Always There

Recent Articles

Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne: Jazz-funk giants joined forces at Dakota

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


“Always There” (1975) and “Funkin’ for Jamaica” (1979) are legendary songs for Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne, respectively. A member of a musical family — brother Hubert Laws on flute and sisters Eloise Laws and Debra Laws as vocalists —Ronnie taught himself the alto sax at age 11, and he studied music both in high school and at Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern Universities. He relocated from his native Texas to Los Angeles in 1970, and after receiving his formative training with jazz pianist Walter Bishop, Jr. and organist Doug Cann, Laws also worked with such legends as the Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masekela. Before signing a solo record deal with Blue Note Records in the mid-1970s, Laws also was an early member of Earth, Wind and Fire. Produced by the Crusaders’ Wayne Henderson, Laws’ breakout debut album, Pressure Sensitive (1975), featured his first hit “Always There.” That song is considered one of the most popular crossover hits of the late 1970s and sounds just as fresh today. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,