Global Bass Online April 2001
In a continuing series of articles and interviews about the lives and careers of bassists in New York City, Global Bass presentsÖ
MEET MEL BROWN - Profile
By Tony Senatore
Bassist Mel Brown has been causing quite a stir in the music industry
lately. He has done more in the
last three years than most musicians accomplish in a lifetime.
As he puts it, ďI am active in virtually every situation available to
the modern bassist. Tours, club shows, movies, both soundtrack and on camera
acting, jingles, theme songs, corporate dates and endorsing.Ē
Arsenio Hall played a key role in breaking Melís career by inviting him on the show to play before a national television audience. He rose to the occasion by laying down a funky slap groove, completely winning over Arsenio and the audience. Mel took this exposure and made it count, landing a tour with music legend Gladys Knight, recordings with Brian McKnight, and cameo appearances in movies like Viva Rock Vegas and The Nutty Professor 2.
How did he do it, you ask? Well, while the rest of us have been sending out the typical demo discs, Mel has created what he calls his ďProfile CDĒ. This invention is the most amazing self-promotion marketing tool of our time. It replaces the typical press kit that musicians have been circulating for decades. By simply placing his Profile CD into your computer, the user will find out all that he needs to know about what Mel brings to the table in any situation -- studio, live performances and tours.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Mel in New York while he was in
town with singer Marc Anthony. He
took time out of his hectic schedule to show me the merits of his idea in
person. Once in your computer, the
Profile CD breaks down into five categories: Seen, Heard, Respected, Endorsed,
and Chronicled. The section
of the disc entitled Seen is key. Upon opening the file, a narrator takes over and tells the user
Melís story. Mel is seen at
his best -- dancing, kidding around and, of course, jamming on the bass.
The section entitled Heard comes next. It chronicles some of Melís latest works by allowing the user to listen to some of Melís recent CDs. Most impressive is Melís work on CDs for Chuck Loeb and Nelson Rangell. The Respected section of Melís Profile CD is definitely the highlight of the disc. It features audio testimonials from the likes of Gladys Knight, Marc Anthony, and fellow bassists Victor Wooten, Brian Bromberg, and Jimmy Haslip Ė three of the finest Bassists to walk the planet. The Endorsed section follows with descriptions of Melís equipment of choice such as Dean Markley strings and Eden amplification, accompanied by a video clip of Mel playing a fine slap bass solo in a piece he calls Mr. Coltrane. The Profile CD is wrapped up with the Chronicled section which displays all of the press Mel has garnered over the years.
ďI am the first musician in the world to use the Profile CD as a method of self promotion,Ē Mel asserts. ďIíve never seen another disc like mine used for the purpose of self promotion by a single individual. I honestly believe that my profile in tandem with my website is the tightest self-promoting marketing strategy in the world. Iíve heard a lot of stories about guys that have tried some variations of what Iím doing. More power to them! The technology is there, letís use it to get ahead.Ē Clearly, of all of Melís many accomplishments, his Profile CD is the thing heís most proud of.
If it isnít already obvious, Mel Brown takes great pride in his work. When someone hires him, whether itís for a bar gig, or a world tour, he gives his all. He has great respect for the music, and the people who hire him to help realize their dreams. He shows up on time, sober, drug free, and 100 percent prepared for the task at hand.
Mel is open to sharing his profile CD with the world.
In fact, he believes all aspiring bassist should have one of their own.
Thinking of following in Melís footsteps?
He would be glad to send you one (provided that you pay for the postage).
If you are interested in hearing and seeing what all the fuss is about,
contact Mel at melbass AT aol DOT com
. He has a website that at press time was still under
construction. His address on the
web is members.aol.com/melbass/.
The days of musicians scrawling their phone numbers on the back of a dirty napkins are over. Mel Brown has definitely set a new standard for anyone interested in making the most of their career.
Tony can be reached at senny AT pccom DOT net
His website is http://www.senny.com/
has proven in very short order to be
quick study when it comes to article writing. In a matter of two or three issues
he has moved from the point whereas I had to be somewhat heavy handed when it
came to editing his articles, to the point we are at now, where I get to do
nothing. These articles come in exactly as you see them, perfect and ready
to go. Over the months to come Tony will be introducing you to many of the
premier bassists working throughout the New York area. I,
however, will be working with other writers and referring to Tony.
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