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Musician

Marion Brown

Born:

Marion Brown made his name as an alto saxophonist after mastering clarinet and oboe, and established himself in the forefront of the free jazz movement. Born in Atlanta, on Sept. 8, 1931, he moved to Harlem as a teenager. In the 50s he studied music at Clark College, Atlanta and law at Howard University, Washington, DC. He spent 18 months playing the clarinet in an army band on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. In 1962 he moved back to New York to play jazz full time, and was mentored by Ornette Coleman. His first musical exposure came with Archie Shepp, and he quickly gained a reputation after playing on John Coltrane's historic “Ascension.” Brown recorded “Marion Brown Quartet” (’65) and “Why Not?” (’66) for the ESP label, but it was his significant “Three For Shepp” with Grachan Moncur III and Kenny Burrell on the Impulse label in 1966 that solidified his status as a major innovator

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Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: The Emerald Duets

Read "The Emerald Duets" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The pioneering British photographer/author Val Wilmer said of Wadada Leo Smith, “he no longer relates to the restrictions of scales and chords. To him, music is about two things only: sound and rhythm." Her assessment, from the essential book As Serious As Your Life (Allison & Busby Ltd, 1977), was published in 1977. But in the ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Miles Davis & Don Cherry: Which One Is The Grifter?

Read "Miles Davis & Don Cherry: Which One Is The Grifter?" reviewed by Chris May


The Swiss-based ezz-thetics label's Revisited strand of reissues is a jazz connoisseur's dream. The label identifies outstanding albums of the 1960s, sets one of its gifted audio engineers to mastering them and makes them newly available. Earlier editions of many of these albums are hard to find and the sound on all of them is substantially ...

Album

Why Not? Porto Novo! Revisited

Label: Ezz-thetics
Released: 2021
Track listing: La Sorella; Fortunato; Why Not; Homecoming; Similar Limits; Sound Structure; Improvisation; QBIC; Porto Novo.

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Article: Album Review

Andrew Cyrille: The News

Read "The News" reviewed by Ian Patterson


There is no denying the significance of Andrew Cyrille's oft-cited association with Cecil Taylor, not to mention his collaborations with other avant-garde luminaries such as Walt Dickerson, Ahmed Abdul Malik and Marion Brown. However, such reductive narratives tend to overlook Cyrille's own, fairly extensive output as a leader, beginning with What About? (BYG Actuel, 1971). Whilst ...

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Article: Film Review

Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz

Read "Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz Submarine Deluxe 2021 There is much to like about this lovingly put together history of the so-called free jazz of the 1960s and 1970s. Over a decade in the making, the film, directed by self- declared genre obsessive Tom Surgal, is a compilation ...

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Article: Album Review

Marion Brown: Why Not? Porto Novo! Revisited

Read "Why Not? Porto Novo! Revisited" reviewed by Chris May


Alto saxophonist Marion Brown was part of the band on John Coltrane's Ascension (Impulse, 1965), though you would not guess it from Why Not (ESP, 1968). Like fellow Ascension alumnus, tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders' contemporaneous Tauhid (Impulse, 1967), Brown's album inhabited an intensely melodic section of the 1960s' New Thing. As were Sanders' own-name ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Albert Ayler & New York Contemporary Five: Revisited, Remastered, Resplendent

Read "Albert Ayler & New York Contemporary Five: Revisited, Remastered, Resplendent" reviewed by Chris May


The Swiss-based ezz-thetics label was launched in 2019 by Hat Hut Records' founder, Werner X. Uehlinger, and its Revisited strand is a jazz aficionado's dream. The series is devoted to landmark avant-garde recordings from the 1960s, and ezz-thetics does more than simply reissue them. Peter Pfister, Uehlinger's longtime mastering Jedi, improves the audio quality of the ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment

Read "Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment" reviewed by Chris May


Those of us for whom Impulse has been as important a part of our cultural lives as Blue Note, perhaps even a more important one, will not be satisfied until the label reissues its entire catalogue on remastered CDs and audiophile vinyl. In the meantime, it would be churlish to do anything other than applaud such ...

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Article: Album Review

Charlie Parker: Be Bop Live

Read "Be Bop Live" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The name of the record label is ezz-thetics, which was also a composition by George Russell and an album of the same name (which featured Eric Dolphy) released by Riverside Records in 1961. Maybe a better moniker for the label is “Lest We Forget." Not that we could ever abandon Charlie Parker, but today when streaming ...


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