Radiant Pools

Rob Brown

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Radiant Pools Review

by Alain Drouot

Saxophonist Rob Brown demonstrates once again that he is one of the most engaging voices of his generation on the alto. On this compelling session, free-form group improvisations alternate with lively compositions, including contributions from trombonist Steve Swell and bassist Joe Morris. What makes this recording particularly successful is the fine interplay between Brown and Swell. The pieces often feature exciting but subtle dialogues and counterpoint. The pair's ideas are carefully developed and their attention to detail pays dividends as the two musicians stimulate and/or support one another. They get more than adequate help from a sympathetic rhythm section. Drummer Luther Gray's playing is ideally crisp and bassist Morris fulfills a more traditional role than the one he usually assumes as a guitarist exploring uncharted territories. As time passes, Brown seems to be getting relatively more mellow. As a consequence, his music is becoming more accessible but is gaining in effectiveness. Radiant Pools is another winner in Brown's challenging body of work.

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