About this Recording
86038-2 - TYRONE BROWN STRING SEXTET: Song of the Sun

Tyrone Brown String Sextet

The combination of a string sextet and an upright bass might be unorthodox and unusual in jazz. But on Song Of The Sun bassist Tyrone Brown make them sound as natural and compatible as a hand in glove,

In the company of virtuoso violinist, John Blake and an outstanding group of classically trained musicians, jazz bassist/composer Tyrone Brown does make it seem they are all birds of a feather. In a way they are. Great musicians are like that.

As Blake explains, "Musical and social compatibility are important in a group because the lack of it would be reflected in the music. This is especially true in a chamber jazz ensemble. Wherein, if you are successful at bridging the gap between European classical musical elements and American classical music (jazz), flexibility and an appreciation of this concept are prerequisite. With this in mind, I must say Tyrone couldn't have surrounded himself with a better group of people."

The innovative result should satisfy any music lover looking for something different. Combining a chamber classical feel with pulsing rhythmic charts in an improvisational approach, this project bridges European aesthetics with an American spirit. Unlike the jazz of string players like Stephane Grappelli or Jean-Luc Ponty, Brown doesn't just substitute the violin in the traditional horn solo context. He utilizes the entire sextet in exciting new arrangements. And there is no doubt, this is a group project.

"Notes are just inanimate markings on manuscript until musicians breathe life into them and make them convey what composers and arrangers intended. I consider myself lucky to have the availability, support, and warmth of such a capable group," Leader Brown says.

A native of Philadelphia, Brown's influences include Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford and classical bassist, Gary Karr. He has played on over 60 CDs, including 5 with Max Roach, 4 with Pat Martino, 4 with Odean Pope, and 5 with Grover Washington, Jr., 2. He has also toured with drum legend Max Roach since 1984, and also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Rachelle Ferrell, Kenny Barron, Lou Rawls, Nat Adderty, Etta Jones, Phil Woods, Diane Shuur, J.J. Johnson, Clark Terry, Vanessa Rubens, Donald Byrd, Mulgrew Miller, and many others.

Showcased soloist John Blake is regarded as one of the world's greatest jazz violinists. He has played with McCoy Tyner, Grover Washington, Jr., and Mike Nock, and has recorded on over 35 CDs, including 7 under his own name.


All of the string players hold degrees from some of the most prestigious music schools in the United States and are active members in other musical configurations. This is their second recording under the leadership of Tyrone Brown.

JOHN BLAKE, Violin: Regarded as one of the world's greatest jazz violinists. Formerly with McCoy Tyner, Grover Washington, Jr., and Mike Nock. Recorded on over 35Cds, including 7 under his own name.

MELISSA ORTEGA, Violin: Performed in the violin sections of the Miami Ballet, Naples Philharmonic, and the Delaware Symphony. Member of the Fairmount String Quartet.

BETH DZWIL, Viola: Founder of the Fairmount String Quartet. Soloist and Principal Violinist with the Pottstown Symphony.

NINA OTTMAN, Viola: Performed with the orchestras in Colorado, Washington D.C., and California.

RON LIPSCOMB, Cello: Performed with Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Toured with the New York Philharmonic. Member of the Fairmount String Quartet.

WILLIAM "DUKE" WILSON, Guest percussionist: One of the most sought after percussionists on the East Coast. Recorded 10 CDs, his third CD with Tyrone Brown.

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