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Early Bird

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Album Review

Pianist Donald Brown, who has been often overshadowed by his contemporaries, is a talented modern mainstream pianist with a sound of his own. This CD, his debut as a leader, features Brown in a sextet that also stars altoist Donald Harrison (quite exploratory), trumpeter Bill Mobley, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and Wynton Marsalis's rhythm section of the time (bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts). Together they perform six of Brown's diverse and generally colorful originals, plus "Speak Low" and the pianist's solo showcase "If You Could See Me Now." It's an impressive and enjoyable outing.


Born: 28 March 1954 in Hernando, MS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A fine pianist and educator, Donald Brown has also been a prolific composer. He grew up in Memphis and actually started out on drums and trumpet. By the time he attended Memphis State University (1972-1975), he was playing jazz piano. After years of local work, Brown replaced James Williams with the Jazz Messengers (1981-1982). He went on to teach at Berklee (1983-1985) and the University of Tennessee (starting in 1988), recorded albums...
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Early Bird, Donald Brown
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