Follow Tony Pacini on Twitter Follow Tony Pacini on MySpace Follow Tony Pacini on FaceBook Tony Pacini RSS Feed Visit

Welcome to the Mel Brown Quartet information web page at
your best online source for scheduled performances, bio and CD info.

NEW every THURSDAY: Tony Pacini Performs solo piano at: The Benson Hotel Palm Court 8:30pm-11:30pm. Featuring: Jazz Pianist Tony Pacini - No cover, full bar, and Live - as simple as that.

THIS SATURDAY October 21st: The Tony Pacini Trio Performs at: The Benson Hotel Palm Court 8:30pm-12:00 midnight. Featuring: Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and Tim Rap-drums. No cover, full bar, and Live Jazz - as simple as that.

SAVE THE DATE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27th, 2017: the Tony Pacini Trio performs at Wilf's Restaurant and Jazz Lounge, (located at Union Train Station in the Pearl District) 7:00pm-11:00pm. Featuring: Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and Tim Rap-drums.

NEWS: Read more below

PLEASE READ - UPDATE 1/14/2017: Portland Prime has closed, thus, our (Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and Mel Brown-drums), 6 year, weekly run of Saturday performances has discontinued.

Jimmy Makarounis Passes: We will never forget you, your jazz club, and all those magical Wednesday nights. Sincerely, M.B.Q. (The Mel Brown Quartet).

Dear Jazz Fans,

As you might have heard, Portland's beloved jazz hot-spot Jimmy Mak's is closing it's doors come January 1st 2017 indefinitely. The Wednesday night Mel Brown Quartet has enjoyed having a home to develop it's unique sound, arrangements, and rapport with you (the audience) since September 2001.

Tony Pacini & RADIO - NEW TIME: "Jazz Connections" every Sunday afternoon, hosted by jazz pianist Tony Pacini on Portland's Jazz Radio, K.M.H.D. 89.1 FM.

Announcement from Jimmy Makarounis Regarding the Future of Jimmy Mak’s

To the Jimmy Mak’s community—musicians, fans and patrons:

It is with a heavy heart I write this today. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016, Jimmy Mak’s will host its final show and close its doors indefinitely.

I am currently undergoing immunotherapy treatments for cancer of the larynx, which has intensified in the past five weeks. My doctors insist that I step away from Jimmy Mak’s business to focus solely on healing.

You might have heard we were moving the club around the corner and east on N.W. Everett. That was the plan. The building the club currently occupies was sold for development approximately one year ago, and the new club’s buildout was fully funded and moving ahead, with a move and grand opening in early 2017: a beautiful new space with a larger stage, upgraded sound and lighting, designed to provide unobstructed site lines with more seating available for both reserved and general admission ticket holders. In addition, a spacious new outdoor courtyard was in the works.

As it became apparent my health could prevent us from moving forward with the move, we began to explore opportunities for other owner/operators to step in and finish the project to keep the club open. Unfortunately, we could not find anyone willing to take on the project.

At present, there is still an opportunity for another owner/operator to step in to fund and finish the buildout of the new location and carry on the Jimmy Mak’s brand. We welcome any offers to do so.

Jimmy Mak’s has been a family home to world-class musicians of many different genres, particularly the city’s best jazz players. The club also presents many of the world’s top jazz and blues players and has become a significant West Coast stop on many of these artists’ tours. It is Portland’s longest-running jazz club and one of the oldest single-owner nightclubs of any genre in town.

Please join us during the month of December for many fine shows, culminating in our New Year’s Eve curtain call with Soul Vaccination. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your patronage and friendship for the past two decades.

-Jimmy Makarounis

Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code

Tony Pacini Sentiment: Previous Concert With Harry Allen

My sincerest thanks to all of you who attended the Harry Allen show Wed, Dec 26th, 2012, at Jimmy Mak’s – you fueled the music. It was great to reconnect with Harry again after so many years. We both recalled playing in Oregon 9-10 times together from 1995-2005, but haven’t been able to line up anything since. Many thanks to Ralph Lodewick for starting it all back in the 1990’s, and a special thank you to Rebecca Kilgore for bringing Harry Allen out this time around – I can think of no better way to end the year than continuing to share bandstands with Harry.

Harry started off the night with “But Not For Me”, and Mel, Ed, and myself instinctively started off the tune following Harry’s countdown with a variation of an interlude made famous from the great pianist Ahmad Jamal’s version of the same tune. The room was very attentive and came Read More...

M.B.Q. Video

A snippet from the Mel Brown Quartet's recent performance with Benny Golson. "Tony Pacini solos on Along Came Betty with Benny Golson Watching" provided by Brent Geske's smart phone - Thanks Brent!

M.B.Q. Audio
Listen to The Mel Brown Quartet playing: "Dandyish" - written by: Tony Pacini

Listen to The Mel Brown Quartet playing: "Brown Baggin" - written by: Tony Pacini

M.B.Q. Video
Here's a funny moment captured one night at Jimmy Mak's. The Mel Brown Quartet is playing Tony Pacini's composition "Blues For El Cid" which uses a phrygian chord progression. The intro ( to be done by guitar for a Spanish sounding effect ), seemed to need something, so, Mel Brown (drums), Ed Bennett (bass), and Tony Pacini (piano) reached into their pockets in unison and used their car keys as chimes during Dan Balmer's (guitar) interpretation of the intro.

Once you're past the intro the tune kicks up into a samba. - enjoy

About M.B.Q.

"If mainstream jazz is your bag, the Mel Brown Quartet brings you bop, ballads, blues and scintillating originals making you glad you have ears! With over 100 years of collective experience, here's a group that knows the tradition and brings it boldly to the bandstand on every gig"

-George Fendel
(George Fendel is a jazz historian & columnist for JazzsceneMagazine who can be heard weekly on jazz radio KMHD 89.1 FM).

"The Mel Brown Quartet came together in the fall of 2002 at Jimmy Mak's, a popular jazz club in Portland, Oregon. All seasoned jazzmen the group has become a mainstay in the Portland jazz scene playing to enthusiastic, full capacity crowds at every appearance. The quartet, Tony Pacini on piano, Ed Bennett on bass, Dan Balmer on guitar and legendary drummer Mel Brown present on this recording a variety of tasty original compositions and fresh takes of time-honored standards in the jazz tradition.

The band members, all bandleaders in their own right, look forward to Wednesday night when the quartet performs at Jimmy Mak's. Pianist/musical director Tony Pacini sets the stage for us: "Dan shows up with his guitar, Ed with his bass, Mel with his stickbag and I show up with my music and piano mic. Tonight the room looks full. Dan tells me he would like to play Ed's tune Waltz For Theo (written for Ed's youngest son). A fan comes up to me and asks how was my weekend. In response I pull from my book Girl Talk, a popular tune from the 60's I had arranged that Sunday. Next I select Oldest Son, an original composition written for Mel by Dan. The band takes the stage. Bartender J.D. welcomes the audience promising an evening of world-class jazz. One of us counts the tune off; the band hits and here we go."

-Marci W. Maitland

To top of page To Top.


The Mel Brown Quartet came together in the fall of 2002 at Jimmy Mak's, a popular jazz club in Portland, Oregon. All seasoned jazzmen, the group has become a mainstay in the Portland jazz scene playing to enthusiastic, full capacity crowds at every appearance.

Guitarist-Dan Balmer:
Considered the finest jazz guitarist in Oregon, Dan was the first guitarist and youngest individual to be inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon's Hall of Fame. Dan has performed or recorded with jazz legends Joey DeFrancesco, Airto, Red Mitchell, Bill Mays, Steve Smith, Pat Martino, Bud Shank and Joe LaBarbara. As a popular bandleader and sideman Dan's unique guitar sound graces over 70 recordings.

Bassist-Ed Bennett:
Long considered one of the West Coast's premiere string bass players Ed has worked, toured and recorded with numerous legendary jazz figures including Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Ritchie Cole, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Henderson and Pete Cristlieb. Ed has been featured on two Grammy nominated recordings; Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band "Tanuki's Night Out" and Carmen McRae "At The Great American Music Hall."

Pianist-Tony Pacini:
The jazz piano artistry of Tony Pacini has been enthusiastically enjoyed by nightclub and festival audiences throughout the West Coast as well as in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. In addition to his own trio, Tony has performed with Antonio Hart, Benny Golson, Bill Henderson, Bud Shank, Byron Stripling, Carl Sanders, Chuck Israels, Chuck Redd, Curtis Fuller, Dan Faehnle, Dee Daniels, Dick Berk, Ernie Andrews, Hadley Caliman, Harry Allen, Leroy Vinenegar, Marlena Shaw, Mary Stallings, Nancy King, Rebecca Kilgore, Ritchie Cole and Terell Stafford. Additionally, Pacini is an On Air Host with KMHD Jazz Radio 89.1 fm Portland. An arranger and composer Tony is the musical director of the Mel Brown Quartet.

Drummer-Mel Brown:
Mel performed with Motown legends Diana Ross and The Temptations before applying his distinctive style and consummate skill to the jazz idiom. In addition to leading several high profile combos, Mel's rock-solid time and high-energy solos have made him the drummer of choice for jazz superstars Leroy Vinnegar, Monty Alexander, Teddy Edwards, Lou Donaldson and Joey DeFrancesco. While on tour in Portland, visiting musicians from jazz to pop to rock find their way to Jimmy Mak's where Mel rules the room three nights a week.

For additional press-kit materials please email your request to: Go
Include the name of your concert/venue in your email heading.

To top of page To Top.


2012: M.B.Q. CDs Reprinted, And A New CD Scheduled For Early 2013.
Due to popular demand, M.B.Q. (Mel Brown Quartet) has reprinted two CDs on the Saphu Record label. "Girl Talk" (the quartet's first release), and "Live: An Evening With The Mel Brown Quartet" are now back in circulation. The band (under direction of pianist/musical director Tony Pacini) will produce a new CD in early 2013 following the format of the success of their first release ("Girl Talk"), utilizing three original compositions from Pacini, Balmer, and Bennett, and, including three highly arranged standards from Pacini's extensive book. Please follow this website, and/or Saphu Records Website as the process of producing the next M.B.Q. title unfolds.

2006: Live An Evening With The Mel Brown Quartet CD.
Instead of our regular performance at Jimmy Mak's on March 1st, the Mel Brown Quartet spent an exciting evening in the recording studio performing / recording our new CD in front of a live audience. Many, many thanks to our fans who joined us in the studio in March, and at our recent release event on August 2nd; your enthusiasm made the music flow. Thank you Maurice Unis and Classic Pianos of Portland for providing us with a beautiful sounding new "S" series Yamaha piano for our CD release event. The Quartet and audience were truly inspired by such a wonderful instrument.

To top of page To Top.

Links & Sources: Go Go Go Go

from Saphu Records:
Saphu Records

Saphu Records
KMHD Jazz Radio 89.1 fm
Classic Pianos

To top of page To Top.


The quartet is currently enjoying critical acclaim in response to their CD "Girl Talk" released on the Saphu label. Read what the critics say:

"High energy bop played with unbridled enthusiasm. "
-George Fendel, Jazzscene May 2005.

"An exemplary set of tastefully swinging straight ahead jazz and tender ballads."
-The Oregonian April 2005.

"Impeccably recorded and expertly delivered."
- Willamette Week May 2005.

"Relentlessly swinging."
-Victoria Times April 2005.

To top of page To Top.

CDs and Reviews

CD review read below.
"The Mel Brown Quartet with pianist Tony Pacini, guitarist Dan Balmer, bassist Ed Bennett and Brown on drums has become a Wednesday night mainstay at Jimmy Mak's in the Pearl District.

This CD will explain the band's continuing popularity over the long haul. It opens with the Pacini composition, Dandyish, a sprightly piece with an easy to remember theme. Duke Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss gets an unfamiliar rapid fire treatment from both Pacini and Balmer, which the live audience loved, interrupting with cheers and applause.

Charlie Parker's Yardbird Suite is beneficiary of Pacini's piano with a nice share of block chords and his usual sparkling right hand. Ed Bennett contributes a melodic bass solo, followed by the swinging Balmer. It's great to see and hear Balmer's straight ahead chops.

Balmer shows the band's appreciation of club owner Jimmy Mak with his tune, One for Jimmy Mak. Brown leads off with a very brief drum roll, and then it's an off and running.

There is no weak link in either the band or the recording. It is solid through all 10 cuts, some of which include Smile, Gone With the Wind, Ticondeep, May Song and more."

-BY DICK BOGLE, The Skanner

Live CD cover

Click here to buy CD $15.00 Go

CD review read below.
"This group just keeps getting tighter and tighter. After a sizzling opening set at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, it's only a matter of time before they're in demand in New York and beyond. Brown's buoyant rhythms propel this energetic and well planned live disc which was thoughtfully recorded with an audience in the studio at Kung Fu Bakery. The result captures the same intimate immediacy as they have at Jimmy Mak's every week, but with better recording capabilities, so we get to hear the tick of Mel's high hat, the intricate picking by bassist Ed Bennett, the chordal punch of Tony Pacini's piano, and the fluid, melodic guitar lines by Dan Balmer all with studio crispness. It starts with the heavy swing of Pacini's "Dandyish" and goes on a journey through the band's favorites, including the rapid-fire arrangement of "Prelude to a Kiss," and other originals by Balmer, Bennett and Pacini, including the freewheeling "Ticondeep" by Bennett. It's a fantastic album."


Girl Talk CD cover

Click here to buy Mp3s of this album Go

To top of page To Top.


For booking The Tony Pacini Trio contact:

By Email: Go

To top of page To Top.

THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 21st: The Tony Pacini Trio Performs at: The Benson Hotel Palm Court 8:30pm-12:00 midnight. Featuring: Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and Tim Rap-drums. No cover, full bar, and Live Jazz - as simple as that.

SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27th, 2017 with the Tony Pacini Trio at: Wilf's Restaurant and Jazz Lounge, (located at Union Train Station in the Pearl District) 7:00pm-11:00pm. Featuring: Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and Tim Rap-drums

See you soon.
Tony Pacini and the Mel Brown Quartet wish you a very music filled year. Tony Pacini-piano, Dan Balmer-guitar, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums.

For more info about Tony Pacini performances visit:

« »

The Mel Brown Quartet: Tony Pacini-piano, Dan Balmer-guitar, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums.

Portland Jazz Pianist Hosts Show on Jazz Radio 89.1 FM every Sunday 4:00pm to 6:00pm

NEW: Don't miss "Jazz Connections"
hosted by Tony Pacini on
Portland's Jazz Radio, K.M.H.D. 89.1 FM every Sunday from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
Jazz Connections With Tony Pacini Every Sunday, 4pm-6pm on KMHD 89.1fm