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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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), ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Brown: Crown Trunk Root Funk

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One-off assemblages can be hit or miss affairs, but so powerful was saxophonist Rob Brown's ensemble at the 2006 Vision Festival that it was deemed essential that they were brought into the studio. With his carefully controlled use of harmonics and split tones, allied to a quicksilver inventiveness, Brown is one of the most instantly recognizable voices in free jazz today. In pianist Craig Taborn Brown has found a like-minded spirit averse to the obvious route. Taborn's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Brown: Crown Trunk Root Funk

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The function of liner notes is to bring the listener closer to the music. They need not be very broad in scope. Some of the most straightforward liner notes are often the most useful. For they do not impose layers of unnecessary skin to peel away in order to reach their point. After all, the music is the point. Rob Brown wrote the liner notes for his quartet's recording Crown Trunk Root Funk. In their humility and simplicity lies a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Brown Ensemble: Crown Trunk Root Funk

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After its successful premier at the 2006 Vision Festival, alto saxophonist Rob Brown took his newest ensemble into the studio to record Crown Trunk Root Funk, his first recording as a leader for AUM Fidelity. A formidable blend of funky abstraction, angular post-bop and dark impressionism, it offers an expansive view of Brown's adventurous aesthetic.

A two decade plus veteran of New York City's Downtown scene, Brown employs three of today's most in-demand sidemen in this quartet. Bandleader, ...