The soothing ele­gance of sound ema­nating from pro­fessor Leonard Brown’s sax­o­phone could not be heard in club halls for more than 10 years.

Audi­ence,” Brown says, “is as impor­tant as musi­cians are,” and with many club-​​goers more inter­ested in par­tic­i­pating in social aspects of nightlife as opposed to enjoying live music, he chose not to per­form. “I play music for people to listen to,” he says. “I don’t play music for people to talk over.”

But an interest in reviving his career as a jazz sax­o­phonist and the oppor­tu­nity to play at the Bohemian Caverns—the oldest jazz club in Wash­ington DC, owned by his sons Omrao, a North­eastern alumnus, and Sashi—combined to re-​​ignite his pas­sion for sharing music he cre­ated as far back as the 1960s.

The result? A live CD recorded during two per­for­mances at the Bohemian Cav­erns with an accom­plished bassist, key­boardist and drummer from the DC area, who, Brown says, added an energy and integrity to his music. “They played my music better than I do, “ he says jokingly.

The title of the first jazz recording by a North­eastern fac­ulty member, “Suns of Sons,” pays homage to Brown’s sons.

Their bright­ness, the bril­liance of their lives, is like the sun,” he says. “I’ve shared a lot of joy and hap­pi­ness in my family’s life.”

The five-​​song, 61-​​minute LP includes four orig­inal tunes as well as an inter­pre­ta­tion of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” a spir­i­tual which Brown says has a pow­erful legacy in the African-​​American musical tra­di­tion. Over the years, he has per­formed the song in Boston, in Eng­land and in Paris.

The spir­i­tual is one of the oldest forms of Black Amer­ican music in the country,” he says. “It was sung during the time of enslave­ment; it was a song of hope.”

Three move­ments from what Brown calls the “Family Suite /​ Sweet,”—“Miss Ann,” “Samira’s Song” and “Sons of Suns”— cap­ture the “soul” and “energy” of his wife, daughter and two sons. “I tried to express musi­cally the essence of what their spirits are about and my feel­ings for them,” he says. By com­plete hap­pen­stance, he com­posed each tune in a dif­ferent key.

I didn’t think, ‘I want to com­pose in this key or that key,’” he says. “I com­pose pri­marily with the sax­o­phone and use piano to pro­vide har­monic sup­port. For the ‘Family Suite /​ Sweet,’ I went with what felt right and what sounds res­onated with me the most and con­veyed the feel­ings I have for my family.”

Pen­ta­tonia,” written by Brown and fellow musi­cian Jerry Osborne, dates back to Brown’s role in the Afro-​​American Ensemble, a group estab­lished by his brother in Ken­tucky in the late 1960s. The ensemble’s orig­inal music “reflected the whole freedom move­ment, we, as Black folks, were involved in,” Brown says.

With a 16-​​bar struc­ture and melody slightly mod­i­fied over the course of four decades, “Pen­ta­tonia,” Brown says, is a “real hip tune. Every­body loves to play it. I’ve been playing it longer than any other tune in my repertoire.”

In Sep­tember, Brown per­formed songs from his CD at the Fenway Center for the North­eastern and greater Boston com­mu­ni­ties. The entire con­cert can be viewed on YouTube.

Music is all about the live per­for­mance,” Brown says. “If I hit the right note, the audi­ence will res­onate with the music and give me energy, which spurs me to go to fur­ther heights. It’s a con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the lis­tener and the performer.”

To listen to clips of each song on “Suns of Sons” or to pur­chase the CD, please visit Brown’s MySpace page at http://​www​.myspace​.com/​l​e​o​n​a​r​d​b​r​o​w​n​j​o​y​f​u​l​n​o​ise.