291

His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown is His Name Is Alive's meditative ode to the work of the under-sung free jazz saxophonist. Veterans of the American rock underground, His Name Is Alive has been exploring various musical tangents since the early 1990s, slowly moving closer and closer to a more improvisational, jazz-oriented base.



The brainchild of Michigan-based, multi-instrumentalist/producer Warren Defever, His Name Is Alive was initially signed to the illustrious British label 4AD, a relative rarity for an American band. Ethereal and spacious, the band's sound has grown gradually over the years, incorporating funk, soul, R&B, folk, garage rock and world music into their expansive sound.



Collaborating with members of the Afro-beat horn ensembles Antibalas and Nomo, His Name Is Alive blends atmospheric electronic textures with reverberant horns for a sensitive tribute. Shuffling along simmering rubato grooves and psychedelic soundscapes, the assembled forces congeal in a wholly organic fashion. Electronic piano washes refract over arco bass drones and shimmering percussion, while plangent horns drift in and out of the mix.



Drawing stylistic inspiration from Brown's introspective 1970s period lends a serene and exploratory feel to the session. His Name Is Alive brings a sense of respectful admiration to these pieces, honoring Brown's spirit while making its own subtle mark on the work. Only on Harold Budd's "Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim" does the band break out with a cathartic electric guitar feedback and multiphonic sax duo that reaches for the heavens.

An ideal introduction to jazz for the novice, Sweet Earth Flower is less turbulent than Brown's earlier and more readily available music, capturing the spirit of Brown's later oeuvre with considered restraint and focused determination.

Track Listing: Sweet Earth Flying; Juba Lee; Capricorn Moon (live); November Cotton Flower; Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim; Geechee Recollections (I); Geechee Recollections (II); Sweet Earth Flying (live).

Personnel: Warren Defever: guitar, piano; Elliot Bergman: tenor saxophone, Rhodes; Jamie Saltsman: double bass; Justin Walter: trumpet; Jamie Easter: percussion; Dan Piccolo: drums, percussion; Michael Herbst: alto saxophone; Erik Hal: electric piano; Olman Piedra: congas, cajon.

Title: Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: High Two Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 Album Reviews
Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
By John Kelman
April 19, 2019
Read HUJE 2018 Album Reviews
HUJE 2018
By Jack Bowers
April 19, 2019
Read Farallon Album Reviews
Farallon
By Jerome Wilson
April 19, 2019
Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019
Read Remembering Cecil Album Reviews
Remembering Cecil
By Dan McClenaghan
April 18, 2019
Read Apophenia Album Reviews
Apophenia
By Roger Farbey
April 18, 2019
Read Transcending the Sum Album Reviews
Transcending the Sum
By Chris May
April 17, 2019