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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Brown: Unknown Skies

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Each year alto saxophonist Rob Brown brings a project to NYC's annual Vision Festival. Among the most raw and compelling was this stellar trio, featuring pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Nasheet Waits, which graced the 2009 gathering but had gone unrecorded, until now. Fortunately the voguish Paris-based Rogue Art imprint has issued a fine live recording from the 2010 Sons d'hiver festival in that city, which regularly presents highlights from the New York jamboree. His chosen format echoes Cecil Taylor's classic unit from the 1960s and early '70s, and Alexander von Schlippenbach's subsequent long-lasting threesome with saxophonist Evan ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2010 - Opening Night

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Prologue | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 Opening Invocation, The Blues Escaped, Stomp It, Rob Brown New Quartet, Broken Flowers, In Order To SurviveVision FestivalAbrons Arts Center23 June 2010 After three days of activity across various downtown venues, the Vision Festival returned to the well-appointed Abrons Arts Center for the core part of the proceedings. Everything a small festival might need was on hand. Main theater with comfortable seating and air conditioning? Check. Smaller performance area which increases ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oles Brothers with Rob Brown: Live at SJC

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Bartlomiej Brat Oleś (drums) and Marcin Oleś (double bass) have a simple adage when it comes to their music: to remain faithful to their convictions and create music that is open and requires both technical mastery and individual artistry. They have remained true to that whether playing as a Duo (Fenommedia, 2008) or with other musicians like Herb Robertson on Live at Alchemia (Not Two Records, 2007). Interaction and empathy are the twin factors that open the door and capture the imagination as they take off from well composed notations into realms that are both earthy and ethereal. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oles Brothers with Rob Brown: Live At SJC

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It's funny how certain jazz players find other kindred spirits to play with. Where would Ornette Coleman have been if he hadn't found Charlie Haden? Or McCoy Tyner without John Coltrane? Like minds always seem to find and sometimes track down each other. Such is the case with the Polish brothers Marcin Oles (bass) and Bartlomiej Brat Oles (drums) recording with American saxophonist Rob Brown.

The brothers' previous outings have included collaborations with Kenny Werner Shadows (Fenomedia, 2006), Theo Jorgensmann Alchemia (hatOLOGY, 2007), Herb Robertson Live at Alchemia (Nottwo Records, 2007), and Ken Vandermark Ideas (Nottwo Records, 2005). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Brown Trio: Live at Firehouse 12

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Alto saxophonist Rob Brown has the lean physique and worried forehead of a typical free jazz improviser, but through his associations with the leading forces of the downtown scene (including Matthew Shipp and, most fruitfully, William Parker) he has positioned himself as an in-demand sideman as well as a creative and ear-catching leader. He has been a mainstay in the groups put together by Parker and has arguably done his most intensely impressive work with the Quartet, as well as bringing a distinctive voice to the Little Huey Orchestra. Brown's art continues to move forward. Nothing could ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Right Hemisphere: Right Hemisphere

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In the early '80s, saxophonist Rob Brown and pianist Matthew Shipp played as a duo, eventually forming a quartet with William Parker on bass and Whit Dickey on drums and releasing the CD Points on Silkheart in 1990. Flash-forward to the present, where Joe Morris has taken over the bass chair, and the group has released this altogether excellent, eponymous follow-up. The eleven songs explore a wide range of moods, including the meditative “Red in Gray," urgently explosive “Lava," free-spirited “Falling In" and vaguely ominous “You Rang." And yet even when the emotions feel familiar, there's something ...

INTERVIEWS

Rob Brown: No More "Mr. Avant Garde"

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Alto saxophonist Rob Brown would feature highly on most people's lists of modern purveyors of reed magic. Leading New York avant-garde bassist William Parker has featured Brown for the last fifteen years, and Brown has been associated, both as sideman and leader, with other well-known modern jazz musicians including Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris and Whit Dickey.

A recent example is the group Right Hemisphere. He has also recorded and worked alongside such luminaries as Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Butch Morris, Reggie Workman, Henry Grimes, Roy Campbell and Karl Berger. Brown has also been building ...



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