Marion Brown

November Cotton Flower

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The concluding volume of his "Georgia" trilogy, November Cotton Flower was recorded some five years after Sweet Earth Flying with an entirely different cast of musicians and an altogether more straight-ahead approach. These two factors make for a somewhat less exciting recording than its predecessors, but there are still joys to be found. The title track has an amiable, lazy afternoon feel, as if the melody barely struggled to raise itself from a nap for a relaxed amble down the road. "La Placita," a standard in Brown's repertoire at the time, is a Latin-tinged number featuring the sure hands of a young Hilton Ruiz, while "Fortunato," bearing the strong compositional influence of former associate Archie Shepp, contains Brown's strongest playing on the date. A reprise of the song "Sweet Earth Flying" closes out the album quite beautifully, from the delicate chords created by guitarist Karl Rausch through the leader's sensitive inflections of the lovely theme. A potentially difficult album to locate (issued on both LP and CD by the Japanese Baystate label), fans of Marion Brown will find November Cotton Flower worth hearing, if not quite up to the heights of his earlier releases on Impulse.

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