A major Chicago tenor-saxophonist, Ari Brown has mostly been heard in post bop and avant-garde settings although he is versatile enough to excel in bop groups too. Brown was born in 1944 and attended Wilson College in Chicago. Among his early associates were Jack DeJohnette, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman. Despite that, Brown often performed as a pianist in r&b, soul and blues groups up until 1965. He did not actually start on the saxophone until he was 21, but he developed quickly and by 1971 was a member of the AACM. He was a member of the group The Awakening in the early 1970s. A 1974 car accident which resulted in him losing some teeth resulted in Brown switching back to piano for a year as he recovered. Returning to the tenor, Brown worked with Rufus Reid, McCoy Tyner, Don Patterson and Sonny Stitt among others during the second half of the 1970s. Since then, Brown has worked with Lester Bowie, Von Freeman, Bobby Watson, Anthony Braxton (his Charlie Parker Project), Elvin Jones, Pharoah Sanders and Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio starting in 1989, recording with El’Zabar, Muhal Richard Abrams, Frank Walton, Lester Bowie, Don Moye, Malachi Thompson and Willie Pickens. Since 1995, Ari Brown has since recorded a few impressive albums as a leader for Delmark and he has been gradually receiving the fame he deserves as a major Chicago tenor-saxophonist.
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