Tom Browne was a familiar figure on the R&B charts during the 1979-1989 period when he was recording pop-oriented material for GRP and Arista. Browne studied piano for a year when he was 11 and then switched to trumpet, attending New York City's High School of Music and Art. Originally interested in classical music, Browne discovered jazz while in college in the mid-'70s. He worked with Sonny Fortune, recorded with Lonnie Smith, and then signed with GRP. Although influenced by Freddie Hubbard and occasionally recording a hard bop number, most of Browne's output during that era was clearly geared toward the marketplace. A commercial pilot, Browne largely dropped out of music by the late '80s, but came back in 1994 with a recording for Hip Bop in several settings that included the credible jazz date Another Shade of Browne, which made one wonder "What took so long?"