both here and overseas. He has recorded for a long list of NY/Miami/LA artists of many genres including hip-hop, spoken word, alternative rock, jungle/drum and bass as well as doing drops for local DJ mix CDs. There is even a gospel song with Big Brooklyn Red''s vocal on it charting across the Bible Belt (although the producers may have to be brought to justice before that recording could be counted as a positive experience.) The downside unfortunately is that most of the powers that be need their artists in a box. Big Brooklyn Red''s talent is not one that can be contained. Rather than continue to argue that point with the A&R du jour, this album is the first offering for the masses.
This is may be his first album but Big Brooklyn Red is not new to the game. As a member of the CityKids Foundation Repertory Company, Brooklyn''s career was launched in 1990, performing an original composition with Herbie Hancock and Branford Marsalis at the St. James Theatre on Broadway - which was later re-created with the late Grover Washington, Jr., for television. As an alumni he was also a featured singer on the "CityKids 10 Year Anniversary" broadcast on ABC in 1996. In 1994 he started his first band "eli & the bluesound project" and continued honing his performance chops while stretching the boundaries of music on the New York scene. The Brooklyn native moved to Miami in 1997 and over his five years there made his mark as the premiere soul singer in South Florida. In 1998 he was joined by fellow Brooklynite and former Citykid Hassan and formed the hip-hop/neo-classic soul group "A long Way from Sunday." During the 2001/02 NBA season Big Brooklyn Red and the Miami Funk All Stars were the house band for the Miami Heat. Every Friday night home game they did the National Anthem, a few time-outs, halftime, and the post game party. And as of September 30th, 2003, Big Brooklyn Red can also call himself a "Showtime at the Apollo" champion.
Big Brooklyn Red, a Brooklynite, is constantly on the move. He has toured the U.S., changed his base of operations from NY to Miami to LA and back. He has done a grassroots tour of the U.S. singing the National Anthem for NFL/NBA games as well as open mics and featured performances in cities along the way. Additionally, Brooklyn completed a tour of the U.K. in support of Organic Soul v. 3, a compilation that includes three tracks from Big Brooklyn Red''s album, Foreword. He now splits time between NYC and MIA and records tirelessly for his next release.
Big Brooklyn Red is a man on a mission.
About the album...
Tracks 1 and 8 were written as they were sung. The lead vocal on "Time" is the complete take from his second attempt. "God is Good" was one take, one time with the ''hallelujah'' harmonies overdubbed later. "Put Wings On Me" was a track by Aaron Fishbein that Brooklyn freestyled over and then fine tuned for the final take. "The War Inside" was a track originally produced by and for The Elementz of Soul. When EOS got together with BBR for a showcase they used that groove and Brooklyn improvised the melody and lyrics almost exactly as they appear now. "Paradise" is a similar situation except the lyrics and melody were previously freestyled by BBR and Antonia Jenaé over a different track that appears on "Aphrodisia2" a mix CD produced by "The Brass King." "Put It On You" was a track written by Leroy Romans that screamed for a sexy lyric and melody. Like good sex the song took time to be completed. "My Destiny" was recorded under impossible circumstances: no headphones, computer crashing every five minutes and Hassan needing to get on a flight within hours. Brooklyn''s lyrics were taken from "Taunya''s Song," his previously written Jazz-standard-style tune that has been updated in genre but not in feel. "Sweeter than Springtime" the live cut, is Brooklyn''s favorite song on the album. It was written in 1994 about the time in mid-winter when God grants a reprieve from the cold for a few days. In Brooklyn''s inimitable style the bridge has never actually been written. Every time he performs it he brings something new. In this recording everything came together. The band is a group of masters who all combine talent and passion in equal portion. Their performance fueled Brooklyn''s fiery vocal.
Selections from this album are currently in rotation on:
Hot105FM-Miami-Funk Jazz Lounge hosted by Demas in Miami (WQHT).
Internet radio: https://www.tradebit.com, https://www.tradebit.com, The Upper Room with Joe Kelly on https://www.tradebit.com, https://www.tradebit.com.
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Miami NewTimes - excerpt - 4/18/02
Pajama Party! Big Brooklyn Red jams in his jammies - by Emonde Prosper
Bright as a whistle and smart as a fox, Big Brooklyn Red''s entire demeanor is old school ... When he sings his voice flows as easy as breathing, but the force of his soul turns his face red. So arresting is his style that Tobacco Road denizens rush upstairs to check him out and drunken Heat fans dragging out of the arena after yet another loss are momentarily jolted out of their disappointment by his game-closing performances. But what Brooklyn Red really wants is a nightcap.
That''s the name of the pajama party presided over by the singer every Sunday at the Marlin Hotel. Accompanied by xylophone and drum, Red sits in a silver Hershey''s Kiss-shaped chair, rocking to the beat. On overstuffed couches surrounding the small stage fans sprawl in sleepwear ranging from sexy to comfy. This is the final toast of the weekend, the last chance to chill before the work week begins.
DJ Lily Pad is spinning smooth tunes, done up in sexy night gear. Looking like a real hep cat, Red is dressed in silk pajamas, a motif-printed silk robe, black trouser socks, and velvet slippers. He taps his foot to the clang of the xylophone and sings a jazzed-out improvisation, followed by funk, salsa rhythms, and deep R&B.
While Big Brooklyn Red may look laid-back, he has been working the local scene hard, landing his single "My Destiny" on WHQT-FM (105) and booking gigs at every hot spot from Tobacco Road to the Titanic Brewery.
"I''m an improvisationalist," he says. "That''s what I do. I create music using the elements of the audience." Each show, he works with a shifting band that can be a full four-piece ensemble or a single keyboardist to create uncut, mostly untitled, pieces. He looks for musicians he knows can keep up with his creations: "I do this with these world-class cats because I trust them and I know what they can do."
Every week more pajama-clad fans learn what Big Brooklyn Red can do as the Nightcap crowd grows steadily. That''s the kick Red is looking for...
street (Miami) excerpt - 7/27/01
SOUL MAN BIG BROOKLYN RED CARRIES THE FLAG - by Rene Alvarez
Soul music has never been the forte of the Miami scene, where just about every other genre has created its own niche. From alt-rock to hip-hop, you can find what you like, albeit mostly in small, militant clusters. But if one Miami artist is an island, it''s R&B singer Big Brooklyn Red, who is quickly becoming the city''s ambassador of soul.
As the improvisational performer, he is starting his own scene, for those who love jazz, funk, and soul served fresh every time. Fresh because Red''s performances are usually improvisational -- meaning the band plays what it wants to hear, and Red creates his lines on the spot in response to the band. ``No one does what I''m doing,'''' declares Red. ``I just surround myself with great musicians and make it a fulfilling, creative experience.''''
Taking his cue from the adventuresome spirits of jazz greats and suffusing it with the sweat of gospel, Red''s improvised music hardly seems undisciplined. Actually, it has all the qualities of a good conversation, easy and natural ... The result is best compared to the work of artists like Curtis Mayfield or Sly and the Family Stone, or more recently a less-glossy Jamaroquoi. This naturalness is not lost on Red.
``I''m at a pretty good point,'''' he says, ``and I want to share what I got.''''