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Autumn In New York

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Album Review

In spite of a lengthy discography of recordings as a leader, pianist Donald Brown remains a talent deserving of wider recognition. Whether it is due to his soft-spoken nature or the fact that his series of excellent recordings for the French label Space Time is not yet widely enough distributed in the U.S., Brown's abilities as a player, composer, and arranger are never in question. On this trio date with bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Billy Kilson, the veteran catches listeners off guard with a laid-back opener, a dreamy take of Stevie Wonder's ballad "Make Sure You're Sure." His off-kilter approach to the old warhorse "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and wailing treatment of "If I Should Lose You" add new life to these time-tested standards. Perhaps his most intriguing arrangement is the bluesy saunter through "Willow Weep for Me." The bright and somewhat funky "Dorothy's Love Letter" is among the three superb originals which Brown contributed to this very enjoyable CD.

Customer Reviews

UNDERRATED Genius, great trio, fullilove, fullofideas

WOW! Donald Brown may be the brightest in a stellar line of Memphis jazz musicians. So underrated and criminally unknown, all the albums available here are terrific for those of you who like straight ahead, bluesy, or bop or a little funk. This is one fine trio and Donald proves here what jazz is about, among other things, improvisation and ideas. This is an example of those two aspects and a love of music that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Whether a modern pop tune (#1), old warhorse (#s 2,8-10), or Donald's own compositions, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. WOW!

Can't Believe I Have Never Heard of Donald Brown Before

This is absolutely great

Biography

Born: March 28, 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...
Full Bio
Autumn In New York, Donald Brown
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Contemporaries