BRIAN SCANLON

Post Bop • United States
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Brian Scanlon has been an active member of the Los Angeles music scene since 1987. As a saxophonist and woodwind doubler, he has made his mark in the recording studios, on the concert stage and in nightclubs.

Born in Queens, New York, and raised in New Jersey, Brian started playing the saxophone at age eight. He studied saxophone with Ramon Ricker at prestigious Eastman School of Music where he earned both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music (1981 and 1983).

Brian’s career highlights include touring with song and dance man Ben Vereen (1986-1999) and regular appearances on the “Tonight Show” as a member of the NBC Orchestra (1988-1992). He also toured with trumpeter Doc Severinsen (1988-1996) and briefly played lead alto with Buddy Rich (1986).

Brian can be heard on several soundtrack recordings such as “Monster’s Inc.,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Analyze This.” He has recorded with Randy
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BRIAN SCANLON Brain Scan album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Brain Scan
Post Bop 2019

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BRIAN SCANLON Brain Scan

Album · 2019 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Brian Scanlon is one of those musicians who you have probably listened to before, but didn’t realize who you were listening to. A long time session saxophonist, Brian has recorded with stars like Bob Dylan and Randy Newman, appeared on TV soundtracks such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, as well as movies like “La La Land” and “Crazy Rich Asians”. After a 32 year career Brian finally decided to record his first album as leader and packed “Brain Scan” with mostly his original tunes. Brian counts Coltrane and Parker as major influences, and you can also hear a good bit of Sonny Rollins and some Eric Dolphy too. Scanlon plays both tenor and alto and is a bopper at heart, always swinging, but he also works in plenty of RnB and soul on his eclectic debut.

The album opens with two modern abstract post bop tracks with Latin and fusion influences. Brian’s son, Avery, turns in a Holdsworth flavored electric guitar solo on the opener. “Re-entry” follows with some funky soul jazz that sounds like an instrumental version of a classic Steely Dan track, particularly in the guitar scratching of Andrew Synowiec. After a well written melodic ballad the band goes full tilt bebop on “I Hear Something” and a major overhaul of “Harlem Nocturne”. Scanlon turns down the heat for the closing numbers, with “My Right Foot” providing some bluesy grooves.

I’m not sure why Brian waited so long to step out as a leader, this should have happened long ago. He is an excellent writer and his constant melodic invention recalls his favorite sax mentors, but Scanlon also provides his own very smooth delivery and relaxed sound that is unique to him.

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