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Paul Brown & Friends: White Sand

Famed smooth-jazz producer Paul Brown seems to have it going on with solo CDs. White Sand is another seriously confident turn that should make other guitarists in the genre nervous. Norman Brown and Larry Carlton are better guitar players, but Brown’s masterful at pushing buttons on the control boards, creating catchy moods and calling on well-known smooth-jazz talent to add their distinctive soloing.

On this, his first CD for Peak and third overall, Brown continues to explore bluesy jams, vocal tunes and ballads. The title tune, with its dreamy, late-night vibe, is spiced up by the jazz sensibilities of saxophonist Jessy J. Another standout slow-burner, “More or Les Paul,” is a tribute to the jazz-guitar legend with gutsy sax lines by Euge Groove. Possible hit singles that invade your brain include the herky-jerky ride of “Rhythm Method”; the bluesy romp of “R ‘n’ B Bump” with horns by Impromp2 and a piano solo by David Benoit; and the tasty “Ol’ Skoolin’,” which may be the best of the bunch and has the unmistakable sax lines of longtime bud Boney James.

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