Bass Player Magazine | February 2001

The next time someone tells you that Mel Brown is a top bassist, believe them. They’ve probably seen Brown’s unique enhanced-CD Profile. Taking the mini-business card concept a few giant steps forward, Mel’s well-crafted real-time resume’ features video clips of his TV bass work behind Marc Anthony, Gladys Knight, Brian McKnight, and Monica, and on-screen playing roles in The Nutty Professor 2 and The Flinstones In Viva Rock Vegas. The Mac- and PC- compatible disc also boasts press, discography, and endorsement material, as well as taped testimonials from stars like Anthony and Knight, Hollywood agents, and peers such as Victor Wooten and Jimmy Haslip. On The audio-only side, 23 tracks encompass album excerpts from Chuck Loeb, Nelson Rangell, and others, plus homemade showcases like “One For Jaco” and “Mr. Coltrane”.
    The 33-year-old Denver native, whose playing influences were “all the late -’70’s R&B, Fusion, and Rock bassists,” got the idea after seeing his daughter’s Barbie Doll CD-ROM. “I was moving to L.A., and I wanted to reach the most people in the shortest amount of time. I sent out 130 copies, got 90 responses, and within 2 weeks my calendar was packed with work.” Calling the CD an introductory tool, he notes the networking device “gives people a thorough, information-packed overview of who you are as a musician, and-equally important-as a person. It’s something they can check out on their own time and often they’ll discover new areas to use you in.”
    Brown created the entire 619MB CD on his Macintosh 266 Powerbook laptop. He touches on the technical requirements: “To get the full multi-media approach, you’ll need a computer with a 300MHz processor, lots of hard drive-space – I used two 10GB drives- and 196MB of RAM, plus word processing, photo editing, and video editing software. Content-wise, you’ll want photos, credits, press clips, audio and video clips, and testimonials from employers, fellow musicians, and teachers.” For more details, or if you’d like to check out Mel’s enhanced CD, email him [removed] or contact him via his Web site [removed] – he’ll be happy to send you a copy for the price of postage.
    As for the cost of the project, he says,  “I spent about $4,500 for 1,100 copies, which is about $4 per disc. Obviously, the higher-profile jobs that I’ve gotten as a result have more than covered my investment but even if I hand out one CD and get a $60 gig, the disc paid for itself 15 times over. So really the question isn’t can you afford to do your own CD profile-it’s can you afford not to.”  
– Chris Jisi