Tom Browne – Magic (Expanded Edition) (2012)

Tom Browne - Magic (Expanded Edition) (2012)
Artist: Tom Browne
Album: Magic (Expanded Edition)
Label: Arista/Legacy
Year Of Release: 1981/2012
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
01. Let’s Dance
02. Magic
03. I Know
04. Midnight Interlude
05. God Bless The Child
06. Night Wind
07. Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move)
08. Making Plans
09. Magic (12″ Version)
10. Thighs High (Grip Your Hips And Move) (7″ Version)
11. Let’s Dance (7″ Version)

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Like Roy Ayers, Patrice Rushen, George Benson, and George Duke, Tom Browne is a perfect example of a jazz musician who switched to R&B and was lambasted by jazz snobs for it. As jazz’s hardcore saw it, the trumpeter was a sellout a gifted Clifford Brown disciple who was shamelessly wasting his chops playing commercial music. But commercial music isn’t necessarily inferior to jazz, and the fact is that much of Browne’s soul/funk output was excellent. While jazz snobs dismissed Browne’s third album, Magic, because it contains very little jazz, the Dave Grusin/Larry Rosen-produced LP has a lot going for it from a soul/funk standpoint. The only cuts on Magic that have anything to do with jazz are the sensuous quiet storm instrumental “Night Wind” and a lush Grusin arrangement of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child.” This is an R&B album first and foremost, and those who admired Browne for his 1980 hit “Funkin’ for Jamaica” also admired such Magic cuts as the funky “Let’s Dance,” the Earth, Wind & Fire-ish “I Know,” and the addictive funk hit “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move),” all of which feature vocalist Toni Smith a passionate, Chaka Khan-influenced belter who had been featured on “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” While jazz snobs would be better off passing on Magic, R&B fans will find a lot to admire about Browne’s third album.

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