Dave "Cool Breeze" Brown in 1999 (photo by Joey McLeister, Star Tribune)
By Tom Surowicz
There's a memorial gathering Saturday for Twin Cities jump blues master, Dave "Cool Breeze" Brown, longtime leader of the Senders, a truly great bar band. Despite the shock and sadness of his sudden passing from cardiac arrest at age 58, it should be a swingin' affair. Because Dave was a "Good Rockin' Daddy," a high-spirited bon-vivant, the life of so many parties.
An excellent guitarist, "Cool Breeze" was Mojo Buford's favorite Minnesota sideman. And Lynwood Slim's right-hand man. And Charmin Michelle's early duets partner. Dave loved honkin' sax-driven blues sounds of the 1940s and 1950s, the wilder and more risque the better, and his Senders delivered the goods.
They got to play live and record with one of the ultimate purveyors of jump blues art, Big Jay McNeely. In their heyday, Brown's band also supported Lowell Fulson, John Lee Hooker, and Johnny Adams, and recorded with Charles Brown, legends all. But "Cool Breeze" remained self-deprecating, often laughingly referring to his "Dean Martin-style crooning."
Omnipresent on the 1990s bar scene, Brown was less prominent, but still active in recent years, working with several groups, including some new Senders lineups and, most frequently, the Detroit Don King Blues Band. "Cool Breeze" blew no ill, and left behind thousands of smiles.
The service will be at noon Saturday at Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel, 36th St. and Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, followed by a celebration at the Artists' Quarter in St. Paul.
Gifts in his memory may be made to the Cool Breeze Memorial Fund, www.coolbreezememorial.com.