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With over four decades under his belt as a recording artist, jazz and R & B trumpeter Tom Browne is an artist who has created his own lane musically while merging the worlds of jazz, soul, funk, and rhythm and blues into a unique sound that’s all his own. 

Born in 1954 in New York, Browne started playing the piano at age 11, which led to him taking up a number of instruments. He ultimately was classically trained in trumpet and continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music and Art. 

After being exposed to jazz music at Kingsborough College, where he graduated with a degree in physics, Browne took a gig with the legendary soul/R & B artist Weldon Irvine and used that as a stepping stone for stints with jazzman Sonny Fortune and the funk unit The Fatback Band, launching his trumpeting career.

Click on the player above to hear “5 on 5: Tom Browne” and get a feel for Browne’s soulful, funky career with these five essential tracks:

The Progressive Underground’s 5 on 5: Tom Browne

1. “Herbal Scent”

The buzz surrounding Browne was that he had distinctive jazz chops and could fuse his skillset with a multitude of other music genres. He caught the eye of GRP records who signed him to a deal and his released his debut album, “Browne Sugar,” in 1979.

2. “Funkin’ for Jamaica”

While “Browne Sugar” made waves in the contemporary jazz scene, Browne’s next album, 1980’s “Love Approach” brought a decidedly different flavor and it was