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by C. Michael Bailey
Bassist and bandleader John Brown was last heard backing Nneena Freelon on her Christmas (Brown Boulevard Records, 2013) release leading one of his decidedly larger ensembles. Quiet Time finds the bassist pared down to a classic trumpet-saxophone quintet size for a recital of after-hours tunes. Brown's fronting horns are trumpeter Ray Codrington and saxophonist Brian Miller. The disc is opened with a Miller spotlight, Come Live With Me," presented haltedly reminiscent of the classic Saturday Night Live closing theme ...read more
by Jack Bowers
Renowned jazz singer Nnenna Freelon's first Christmas album truly is a gift, made possible by a small bequest from her Christmas-loving mother and a long-time friendship with John Brown, director of Duke University's Jazz Studies program and leader of the splendid John Brown Big Band. Brown not only made his ensemble available but co-produced the album with Freelon and released it on his own label, Brown Boulevard Records. It's clear that this is something Freelon has wanted ...read more