Reviews that mention Marion Brown

February 23, 2020

Marion Brown

Capricorn Moon to Juba Lee Revisited
ezz-thetics 1102

More than 50 years after they were first issued these advanced Jazz sessions which may have sounded transgressive at the time are now relatively mainstream, Freebop would be the proper designation. Additionally while the four tracks came out on two LPs by the under-rated alto saxophonist Marion Brown (1931-2010), they could easily be attributed to trumpeter Alan Shorter (1932-1988), who composed two of the four tunes.

A peripheral figure among FreeJazzers, Shorter recorded with the likes of Archie Shepp and François Tusques in the US and France, but after a period of inactivity died in obscurity. In contrast Brown who was also an academic played and theorized until the end of his life, including dates with John Coltrane, Shepp and Gunter Hampel. A lyrical player, like pianist Dave Burrell, who is featured on this CD’s final tracks, Brown had a much more varied career after he recorded his first album reissued as this date’s first two tracks. MORE

March 28, 2019

Marion Brown/Dave Burrell

Live at the Black Musicians’ Conference 1981
NoBusiness NBCD 109

Alessandro Nobile Dave Burrell Antonio Moncada

Reaction and Reflection

Rudi Records RRJ1039

Thirty-six years separate these discs, but the artistry exhibited by pianist Dave Burrell is undiminished. Starting in the 1960s he has worked with a list of improvises than stretches from Noah Howard to David Murray to William Parker. Oddly, although Marion Brown (1931-2010) was along with Burrell a first generation Free Jazzer, Live at the Black Musicians’ Conference is the more conventional of the two discs. Then 41, Burrell, who rarely worked with the alto saxophonist, was a last minute replacement for another pianist at this gig. Therefore the seven tracks include two composed by Brown, three by Burrell and two by Billy Strayhorn. Flash forward to 2017, when pianist, then 77 recorded seven group improvisations with two of Sicily’s most accomplished players, bassist Alessandro Nobile and drummer Antonio Moncada, both of whom have been extensively featured in ensembles of various sizes. MORE

November 8, 2013

The Group

Live
No Business Records NBCD 50

Melodic Art-Tet

Eponymous

NoBusiness Records NBCD 56

By Ken Waxman

Although according to detractors, all free-jazz sessions sound alike, these high-quality dates from 1974 and 1986 put a lie to that supposition. Both also suggest why the music was never popular. Each CD shares trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah and features all stars. 1974’s Melodic Art-Tet included reedist Charles Brackeen, drummer Roger Blank, bassist William Parker and percussionist Tony Waters (Ramadan Mumeen). 1986’s The Group was saxophonist Marion Brown, violinist Billy Bang, bassists Sirone or Fred Hopkins plus drummer Andrew Cyrille. MORE

June 16, 2010

Burton Greene

Live 1965
Porter Records PRCD 4040

Marion Brown

Why Not?

ESP 1040

Alto saxophonist Marion Brown never achieved the same fame or notoriety as some of his New Thing’s contemporaries, because, as these CDs prove he was a man out of time. While Albert Ayler was destroying jazz’s most vaulted conventions with his fervid glossolalia, and Archie Shepp was attacking bourgeois conventions verbally and with his over-the-top playing, Brown, their contemporary, was gently extending the Bop tradition in a more-or-less standard format. MORE

June 16, 2010

Marion Brown

Why Not?
ESP 1040

Burton Greene

Live 1965

Porter Records PRCD 4040

Alto saxophonist Marion Brown never achieved the same fame or notoriety as some of his New Thing’s contemporaries, because, as these CDs prove he was a man out of time. While Albert Ayler was destroying jazz’s most vaulted conventions with his fervid glossolalia, and Archie Shepp was attacking bourgeois conventions verbally and with his over-the-top playing, Brown, their contemporary, was gently extending the Bop tradition in a more-or-less standard format. MORE

January 15, 2008

His Name is Alive

Sweet Earth Flower a Tribute to Marion Brow
HighTwo HT 014

What more indie-rock bands should do when they grow up, Sweet Earth Flower is a recasting of the compositions of alto saxophonist Marion Brown by rockers His Name is Alive plus members of Afro-funk band Nomo. A unique entry in the jazz master-dedication sweepstakes, since Brown, 72, is still alive – he endorsed the session – the nine-piece group mostly concentrates on the earthier, uncomplicated segments of Brown’s oeuvre. Considering Brown was always the most lyrical of first generation New Thingers – he recorded with Ambient Music pioneer Harold Budd as well as John Coltrane – with some reservations the CD is true to his vision. MORE

June 30, 2003

ARCHIE SHEPP

Attica Blues
Impulse! AS-9222 024 654 414-2

ALBERT AYLER
Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe
Impulse! AS-9191 440 065 383-2

What you’re hearing on these two LP-length CD reissues, recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is the metaphoric death throes of the New Thing as a popular music.

But wait, you say, didn’t the angry unmelodic, experimental New Thing itself murder jazz’s popularity when it hijacked the music and drove large audiences away? Not really. Like other pieces of revisionist history perpetuated by the neo-cons this tale has been blown out of proportion to make more miraculous the trad revival of the 1990s. MORE