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

NEW Tony Pacini, Ed Bennett and drummer legend Mel Brown perform every Saturday at the Portland Prime Bar located in the 
Embassy Suites Hotel at SW 3rd and Oak. Visit the schedule page for more info.

When: Every Saturday Evening, 2016
Who: Tony Pacini piano, Mel Brown-drums, Ed Bennett-bass.
Where: Portland Prime Bar
121 SW 3rd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204
Time: 7:30pm-11:00pm
Venue Info: 503-223-6200

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Jazz pianist Tony Pacini performs with bassist Ed Bennett, and drummer Mel Brown at Portland Prime, every Saturday night, 7:30pm-11:00pm. 
Visit the schedule page for more info.

Jazz pianist Tony Pacini performs with bassist Ed Bennett, and drummer Mel Brown at Portland Prime, every Saturday night, 7:30pm-11:00pm, No Cover Charge. Portland Prime, located at the downtown Embassy Suites Hotel at 121 S.W. 3rd Avenue Portland, Oregon. Visit the schedule page for more info.

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

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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.

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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.

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Links & Sources: Go Go Go Go

from Saphu Records:
Saphu Records

Saphu Records
KMHD Jazz Radio 89.1 fm
Classic Pianos

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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.

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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

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Catch the Mel Brown Quartet:
Jimmy Mak's
221 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

Tony Pacini-piano, Dan Balmer-guitar, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums.
Featuring the music and arrangements of: Tony Pacini, Dan Balmer & Ed Bennett.
All ages welcome for the first set (7:30pm-9:00pm)

Click logo below to go to Jimmy Mak's online:

Jimmy Mak's
Jimmy Mak's
221 NW 10th
Portland OR 97209

For booking The Tony Pacini Trio contact:

By Email: Go

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The Mel Brown Quartet will return to the stage at Jimmy Mak's this Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016, all ages 7:30pm-9:00pm.

performing at:
Jimmy Mak's 221 N.W. 10th Portland, Oregon 97209

Get in on all the action;
With the Mel Brown Quartet...

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The Mel Brown Quartet takes the stage this Wed, June 22nd, at Jimmy Mak's, 7:30pm M.B.Q. is; Mel Brown Quartet ( pianist/musical director Tony Pacini, guitarist Dan Balmer, bassist Ed Bennett and drummer Mel Brown ), call: 503-295-6542 for reservations

NEW Tony Pacini, Ed Bennett and drummer legend Mel Brown perform every Saturday at the Portland Prime Bar located in the 
Embassy Suites Hotel at SW 3rd and Oak. Visit the page for more info. NEW:
Every Saturday Night,
Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, and drummer Mel Brown perform at
The Portland Prime Bar
At The Embassy Suites Hotel
S.W. 3rd and Ash Street Portland, OR

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