Amazing work from Marion Brown – two albums we'd never be without! Geechee Recollections is quite possibly our favorite record ever from reedman Brown – and very different than both his seminal 60s recordings, and his European sides from later years! There's a really earthy feel to this record – one that really lives up to the title, and which comes from the use of lots of percussion, played by just about every group member, ala AACM – but handled in a style that's warmly spiritual, and very organic too – right in line with the best Impulse Records vibe of the time, yet completely its own thing too! Brown plays alto and soprano sax, and is working with players who include Leo Smith on trumpet, William Malone on mbira and autoharp, James Jefferson on bass, and Steve McCall, Jumma Santos, Bill Hasson, and A Kobena Adzenyah on percussion – in addition to percussion plays by other group members too.
This collection is evidence that there really are bargains on the compact disc market. Both albums presented here, Ahmad Jamal at the Top: Poinciana Revisited and Freeflight, offer excellent portraits of the great pianist in transition at the end of the '60s and beginning of the '70s. Both feature Jamal's great rhythm section of bassist Jamil Sulieman Nasser and drummer Frank Grant. The first date was recorded in in 1969 at the Top of the Village Gate in New York City. Its reveals Jamal playing in a more driving, percussive style, though he keeps his utterly elegant chord voicings intact.