Across his work in acoustic jazz with his Barra Brown Quintet and as one half of creative beat-making duo Korgy & Bass, Portland-based musician and producer Barra Brown’s thematic ambition and fearless merging of electronics with improvisational forms reaches a climax on the his debut solo LP LFT:RT.
In 2019, following an impressive catalog of releases (two quintet records & a large ensemble commission with Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble), Brown co-composed the album “Remote” -- a sonic journey from industrialization to the modern-day tech industry -- with his project Korgy & Bass in collaboration with NOLA trumpeter Cyrus Nabipoor. This remotely made album landed on KMHD Jazz Radio’s “Top Ten Albums of 2019”. In 2020, Barra & Co. released “Agrocrag” into the world -- a bombastic and genre-transcendent album featuring a track with Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani. This creative beat-making exploration culminated into a multisensorial performance in the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) planetarium show.
The diversity of Brown’s musical experience is the driving force of upcoming full-length LFT:RT. The album’s title represents Brown’s attempt to break down the binary thinking so often used to sort complex human life into simplified categories. “I say I’m left-handed, yet I’m extremely ambidextrous,” Brown says. Realizing his drumming “was not left- or right-handed, but a continuous circle that connects at points of contact,” his ideas and phrasing themselves became more fluid, more flexible.
Featuring mostly remote-recorded contributions and co-writes from ERYST artist ePP, guitarist Jack Radsliff, Brubeck Institute Fellow Tree Palmedo, Oregon Music Hall of famer Dan Balmer, and more, this 11 track album is a rollicking exploration of instrumental music through the lenses of hip-hop, nu-jazz and ambient music (just to name a few). LFT:RT serves both as a sampling of the Portland jazz scene’s brightest young heavyweights and a perfect introduction to Brown as a solo artist of strikingly eclectic, forward-thinking style.
Barra has shared the stage with Ani DiFranco, Gregory Alan Isakov, Robert Glasper, and Makaya McCraven among others. He has worked with Tucker Martine, Michael Curry, OMSI, PNCA, Alan Jones, Radiation City, Ages and Ages, Shook Twins, Morning Ritual, Old Wave, and the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble & performed at notable venues like The Fillmore West and Red Rocks Amphitheater.