Donald Brown (musician)

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Donald Brown
Svoy, Donald Brown, Kenny Garrett & Vernell Brown.png
Svoy, Donald Brown, Kenny Garrett & Vernell Brown, Jr. at Sear Sound Recording, NYC
Background information
Birth nameDonald Ray Brown
Born (1954-03-28) March 28, 1954 (age 67)
Hernando, Mississippi, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s)Music producer, musician
Years active1972–2020
Labels Muse, Sunnyside, Evidence, Space Time
Associated acts Kenny Garrett, Art Blakey, James Williams, Mulgrew Miller
Website Official website

Donald Ray Brown (born March 28, 1954) is an American jazz pianist and producer. [1]


Brown was born in Hernando, Mississippi and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where he learned to play trumpet and drums in his youth. From 1972 to 1975 he was a student at Memphis State University, by which time he had made piano his primary instrument. He was with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1981 to 1982, then took teaching positions at Berklee College of Music from 1983 to 1985 and the University of Tennessee from 1988. [2] Brown has recorded for Evidence, Muse, and Sunnyside. [3]


As leader/co-leader

Year recordedTitleLabelPersonnel/Notes
1987Early Bird Sunnyside Sextet, with Bill Mobley (trumpet, flugelhorn), Donald Harrison (flute), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Bob Hurst (bass), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)
1988The Sweetest Sounds Evidence Quartet, with Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Charnett Moffett (bass), Alan Dawson (drums)
1989 Sources of Inspiration Muse Quintet, with Eddie Henderson (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gary Bartz (soprano sax, alto sax), Buster Williams (bass), Carl Allen (drums)
1990 People Music Muse With Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn), Vincent Herring (flute, soprano sax, alto sax), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Robert Hurst (bass), Samurai Celestial (drums, vocals), Daniel G. Sadownick (percussion); Lenora Helm (vocals) added on one track
1991? Cause and Effect Muse With Joe Henderson (tenor sax), James Spaulding (flute), Steve Nelson (vibraphone, marimba), Ron Carter (bass), Carl Allen, Kenny Washington (drums), Rudy Bird, Donald Eaton (percussion), Marlon Saunders and Lenora Helm (vocals)
1992 Send One Your Love Muse With Steve Wilson (flute, soprano sax, alto sax), Tom Williams (flugelhorn), Charnett Moffett (bass), Eric Walker and Louis Hayes (drums; separately), Rudy Bird (percussion)
1992A Season of BalladsSpace TimeTrio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Alan Dawson (drums); album shared with Harold Mabern and Charles Thomas trios
1993 Cartunes Muse With Don Braden (flute, tenor sax), Steve Wilson (soprano sax, alto sax), Bill Mobley (trumpet, flugelhorn), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Carl Allen (drums, tambourine), Rudy Bird (percussion), Harold Mabern (vocals)
1995Piano Short StoriesSpace TimeSolo piano
1997The Classic IntrovertSpace TimeSolo piano; released 2004
1998?Wurd on the StreetSpace Time
1999Enchanté!Space TimeWith Stephane Belmondo (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bill Easley (alto sax, flute, clarinet), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), Daniel Sadownick (percussion)
1999At This Point in My LifeSpace TimeSeptet, with Bill Mobley (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jean Toussaint (soprano sax, tenor sax), Jérôme Barde (guitar), Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Kilson (drums), Angá Diaz (percussion)
2000French KissSpace TimeQuintet, with Jérôme Barde (guitar), Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Kilson (drums), Angá Diaz (percussion)
2000Autumn in New YorkSpace TimeTrio, with Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Kilson (drums)
2003?ContinuumSpace Time
2008?Fast Forward to the PastSpace TimeWith Bill Mobley (trumpet, flugelhorn), Steve Nelson (vibes), Danny Walsh (flute, alto sax, tenor sax), Jean Toussaint (soprano sax, tenor sax), Lionel Loueke and Mark Boling (guitar), Robert Hurst and Essiet Essiet (bass), Eric Harland and Kenny Brown (drums)
2013?Born to Be BlueSpace TimeWith Kenny Garrett (alto sax, soprano sax), Wallace Roney (trumpet), Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax, soprano sax), Emily Mathis (flute), Vance Thompson (flugelhorn), Mark Boling (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), Marcus Gilmore and Kenneth Brown (drums; separately), Rudy Bird (percussion)

As sideman

With Art Blakey

With Donald Byrd

With Ricky Ford

With Wallace Roney

As producer

With Kenny Garrett

With Scott Tixier

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  2. "Brown at The University of Tennessee". Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  3. Scott Yanow, Donald Brown at Allmusic