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Marion Brown Quartet: Why Not?

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Originally released in 1968, Why Not? is one of three ESP-Disk’ recordings on which alto-sax player Marion Brown appears. His first for ESP was recorded in 1965, the same year he worked with John Coltrane on Ascension. With the late bassist Norris “Sirone” Jones, pianist Stanley Cowell, and the late drummer Rashied Ali, Brown creates music that juxtaposes elegant fluidity with a determined starkness.

Starting with “La Sorrella,” Brown floods his alto with a pure tonality that pervades the melodics of the remaining music. The piano sounds harp-like as it progresses in and out of chordal arrays; Sirone’s pizzicatos are soft, climbing and repetitive; and Ali maintains a predominately cymbal-ticking pulse.

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