Reviews that mention Ari Brown

June 12, 2021

Joshua Abrams' Cloud Script

Cloud Script
RogueArt ROG-0107

Before Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams created the Natural Information Society that melded repetitive drones and ethnic pulses paced with improvisations, his work was closer to Free Jazz. In fact this 2016 session consists of six of his own compositions that express the talents of AACM stalwart tenor saxophonist Ari Brown plus guitarist Jeff Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver. While the others have like the bassist, move in and out of different genres with groups like Tortoise and those of William Parker, Brown who often works with Kahil El’Zabar is a solid Jazz player. MORE

October 1, 2017

Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society

tak:til GB CD 048

With the object of synthesizing his experiences with Alt-Rock, World Music mysticism and Jazz-oriented improvisation, Joshua Abrams has created a characteristic record whose five tracks are equally concerned with rhythm, rapture and repetition. Experimenting with assorted sonic input from his established Natural Information Society (NIS) band plus guests the compound is distinctive. But like a mule, which is an offspring of a jack donkey and a mare, only some of the offspring appear fertile enough to germinate future experiments. MORE

November 1, 2014

Ari Brown

Groove Awakening
Delmark DE 5011

Mihály Borbély Quartet

Hungarian Jazz Rhapsody

BMC CD 187

Sticking to the shibboleth that insists that most music played on a disc must be original is as fallacious as demanding that all disc tracks be made up of familiar standards. Nonetheless, two mainstream combos – one American and one Hungarian – effectively defy expectations in either direction with equally memorable discs. Along the way not only are high quality sounds exposed, but the differences that still exist between European and American contemporary Jazz are also demonstrated. MORE

January 16, 2006


Tara’s Song

Live At The River East Art Center
Delmark DE-566

Recorded in different cities seven months apart, these CDs are connected by the presence of violinist Billy Bang and a profound respect for all variations of Black improvised music.

In addition to two originals by Brooklyn-based trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah, Tara’s Song is a compendium of hip heads from Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra and others. In many ways a showcase for the percussion implements of Chicago’s Kahil El’Zabar, Live At The River East Art Center, takes its inspiration from the drummer’s twin influences, Pan-Africanism and the city’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). MORE

October 10, 2005

The Velvet Lounge: On Late Chicago Jazz

by Gerald Majer
Columbia University Press

By Ken Waxman

A non-faction memoir of tales that may or not have happened, this volume is, to overstate the case a bit, sort of an American À la recherche du temps perdu. Gerald Majer, an English professor at Villa Julie College in Baltimore, utilizes his listening experiences involving major Chicago jazz musicians, as an entrée to his ruminations and meditations on growing up in that Midwestern city.

Don’t be fooled by the photograph of tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson on the cover or the two-page discography at the end of the volume however. Although Majer deals, in greater or lesser degrees, with the sounds of, among others, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, Anderson, bandleader Sun Ra, multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Art Ensemble of Chicago members Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors, this is no music encyclopedia or a collection of album and CD reviews. MORE

February 9, 2004


Blues Jazz
Delmark DG-548

Proof, if any more is needed, that despite the doctrinaire ravings of the Neo-Cons, accomplished players can create advanced, freedom-tinged jazz while staying true to the genre’s roots is provided by this CD.

BLUE JAZZ is made up of two suites composed by trumpeter Malachi Thompson and performed by his 12-piece Africa Brass plus guests on reeds and vocals. An added bonus are three stand-alone tracks, one written by certified mainstream hero Wayne Shorter, and another which is the sort of down and dirty Southside Chicago blues that would probably frighten the Young Lions right out of their bespoke-tailored suits. MORE

September 20, 2000


Africa N'da Blues
Delmark DE-519

Chicago percussionist Kahil El'Zabar is one younger musician who makes it a point to interact with the jazz pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s. A longtime member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, he has built the Ritual Trio around the talents of veteran AACMers Brown and Favors, who is also a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. More to the point the percussionist has played and recorded with other sound pioneers from that time including saxophonists Fred Anderson, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Joseph Jarman, Archie Shepp and now Pharoah Sanders.


September 11, 2000


Things To Come From Those Now Gone
Delmark DD-430

Co-founder and first president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Muhal Richard Abrams spent his Chicago years (up to 1977) formulating and organizing new and unique ways to approach music. This 1972 reissue highlights many of them.

Although recorded over a two-day period, there's a different grouping on each track, with the sound ranging from romantic semi-classical to out-and-out freebop. At the same time, since THINGS TO COME is a peek into Abrams sonic lab, some experiments arrive stillborn.