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October 20, 2010

Marion Brown Tribute Post

Marion Brown left us recently. At age 79, he passed away Monday, October 18th in Hollywood, Florida.

I was exposed to Marion Brown early in my Jazz listening-hood. When I was first getting beyond Coltrane, Coleman, and Ayler, into the second wave of avant-garde players from the 60s, Brown was the first that I dove into. As a leader, he seemed to have a knack for commencing wonderful improvising sessions, and despite having many successes, Brown always seemed to fall under the radar of main stream Jazz. This is a sax-man that played along Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders in Coltrane's Ascension, has had recordings put out on Impulse, ESP-Disk', ECM, and many other boutique labels.

From the first time I heard Brown, I was instantly hooked. WKCR just wrote that this is "one of the most radical but romantic of free improvisers." That's it! That's all you need to know about Marion Brown to understand his music's existence. A statement that can only apply to so few Jazz artists, and Brown belongs at the epicenter.

Please experience his music. Whether it's on vinyl, iTunes, streamed from Rhapsody or Pandora -- but don't just listen, be part of it, mentally and physically. It is beautiful music, it's not just Jazz, but Great Black Music that America and the world is lucky to have.

Image Credit: Original painting by Martel Chapman.

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