PLUNKY & ONENESS

Our Online Press Kit

N.A.M.E. BRAND RECORDS 2218 ROSEWOOD AVENUE RICHMOND, VA 23220 (804)355-3586 * FAX (804)355-7240 E-MAIL plunkyb@aol.com WEB: www.plunkyone.com Plunky Drops Cold Heat – Cool Horns over Hip-hop Fire Cold Heat, the new CD album by J. Plunky Branch, is a 14-song collection of soul, R&B and jazz percolating over hip-hop beats. On Cold Heat Plunky makes it phunky, playing with fire and singing to keep it cool! Plunky is a world-class saxophonist, songwriter, and producer who for over 35 years has been making some of the most avant-garde Afro-jazz funk on the planet. His recordings are collections of the widest range of progressive Black music, like John Coltrane and Jill Scott jamming with George Clinton and P-Funk. On Cold Heat, his 21st album, Plunky is blowing his horn and singing his songs about life, love and the pursuit of the groove. Plunky’s Cold Heat lyrics elevate, and inform deftly orchestrated hip-hop rhythm tracks produced by Setworkrz, the Virginia-based production duo with the Dirty South address and the international flavor. The #1 track on the album is “Drop,” a danceable jazz instrumental crafted by hip-hop producer Danja Mowf. Like those who have inspired him, including Carlos Santana, Maceo Parker, George Duke, George Clinton, Herbie Hancock, and so many jazzmen, Plunky is a veteran performer known for his multi-faceted musical interests and who has ventured into the realm of funk to be life of the party and to explore the signs and sounds of the times. Suggested Tracks: Radio Airplay - #1 “Drop” Smooth Jazz/Quiet Storm - #13 “Rain” Club/Dance - #1 “Drop,” #7 “Hop” R&B - #3 “Does Everybody Do It” Release date: December, 2006 (in Richmond, VA July 20) Available online at www.CDBaby.com Artist Website: www.plunkyone.com N.A.M.E. BRAND RECORDS 2218 ROSEWOOD AVENUE RICHMOND, VA 23220 (804)355-3586 * FAX (804)355-7240 E-MAIL: plunkyb@aol.com * WEB: www.plunkyone.com Plunky & Oneness Available for Festivals, Concerts and Clubs Plunky & Oneness, one of the most enduring and versatile funk, jazz, Afro-fusion groups of all time is currently booking 2007 concert, club, and lecture-seminar performance dates. The group has been described as “the missing link between Pharaoh Sanders and Kool & the Gang!” Onstage, it’s like John Coltrane meets George Clinton’s P-Funk or Grover Washington with Jill Scott. A festive carnival. A party with a purpose. Led by saxophonist J. Plunky Branch, who has been gigging and touring for over 35 years, Plunky & Oneness is a unique combination: exotic smooth grooves, sax, vocals, African percussion, and electronics. This, along with the group’s infectious energy, moves audiences of all ages to celebrate, dance and shout. Over the years Plunky has produced and released 25 albums of original avant-garde jazz, funk, soul, fusion, gospel and African music. His latest release, Plunky & Oneness of Juju - Live In Paris DVD and double CD has been released in Europe and will be available in the US later in 2006. In July Plunky will release Cold Heat, a new CD album featuring his funk jazz singing, playing and songwriting in collaboration with VA hip-hop producers Setworkrz and Danja Mowf. Plunky & Oneness has performed at numerous festivals, including: three times at the National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, Georgia; twice at the Hampton Jazz Festival in Virginia; and at the World’s Fair in New Orleans. The group has toured in Africa and Europe, with headline performances at London and Paris. (Plunky & Oneness of Juju toured in the French Riviera in March, 2006. and plan to return to Europe in November, 2006) They have opened concerts for some of the biggest names in Black music, including: Earth Wind & Fire, Patti Labelle, B. B. King, Ray Charles, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Sun Ra, The Isley Brothers and Roy Ayers. In addition to their performances at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA and at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York, Plunky & Oneness enjoys the intimacy and loyalty of smaller venues in their native Mid-Atlantic region. Plunky & Oneness’ members includes: J. Plunky Branch, sax and vocals; Tonya Lazenby-Jackson, keyboards and vocals; P. Muzi Branch, bass; Derrick Simmons, drums and Sir Fire on electronic percussion. They are also available with featured African master drummer, Asante from Ghana, West Africa who formerly played with Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon and Lonnie Liston Smith. For booking information, contact: J. Plunky Branch, 804-355-3586 Email: plunkyb@aol.com Website: www.plunkyone.com QUICK FACTS ABOUT PLUNKY & ONENESS Hometown: Richmond, VA Members: J. Plunky Branch - horns, vocals Tonya Lazenby-Jackson - keyboards, vocals P. Muzi Branch – bass Carl Lester - guitar Jamiah Branch – electronic percussion Derrick Simmons - drums Musical Genre: Plunky & Oneness is a blend of funk, smooth jazz, and old school soul using today’s technology mixed with true musicianship. Current Project: Cold Heat CD Label: N.A.M.E. Brand Records Points of Note: Never heard of J. Plunky Branch? You’ve probably heard his playing and not even known it! He was a studio musician on television’s top rated “Cosby Show!” Plunky has toured all over the world including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Africa. In 1996, his song “Love’s Will Be Done” was voted as one to the year’s top 50 soul songs by the European Soul Society in Finland. In 1998 his song “Just Know That I Love You” was picked at #18 of the best soul songs of the year by London’s Jazz FM 100.4. Plunky is also a two-time recipient of Jazz Fellowships from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts. Additional Data: J. Plunky Branch is a masterful performer, producer and songwriter who has developed a following for his unique blending of styles and musical energies. In addition to touring extensively, he lectures at schools and universities, heads his own record label and is a tireless promoter of music as a motivational and cultural resource. Contact Information: N.A.M.E. Brand Records, 2218 Rosewood Avenue, Richmond, VA 23220 804-355-3586, EMAIL: plunkyb@aol.com, WEB: www.plunkyone.com WHAT CRITICS SAY... "Spending an evening with Plunky and the Oneness is spending an evening full of festive carnivals and romantic wonder... The best part was knowing that even if you were a jazz fan, a devout R&B listener or a rapper, you would be thoroughly satisfied. Plunky & Oneness is a must-see." - Beat Premier Magazine "..some of the more intriguing arrangements... combine African percussion, sax and electronics in a refreshing and sometimes exotic fashion" - Mike Joyce, The Washington Post "... nothing less than brilliant and exciting!" - Virginian Review "[Opening the Hampton Jazz Festival] Plunky and his seven piece ensemble captivated the audience and established a momentum for all other artists to follow." - The Richmond Afro-American "The Richmond-based group turned out to be an excellent choice for the occasion, since the spirit of celebration was an infectious force in its music" - The Virginia Gazette "Equally at home on tenor and soprano saxophone, Plunky leads with a driving attack and a rocking, fiery, blues-oriented inventiveness in solos that seems to inspire increasing crunch from an already blasting back-up group." The Charleston, S.C. News & Courier WHAT EDUCATORS SAY... "What a terrific performance you gave... I was overwhelmed be the myriad of compliments from our patrons on the quality of the performance and the energy of the musicians." - Mount Aloysius College, Pennsylvania "I was particularly impressed by your talent and your natural ability to educate our youngsters about our musical heritage." - Middle School Principal "The presentation of the history of jazz with emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance was excellent and complimented our study in the classroom. The students and teachers were enthusiastic about the program and teachers have been asking if we could schedule a similar program next year." - Supervisor of Social Studies "The lecture demonstration was one of the best we have had. You had a good balance of explanation and musical examples in developing the topic..." Milligan College Arts Council "Their music and their message was very impressive." Elementary School Principal "You were a breath of fresh air. You held our students spellbound." - Elementary School Principal "For several days afterward, the students and staff were commenting on how enlightening the program was on African musical heritage." - Middle School Principal "The students in the course are asked to write a journal entry for each presentation... Every one of the 28 entries on "Plunky" glowed with good feelings and energy... Not only were you able to convey a great deal of information in a short period of time, more importantly you were able to convey your enthusiasm and passion for the subject... which has sparked some real interest in the students." - Faculty Director, Longwood College "It is obvious that you were thoroughly prepared and knew just how to customize your presentations to a faculty not too familiar with teaching African and African-American Music from a holistic perspective." - Savannah State College Dean N.A.M.E. BRAND RECORDS 2218 ROSEWOOD AVENUE RICHMOND, VA 23220 (804)355-3586 FAX (804)355-7240 WEB: http://www.plunkyone.com EMAIL: plunkyb@aol.com PLUNKY BRANCH BIOGRAPHY Saxophonist Plunky Branch is an experienced performer, songwriter and music and film producer, and he is president of N.A.M.E. Brand Records, through which he has released 25 albums. At one time Plunky was a studio musician for television's top-rated sitcom, "The Cosby Show. His song “Every Way But Loose” was a top-ten soul music chart hit in London. He has appeared on avant-garde jazz albums by Pharaoh Sanders, Hamiett Bluitt and others. Nowadays Plunky spends his time leading his band onstage playing rousing funk, R&B, jazz, African, reggae, gospel and rap and making music in his recording studio. Plunky’s European tours have taken him to England, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He twice toured Ghana, West Africa, once for the Ghana National Commission on Children, and again as a cultural specialist for the U.S. Information Agency. Recently he has performed in Paris, explored music business opportunities in Japan; traveled to Brazil and to Cuba twice to research and produce music recordings and a documentary film, Under the Radar – A Survey of Afro-Cuban Music. His latest releases are the new CD Cold Heat and his Plunky & Oneness of Juju Live In Paris DVD. With his group, Plunky & Oneness, he has opened shows for Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, Yellow Jackets, and Frankie Beverly & Maze and more. Plunky & Oneness performed at the New Orleans World’s Fair, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta (four times) and twice at the Hampton Jazz Festival in his native Virginia. For more than 15 years Plunky has toured continually with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA). Plunky’s career accomplishments are as varied as his music and his diverse interests, which include: African art and culture, history, digital technology, politics and the media. In addition to being a veteran saxophonist and composer, J. Plunky Branch has served as an administrator, lecturer and teacher. He has been a frequent arts panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Plunky is a two-time recipient of NEA Jazz Fellowships and he was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force for the Promotion of the Arts in Virginia. He has been Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Virginia Union University as well as an instructor of Afro-American Music History at Virginia Commonwealth University, both in Richmond. Recognized by Richmond Magazine as Musician of the Year for 1999, Plunky is a sought after artist-in-residence and performer for public schools systems. He has written film scripts, journals of his travels, poems and over 200 songs. Throughout his career Plunky has entertained and taught thousands, and in the process, has developed a broad and loyal following. During his 1987 West African tour, critics proclaimed Plunky "one of the greatest living saxophonist!" In a context where rhythm, ritual, power and emotion reign supreme, he just might be! Editorial ReviewMike Joyce reviewed Plunky's "Cold Heat" and "Live in Paris" in June 2007 for The Washington Post:Saxophonist and composer Plunky, a.k.a. James Plunky Branch, hasn't carved out a niche in contemporary music so much as created a swath, cutting across funk, reggae, soul, Pan-African and smooth to avant-garde jazz sounds in the course of 20-plus releases. Played back-to-back, his latest CD, "Cold Heat," and his recently released DVD, "Live in Paris," offer an unprecedented view of his musical, spiritual, cultural and political pursuits."Cold Heat" is primarily a party platter, radio-ready from start to finish, brimming with sax-fueled funk tracks, sultry ballads and steamy lyrics. Plunky excels at milking funk vamps for all their worth, as "Drop" and "Hop, Skip & A Jump" illustrate, and he often wields his soprano and tenor saxophones like a reedman who considers himself part of the rhythm section. When the mood softens, the focus shifts to Tonya Lazenby-Jackson and Monica Smith, who contribute sensuous vocals to "Nevertheless" and "Hollar Back."Far more revealing is "Live in Paris," a must-have for fans. In addition to performances that find Plunky's Oneness of Juju ensemble in concert -- and in full makeup -- the DVD includes a documentary in which the bandleader, who turns 60 in a few weeks, looks back on his life and his heroes, from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to James Brown, Maceo Parker, Pharaoh Sanders and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Vintage concert footage of Branch's musical mentors complement his thoughtful commentary and vividly underscore enduring influences on his life and music. ______________________________________

WASHINGTON POST NEWSPAPER WEEKEND SECTION

Editorial Review Mike Joyce reviewed Plunky's "Cold Heat" and "Live in Paris" in June 2007 for The Washington Post: Saxophonist and composer Plunky, a.k.a. James Plunky Branch, hasn't carved out a niche in contemporary music so much as created a swath, cutting across funk, reggae, soul, Pan-African and smooth to avant-garde jazz sounds in the course of 20-plus releases. Played back-to-back, his latest CD, "Cold Heat," and his recently released DVD, "Live in Paris," offer an unprecedented view of his musical, spiritual, cultural and political pursuits. "Cold Heat" is primarily a party platter, radio-ready from start to finish, brimming with sax-fueled funk tracks, sultry ballads and steamy lyrics. Plunky excels at milking funk vamps for all their worth, as "Drop" and "Hop, Skip & a Jump" illustrate, and he often wields his soprano and tenor saxophones like a reedman who considers himself part of the rhythm section. When the mood softens, the focus shifts to Tonya Lazenby-Jackson and Monica Smith, who contribute sensuous vocals to "Nevertheless" and "Hollar Back." Far more revealing is "Live in Paris," a must-have for fans. In addition to performances that find Plunky's Oneness of Juju ensemble in concert -- and in full makeup -- the DVD includes a documentary in which the bandleader, who turns 60 in a few weeks, looks back on his life and his heroes, from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to James Brown, Maceo Parker, Pharoah Sanders and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Vintage concert footage of Branch's musical mentors complement his thoughtful commentary and vividly underscore enduring influences on his life and music. ______________________________________ Overview A chameleon of musical styles performs with his ensemble. Read Editorial Review • Reader Rating: Write a Review • Genre Type: Jazz

Cold Heat CD

I really, really, really, really LOVE the new album! Truth: I can't stop listening to it and I even have it in my player right now. I picked up COLDHEAT at the Carter Barron show and I just treasure it. I love all the tracks, but my favorites are – Does Everybody, Hollar Back, and Hop Skip & A Jump. Thanks again for taking care of us and for all the beautiful, fun, sexy music!!! See ya soon... Peace, Funk and Blessings, 8-) Mo _____________________ It's Fire!!!!!!!! I'll have it on-air in a few minutes!!!! I'm gonna drop it in with my hip-hop stuff today! - Doug Perry, P.D. WNSB-FM Norfolk ____________________ Coming July 20 from Richmond’s renowned sax player J. Plunky Branch is “Cold Heat,” his 21st album. Branch’s son Jamiah “Fire” Branch and his partner Al Dokes, produced the disc under their working name, Setworkrz -Melissa Ruggieri, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Music critic ________________ Hey Bro., Gots to get my copy of Cold Heat when it’s available! On the real, Plunky is off da chain! Slammin' sho nuff! B.A. _______________________ Hi Plunky, How are you doing? Thank you so much for sending us your new release, we really appreciate it. We will add you on the show and email you a playlist as soon as we can. By the way, nice cover. :-) Thanks again. Sincerely, Gi Dussault Co-Host & Co-Producer of Radio Show UpperRoom with Joe Kelley www.upperroomwithjoekelley.com _________________ Plunky, I listened to 'Cold Heat' yesterday and was blown away. Not taking away anything from previous work, this your best ever! As with fine wine, Plunky Branch is getting better with age! There is no doubt in my mind that if 'cold heat' gets into the right hands, you will be topping the national charts. I would like to comment on each song since each one of them is deserving of praise. “Drop” - I see that you had co-writers but this had “Plunky” written all over it. Classic Plunky beat with the catch phrase of "Drop". This song will be a must play in your live shows. “The Meaning of Life” - You know I am not a Reggae fan but your message carried the song with me. “Does Everybody” - Reminds me of my 'prime'. Great female mix and background harmonies. Again, another great song for live performances. Phunk that Plunk must play. “In This World” - The new 'getting out of the dog house song' that all men in trouble will play to their women. Your vocal was extraordinary. The guitar runs reflect and accentuate the passion and desire of the words. “Hollar Back” - This song, Plunky, this song is the BEST SONG YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN!!!!!!!!!!!! If there ever was a breakout single, this is it! WOW, every time I have listened to it I like it better. First of all, the phrases, "We used to go all night, now we just want to go" absolutely brilliant! Talk about 'turning a phrase'! Then incorporating, "Oops, my bad?"...Leave it up to Plunky to have the contemporary vernacular enmeshed into his songs. You are today, Brother! Another one is "Bounce back"...another great phrase encasing so much of the relationship game! The sultry female lead, Monica Smith, is perfect for this song. Her voice was passionate, yet her tone was soft. She really was emoting the words. Again, Plunky, this is the best! “The Near Future” - Good strong sax on the front. Another great Plunky 'message' song. “Hop Skip & A Jump” - Great classic Plunky sax tones. A dance jazz song, another live must! “Nevertheless” - Classic Tonya. Great song construction (I don't know all the technical terms) with the way you put 'Nevertheless' into the song. “What It Is Is What It Is” - Your rhymes are fantastic! The double meanings are all over the place. This John Jackson is dyn-o-mite on the guitar. Another Plunk Phunk song. “Getting It Right” - Great complexity of sounds. More classic Plunky notes over a meaty beat with more incorporation of a burning guitar that soars the song to another level of emotion, beyond the beat and the words. (Bring John Jackson on the road with you.) And then there you are Plunky, 'dog-fighting' with the guitar high up in the air, cool! “Why Don't You Love Me?” - The start is fresh but has a comfortable '80's' feel. You wrote of the eternal relationship question. “It's You” - Great Phunk. Again, the rhyming. Every time you used a complicated word (you know other than 'man, can, ran') I would wonder how you would craft the answer to that word, and I wasn't disappointed ever. “Rain” - That easy, strolling, effortless Plunky saxophone! It is what we like!! You know the down side to this album is that it is so full that you will be playing all these songs live, and we won't ever hear any of the old stuff. You need to be very, very proud, Plunky. This album is your best. We look forward to the next time we can come together for music or just enjoying you. With great admiration, a great fan and friend… Ed _____________________ The CD is off the hook! As usual, hit after hit. I am impressed at the diversity and quality of your work. God has done well. Brother Will _______________________ TABLES of DISTINCTION DJ'S & RECORD POOL POOL DIRECTOR'S PERSONAL FAVORITE(S): PLUNKY (JAZZ) " CD/LP: COLD HEAT " (N.A.M.E. BRAND RECORDS) dj EARDRUM

Live In Paris DVD Online Reviews

Live in Paris DVD: Reviews: - Plunky and Oneness of Juju offer an extra funky live set in this release of a concert originally captured live in November of 2004. A twenty-two song set list including "Space Jungle Luv", "Be About the Future", "Got to Move Something", "World Wide Party", and "Every Way but Loose", ensures that the funk keeps coming as the party gets started, and an additional interview with Plunky himself, as well as a documentary on the man, offers a little something extra for the die-hard fan. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide - One of the best recordings we've heard in years from saxophonist Plunky Branch -- and one of the few to really capture the glory of his 70s classics with Oneness Of Juju! Given the billing of this set, it's clear that the older soul jazz spirit of Oneness is very strong in the conception of the set -- and the live performance features many classics from the group's 70s albums on Black Fire, played here with a good live energy and a strong sense of soul… - I wasn't familiar with this artist before the purchase. Just saw the name around and heard one song. Heard this was a good package. It's great! The concert part is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Plunky and the Oneness take you on a great musical journey. The band is tight: these are pros! The filming was on point. There is also a bonus documentary, which runs about 30 minutes. Very informative and keeps your attention. If you like Doug Carn, Fertile Ground, Fela Kuti or any uplifting music, then this must be in your collection! – Reviewer Elphonics, USA