Difficult as it may be for younger listeners to believe, there was a time when ECM released adventurous improvised music. Back near its inception in the early '70s, the label issued a wide variety and decent number of challenging avant-garde recordings that represented some of the most forward-looking musical thinkers of the time. One of these was Marion Brown, who, at the time of this session, was about midway between his extreme post- Coltrane explorations and the luscious, down-home evocations of Georgia that he would create for Impulse! over the next few years. He gathered 11 musicians, including a couple from the then current Miles Davis Bitches Brew band (Chick Corea and Bennie Maupin), the then little-known Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille, and the late great vocalist Jeanne Lee for two side-long, wide-ranging pieces.
Issued in 1968, Why Not? is Marion Brown's second outing for the ESP label as a leader. The saxophonist also guested on a Burton Greene date earlier that same year. Featuring pianist Stanley Cowell, Coltrane alumnus Rashied Ali (Coltrane had been dead less than a year at this time), and bassist Norris Sirone Jones, Brown reveals his great strengths as a composer and bandleader, which are matched by his abilities as a soloist. The opener, "La Sorella," features a gorgeous opening solo by Cowell.
2018 release. Smooth Jazz Superstar Marion Meadows is without question one of the most popular and unique talents on the jazz scene today. Marion has sold close to one million albums in his brilliant career. His constant string of radio hits and relentless touring have garnered legions of fans, and his appearances with such varied artists as The Temptations, Michael Bolton and Will Downing are a testament to his broad audience appeal. Soul City, Marion's most intimate and heartfelt album to date, is a star-studded event that takes the listener on a sensuous journey through a soundscape of brilliant original compositions and masterful improvisations.
Marion Brown was an American jazz alto saxophonist and ethnomusicologist. He is most well known as a member of the 1960s avant-garde jazz scene in New York City, playing alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and John Tchicai. He performed on Coltrane's landmark 1965 album Ascension. On this 1992 session for Venus, Brown leads a quintet including Tom McClung (piano), Jay Messer (guitar), Mike Marcus (bass) and Chris Dailey (drums) on original numbers plus tracks by Charles Mingus, Randy Weston and John Coltrane.