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Album Review

Chicago saxophonist Brown is a true unsung hero, but with this marvelous CD, his stock rises considerably. All the swing, soul, spirit and spunk you could possibly want in your daily helping of modern jazz is here for the tasting. Brown provides the spice, his rough hewn, extraordinarily clear tenor voice is the focal point for the majority of this effort. The opener, the lightly swinging, beautiful "Oui Lee" sets a nice tone and embodies all of the prime elements that make jazz the timeless music it is bold, resourceful, witty, bluesy, smart, and above all, a vehicle for teamwork. Pianist Kirk Brown is impressive throughout. He sounds so comfortable and free, tuneful and punctuating. Josef Ben Israel is a singing bassist full of rich tones and driving ideas, while drummer Avreeayl Ra is ultimately tasteful, fun loving, and paying close attention. They make a formidable combination. Nods to John Coltrane and Roscoe Mitchell address the aggressive, demanding side of their masterful musical personas, Brown on tenor and alto saxophone respectively reflecting their vision. The 13 minute title track, in a mid-tempo Afro-Cuban vein, shows the leader to be a romantic, while the contrasting solo piano piece "Quiet Time," the fat and funky "Baldhead Gerald," and the spiritual tenor/piano duet "Oh What A World We're Living In" adds more flavor to this musical gumbo. The closer, 11 minutes of "Rahsaan In The Serengeti" is pretty self-explanatory, riddled with African rhythms, Roland Kirk-like overtones and deep multi-phonic outcry. Brown is featured on soprano for just this lone track, even though he is depicted on the front cover wielding this instrumrent. This CD is not just a hint at the diverse exuberance Brown possesses. It is the complete realization of an artists dream fulfilled. He should be very proud of this, a truly exceptional musical statement. You'll be pleased to own a copy. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 01 February 1944

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Versatility has characterized the career of Ari Brown, a Chicago-based reedman and occasional pianist who plays hard bop and post-bop as convincingly as he plays avant-garde jazz. After growing up on the city's South Side and graduating from high school in the early '60s, Brown attended Chicago's Wilson College, where he met Jack DeJohnette, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, and others who would later become members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)....
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Venus, Ari Brown
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