Reviews that mention Rob Brown

September 21, 2020

Whit Dickey

Expanding Light
Tao Forms Tao 02

Rob Clutton Trio

Counsel of Primaries

SnailBoingBoing Records SBB 007

Sean Conly/Michaël Attias/Tom Rainey

Live at the Bushwick Series

Gauci Music Recordings No #

Stretching the compact intimacy of the saxophone-bass-drum group in varied modes, one Toronto and two New York-based trios follow individual paths on these discs. While two are ostensibly directed by double bassists and the other by a drummer each group functions as a fused unit. MORE

April 7, 2018

Steve Swell Music for Six Musicians

Hommage à Olivier Messiaen
Silkheart SHCD 161

By Ken Waxman

Taking the post-modern concept of saluting favored musicians without recreating their work, trombonist Steve Swell convened a sextet of New York improvisers to play five of his compositions expanding on the work of French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). Extrapolating Messiaen’s complex harmonies, rhythms and melodies to the 21st Century, this 76-minute suite manages to replicate orchestral verisimilitude with violist Jason Kao Hwang, cellist Tomas Ulrich, alto saxophonist Rob Brown, keyboardist Robert Boston and drummer Jim Pugliese. MORE

February 26, 2016

Steve Swell’s Kende Dreams

Hommage à Bartok
Silkheart SHCD 160

Dave Burrell/Steve Swell

Turning Point

NoBusiness NBCD 70

Working forward in his career as one of the busiest trombonists in New York’s Free Music scene, Steve Swell has in the last little while been drawn to program music. That doesn’t mean a turn away from open-ended improv, of which he has performed masterly alongside everyone from Tim Berne to Peter Brötzmann. It’s just like an actor trying out classical as well as contemporary roles he transmits the artistry implicit in one to the other. MORE

January 26, 2015

William Parker Quartet

Live in Wroclove
ForTune 0002/002

Daniel Carter William Parker Federico Ughi

Navajo Sunrise

Rudi Records RRJ1016

Even after more than 50 years of European support for advanced American Free Jazz, unique stimulation is usually apparent when New World musician perform in certain continental circumstances. Take the two CDs here. Both feature New York bass master/composer William Parker, were recorded 18 months apart in Poland (Live in Wroclove) or Italy (Navajo Sunrise) with a co-op trio or his regular working band, and each have something characteristic to offer. MORE

August 2, 2010

Oleś Brothers with Rob Brown

Live at SJC
Fenommedia Live Series FM 09-008

Michaël Attias

Renku in Coimbra

Clean Feed CF 162 CD

Double bass and drums power and patterns are the reason for the success of both these trio CDs which also feature – and in one case is lead by – an alto saxophonist. Nonetheless, these cohesive qualities would likely be present no matter who was the third partner.

Poland’s most notable rhythm section, twin brothers, bassist Marcin Oleś and drummer Bartłomiej “Brat” Oleś are a lot more than the Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb of Eastern Europe. Although their skills as close-knit accompanists have benefited musicians ranging from German woodwind player Theo Jörgensmann to American cellist Erik Friedlander, they also produce sessions and – as in this case – compose the music. Not only has Brat Oleś in particular supplied memorable tunes for this CD, but the two spur New York saxophonist Rob Brown to his most impressive soloing on record. Considering Brown travels in the company of players such as bassist William Parker and pianist Mathew Ship that’s high praise. MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker/Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance
AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite

Rogue Art: ROG 0010

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome

Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite
Rogue Art: ROG 0010

William Parker/ Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance

AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome

Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome
Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

William Parker/ Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance

AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite

Rogue Art: ROG 0010

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE

March 15, 2008

Lewis Barnes’ Sonic Shades

At The Living Theater
New York, December 14, 2007

Trumpeter Lewis “Flip” Barnes quartet gig at a Lower East Side basement space that usually houses New York’s storied Living Theater, was notable for more reasons than being was one of the veteran brassman’s infrequent band-leading engagement.

Both expressive and assertive in his playing, the trumpeter is a long-time valued associate of William Parker, contributing to most of the bass man’s manifold projects, most notably the Creative Music Orchestra and Parker’s touring quartet. Astringent alto saxophonist Rob Brown, Barnes’ partner in that quartet was also in the front line that night in December, but Parker’s place was taken by bassist Todd Nicholson, who usually plays with violinist Billy Bang. MORE

October 3, 2006

The Diplomats

We Are Not Obstinate Islands
Clean Feed CF061

Utilizing only the tonal colors available from one trombone, one alto saxophone and one drum set, the Diplomats still create five varied and multi-hued improvisations.

Although the result may seem slightly thin without chordal instruments, the performances are imbued with enough polyphonic variety to overcome this. For comparison envision to-the-point, skeletal forms painted by Klee and Miro, not Van Gogh’s or Monet’s abundant detail. Brassy gutbucket slurs from trombonist Steve Swell, tart split tones from saxophonist Rob Brown plus drum and cymbal resonation from Harris Eisenstadt supply all the needed tinctures. MORE

September 19, 2005

WILLIAM PARKER

Luc's Lantern
Thirsty Ear THI 57158.2

WILLIAM PARKER QUARTET
Sound Unity
Aum Fidelity Aum 034

Conventional and unconventional sounds reflecting the improvisational and compositional talents of New York bassist William Parker, both these CDs are noteworthy. What's most surprising though is that the unconventional one is LUC'S LANTERN. Known as one of the prime movers in New York's avant-garde scene, Parker is still able to create a session that could have been put out by such classic 1960s piano trios as Ahmad Jamal's, Bill Evans's or Oscar Peterson's. It's unconventional in its very conventionality. MORE

February 9, 2004

WALLY SHOUP

Fusillades & Lamentations
Leo LR 364

STONE HOUSE
Likewise
RITI CD008

Distinctive differences between East and West Coast improvisers vanished around the time 40 years ago when Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins helped make the sax/bass/drums trio a common configuration among jazzers.

Today when an improv trio can consist of any three instrumentalists from just about anywhere, threesomes like the two featured on these CDs mainly announce a commitment to unfettered jazz-based experimentation. Coming from a similar source, the differences aren’t geographical but creative, and this time out, surprisingly, the West has the edge. MORE

December 15, 2003

WILLIAM PARKER & THE LITTLE HUEY CREATIVE MUSIC ORCHESTRA

Spontaneous
Splasc (h) WS CDH 855

SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA-EAST
Before the Dawn
NATSAT MTCJ- 3010

Downtown, they say, is a state of mind. So is so-called downtown music, as these two live big band sessions demonstrate. With polychromatic ideas enlivening both groups, and with composers extending and distend the status quo, the points of congruence between SPONTANEOUS -- recorded in May 2002 at the epicentre of hip, Manhattan’s CBGB’s -- and BEFORE THE DAWN -- recorded 16 days later at a jazz festival in Hamamatsu, Japan -- are closer than you’d imagine. MORE

June 16, 2003

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Live from the Vision Festival
Thirsty Ear THI 57131.2

The next best thing to being there, this combination CD and DVD package offers a distillation of some of the outstanding performances from last year’s Vision Festival in New York’s Lower East Side. Lacking the name recognition of Newport, Montreux, or any other capitalist entity-associated international star festival, in its less than 10 year existence, Vision has still promulgated a unique artistic vision.

Built around the vision of bassist William Parker, it’s a place where pioneering avant gardists from the 1960s mix it up with younger players who are carrying on experimental ideals. It’s cross-cultural, national and international as well, with the musicians showcased on this session arriving from Germany, Korea, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Valencia, Calif., New Orleans… and Brooklyn, MORE

May 19, 2003

WHIT DICKEY/TRIO AHXOLOXHA

Prophet Moon
RITI CD 006

TONE DIALING
Elektrodoki
No Label No #

Putting together an improvising trio featuring saxophone and drums with guitar as the only chordal instrument creates a combination rife with potential hazards. Luckily Trio Anxoloxha includes Joe Morris, an inventive artisan, whose skills encompass knowledge of bass and banjo techniques, while Tone Dialing extends its musical menu with electronic attachments.

Ahxoloxha is a palindrome invented by its leader, drummer Whit Dickey to describe how the group works together, balanced on all sides. Dickey, whose experience encompasses the bands of pianist Matthew Shipp and tenor saxophonist David S. Ware; and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, who has also played extensively with Shipp and bassist William Parker, come to the drummer’s project from the core of New York’s so-called ecstatic jazz movement. Connecticut-based, Morris may not live near Ground Zero, but much of his playing history is with similar experimenters there and in Boston. MORE