“Jimmy Bralower pioneered the trail of what we programmers were to become—co-creators connecting the artist with technology, while retaining the musicality and expressiveness with what the future tools of creativity offered to us. Those who worked with us as a programming team called us Killer B’s. As musicians we used our skills and experience as players to collaborate with the artists in a very interactive way—offering the flexibility of live musicians that artists were used to working with, while using programming as a tool to expand their creativity and offer a kind of flexibility that had not been known before.”—keyboardist, producer, & programmer Jeff Bova
If you were to sum up Jimmy Bralower’s music career in one word... it’s “versatility”. From his start as a studio musician to his work as an arranger, writer and producer, Jimmy has found success in a wide spectrum of popular music. His work has been heard on numerous #1 records, over 80 gold & platinum albums and his name appears on over 350 million recordings sold.
Jimmy’s first band The Young Ones was signed to Columbia Records when he was 14, recording at the famed Columbia Records Studios with producer John Simon. Spending his years immediately after college on the road and in the studio as a drummer with bands that came “this close” to making it, his first break came as part of the creative team for legendary rap & hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow. As a performer, writer and arranger, on classic tracks like The Breaks (the first gold 12” record ever) and Basketball, Bralower was an early believer in the burgeoning electronic music technology and was the first studio drummer to adapt programming into his work. He’s responsible for crafting unique sounds and exploring previously uncharted territory, paving the way for contemporary hip hop and innovating beat making techniques that are firmly established as part of the lexicon of modern recording.
He became a fixture at the legendary Power Station studios in New York, working with owner Tony Bongiovi, where he officially began his full time studio career. His work caught the attention of producer Nile Rodgers, with whom he spent four years making hit records with likes of Madonna (Like A Virgin), Duran Duran (The Reflex, Wild Boys), Chic, Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Beck, Sister Sledge, Sheena Easton, Al Jarreau and many more. His profile rising, he became a first call studio musician and arranger, putting his stamp on recordings with Cyndi Lauper (True Colors), Hall & Oates (Say It Isn’t So, Adult Education, Out Of Touch), Steve Winwood (Grammy Record of the Year Higher Love), Carly Simon, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Eric Clapton (Grammy Record of the Year Tears in Heaven), Brian Wilson (Love & Mercy) and a veritable Who’s Who of music icons. Working closely with mentors as diverse as Rodgers, Russ Titelman, Phil Ramone, Jim Steinman, Gary Katz and Bernard Edwards, prompted one magazine to dub him, “the producer’s secret weapon”. His reputation as someone who could comfortably adapt to many diverse styles and be relied upon to help crystalize the creative visions of high visibility artists in high pressure situations made him a fixture on many prestigious recording sessions, as he amassed a broad palette of styles and solutions to draw from... which would come to serve him well in his future endeavors.
In the mid 1990’s, Jimmy expanded his career into the world of mixing and re-mixing. His production and remix of Jimmy Cliff’s I Can See Clearly Now and his production of Diana King’s Stir It Up landed on the soundtrack to the movie Cool Runnings. His co-production with Cyndi Lauper of Hey Now, Girls Just Want To Have Fun was an international hit and he and Jeff Bova co-produced Nicky Holland’s I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself for the soundtrack to My Best Friend’s Wedding. After working closely with Michael McDonald on his Blink of an Eye album, Jimmy was tapped by producer Russ Titelman to remix some of the tracks, leading to the Adult Contemporary hit Hey Girl, and his mix of Donna Lewis’ I Love You Always Forever went straight to the top of the charts.
Keeping a hand in songwriting, one of Jimmy’s co-writes, Misled, became a top hit for Celine Dion, paving the way for his contributions on four of her albums, including co-arranging the chart topping It’s All Coming Back To Me Now with longtime keyboard partner Jeff Bova and Jim Steinman.
The following year, a call from old friend and band mate Andy Goldmark brought Bralower out to LA to co-produce a track for new artist Jennifer Paige. The result was her debut single Crush... climbing to #2 on the Pop Charts.
After working on a couple of tracks for Britney Spears' debut album, he was summoned Oslo, Norway, working with Atlantic’s newly signed teen singer-songwriters M2M. The first song he produced and co-wrote with them, Don’t Say You Love Me became the hit debut single from the soundtrack Pokemon - The First Movie and went gold. He went on to co- and executive produce their debut album. His talent development and record making skills caught the attention of label boss Craig Kallman and in September of 2000, Jimmy was appointed Vice President of A&R and Staff Producer for Atlantic Records. At Atlantic he forged synergistic relationships with Teen People magazine and Radio Disney at the earliest stages of what would become a huge pre-teen market for the entertainment business.
After serving over a decade on the New York Chapter Board of Governers of the Recording Academy, including a stint as Chapter Vice President and Membership Committee chairman, Bralower recently completed a prestigious four year term on the Academy's National Board of Trustees. He has launched Dynotone Records, a new recording company whose first releases are albums from Ryan Shaw, Philadelphia's legendary Soul Survivors and the debut album by sax man Mark Rivera. Shaw’s first Dynotone release, the album ‘Real Love”, has generated two more Grammy nominations. Rivera’s album Common Bond, featuring guest appearances by Ringo Starr and Billy Joel, was recently released to critical acclaim.