Global Bass Magazine | April 2001

In a continuing series of articles and interviews about the lives and careers of bassists in New York City, Global Bass presents…
MEET MEL BROWN – Profile Disc Pioneer 
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, “I am active in virtually every situation available to the modern bassist. Tours, club shows, movies, TV, both soundtrack and on-camera acting, jingles, theme songs, corporate dates and endorsing.”
Arsenio Hall played a key role in breaking Mel’s 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 “Profile CD”.   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 Mel’s 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 Mel’s latest works by allowing the user to listen to some of Mel’s recent CDs.  Most impressive is Mel’s work on CDs for Chuck Loeb and Nelson Rangell.  The Respected section of Mel’s 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 – three of the finest Bassists to walk the planet.  The Endorsed section follows with descriptions of Mel’s 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.
 “I am the first musician in the world to use the Profile CD as a method of self-promotion,” Mel asserts.  “I’ve 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. I’ve heard a lot of stories about guys that have tried some variations of what I’m doing. More power to them!  The technology is there, let’s use it to get ahead.”  Clearly, of all of Mel’s many accomplishments, his Profile CD is the thing he’s most proud of.
If it isn’t already obvious, Mel Brown takes great pride in his work. When someone hires him, whether it’s 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 them 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 bassists should have one of their own.  Thinking of following in Mel’s 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 [removed].  He has a website that at press time was still under construction.  His address on the web is
The days of musicians scrawling their phone numbers on the back of dirty napkins are over. Mel Brown has definitely set a new standard for anyone interested in making the most of their career.