Marion Brown / Marion Brown Quartet

Marion Brown Quartet

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This 1966 release was saxophonist Marion Brown's debut recording as a leader. There are three tracks here, two of which go on for some time. As was the case with most of ESP's releases from the period, this is a free jazz blowing date. There are two bassists on the program, Ronnie Boykins and Reggie Johnson, along with John Coltrane's future drummer Rashied Ali, and Brown playing with either trumpeter Alan Shorter or saxophonist Bennie Maupin. While the music here feels, and for the most part is entirely improvised for maximum visceral effect, Brown already has his tone and style and is a clear standout. His unique phrasing and attack shows his tenderness, even in the angriest of these exchanges. He holds his own with the rhythm section and is at times lyrical and spacious, particularly in the middle sections of "Capricorn Moon" and "27 Cooper Square." While this is not his best recording, it is memorable as an early showcase for Brown's fully developed voice, and for Boykins' and Ali's fiery playing.

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