It doesn’t get more classic than this. But as often as I’ve enjoyed Tom Browne’s signature jam, I never heard this 12-inch mix until the Vinyl Morpher uploaded it to YouTube.
This version features more of Browne’s horn.
It used to be that cats would establish their reputations as straight- ahead jazzmen, then slide over into funk, R&B and disco. (Consider Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Donald Byrd, Herbie Mann, Roy Ayers, George Benson, George Duke and Stanley Clarke.)
In Tom Browne’s case, he was 25 years old when he cut this record, and its success locked him into commercial R&B.
Although he’d already had some straight jazz experience with Sonny Fortune and Lonnie Smith, Browne didn’t get serious about recording jazz until the mid-’90s... with an album called “Another Shade of Browne.” His sidemen included Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad and Javon Jackson.
Click here to hear his version of “Bee Tee’s Minor Plea” on my Vox blog. (This is one of my favorite pieces by the late, great hard-bop trumpeter Booker Little.)
Browne continues to gig actively, in jazz settings mostly.