Peter Brown

Ten questions with NYC native, who’s worked with Stanley Turrentine, Roy Ayers, Marcus Miller, David Sanborn and many others

Exclusive interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
April 15, 2013

A native of Jamaica Queens, New York, Peter Brown began his music career immediately after high school when he went on the road with the Mark IV singing group. That gig was followed by international tours with jazz legend Stanley Turrentine, including trips to Japan and Peru.

Brown spent several years as a session player in New York, working with a long list of music icons, including Lonnie Liston Smith, Bobbi Humphrey, Roy Ayers, David Sanborn, Phyllis Hyman, Patrice Rushen, Lenny White, Tom Browne, Doc Powell, Melissa Morgan, Marcus Miller and many others. A prolific writer, Peter is an active member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

FBPO: How would you describe your musical upbringing?

PB: As a kid, I wrote a song at 7 years old. Music was always in my heart.

FBPO: How did you become a bass player?

PB: It all started in the basement of a good friend of mine, Lino Reyes, a drummer, in Jamaica Queens, New York, in 1969. We played anywhere and everywhere — in the street, in the park, on the roof … wherever we could generate the music.

FBPO: Who were your influences as a young, up-and-coming bass player?

PB: Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Ray Brown and Jimi Hendrix.

FBPO: At what point did your career begin to take off? Can you identify a defining moment?

PB: I received a call from a friend that Lonnie Liston Smith needed some songs for his record back in 1979. We recorded some songs and after that every thing fell in line.

FBPO: Tell me about touring with Stanley Turrentine.

PB: I did a lot of work with Stanley. He was a good friend. Touring with Stanley, no matter the circumstances or what country we were in, when Stan counted off the song, the music and the feeling and the energy we generated to the audience made all the wear and tear of road work worth it.

FBPO: Breaking into the New York studio scene is no small feat. How did you do it?

PB: A good friend of mine, Marcus Miller, called me up. He gave my name to another legend, Roy Ayers, when he needed a bass player for some studio work. And that’s the story.

FBPO: You’ve done a fair amount of work on the road, as well as in the studio. Do you have a preference for one over the other?

PB: Yes, the studio. I love recording and production.

FBPO: What’s keeping you busy these days?

PB: I have two new singles on the Drop That Entertainment label: “Do It Right” and “Can We,” featuring Roy Ayers on vibes. Both are in stores, iTunes and Google Play. My upcoming album has a lot of funky hip-hop, R&B and jazz, too. It will be released this summer.

FBPO: What about the future? What else would you like to do that you haven’t already accomplished?

PB: I have two big projects in production now, both set for release next year.

FBPO: What would you be if you weren’t a bass player?

PB: Never had the time to think about that!

See our exclusive FBPO interviews with Ron Carter
and Marcus Miller, both of whom are mentioned here:

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{adinserter jon liebman}

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