291

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

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: a tribute to Marion Brown
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 Brown; Capricorn Moon (live); November Cotton Flower; Bismillah 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim; Geechee Recollections (live); Geechee Recollections; Sweet Earth Flying (live).

Personnel

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

Album information

Title: Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute To Marion Brown | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: High Two Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Warmer Than Blood
Warmer Than Blood
Chris Montague
Read Off Brand
Off Brand
Collage Project
Read Expanding Light
Expanding Light
Whit Dickey Trio
Read Iron Starlet
Iron Starlet
Connie Han

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.