New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
When solo saxophonist Derek Brown's "FiftyFifty" album begins, one would be forgiven in thinking: "Oh, Derek's got a rhythm section with him on this second album," or at the very least: "Ok, Derek is utilizing looping and overdubbing this time around." But as the liner notes remarkably state, "All sounds (Saxophone techniques, stomping, ring scratching, singing, etc) are done simultaneously by Derek without looping or overdubbing." Brown's style evokes the magic of early Bobby
McFerrin, as he creates dynamic effects with his saxophone that suggest percussion, strings and all more.
Brown will be featured in the December issue of DownBeat Magazine. Over the past decade or so, he has been stubbornly pursuing what has been dubbed "BEATBoX SAX:" a term he has begrudgingly learned to embrace. It's not that he's really beatboxing while playing the sax, but he's pulled about every possible extended technique from saxophone history, as well as come up with quite a few on his own. Between playing bass grooves and harmonies, hitting and scraping his tenor saxophone with rings, slap- and double-tonguing his reed, stomping his feet like a bass drum, Derek somehow finds time to sing actual words and phrases (not to mention breathe somehow!).
While establishing a truly unique voice in today's crowded music industry, Derek has embraced the idea of "Do It Yourself," by literally playing everything himself; not to mention recording the album and shooting his popular Youtube music videos without professional help.
That being said, on this, Brown's second solo album, Derek also highlights powerful collaborations, including improvised duos with Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band's saxophonist), Chicago
rapper Keith Harris, and even his wife, sharing an intimate cover duo of Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
As referenced above, Brown's new album coincides with his ambitious FiftyFifty Tour, which kicked off late last month. Traveling across the country in an RV (with his wife Rachel,) through May 2019, Brown sees the tour as an opportunity to see and share the best of America. With over 30 million views on social media, he is adept at chronicling his adventures online in an engaging way, and the epic FiftyFifty Tour will be highlighted throughout (Brown booked every date himself.) Check out the itinerary, which includes Alaska and Hawaii, here: https://fiftyfiftytour.com
JAZZIZ Magazine premiered Brown's video, 'America: The Beautiful Collaboration', here: https://www.jazziz.com/watch-the-video-premiere-for-america-the-beautiful-by-derek-brown/
Eponymous Review - Interview Feature
By Laurie Fanelli
Derek Brown talks musical influences, FiftyFifty Tour and companion album
VENTS Magazine - Interview Feature: