Rob Brown Ensemble – Crown Trunk Root Funk

Rob Brown Ensemble – Crown Trunk Root Funk

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[AUM044] - CD in 4-panel digipak

Rob Brown: alto saxophone, compositions
Craig Taborn: piano; electronics (3)
William Parker: bass
Gerald Cleaver: drums

Rob Brown is among the truly exceptional alto saxophonists of the modern era; a peerless & perpetually inventive improviser on the horn. This fact is bountifully evident on the numerous AUM Fidelity albums he appears on as a foundation member of William Parker's principal groups – their relationship now spans three decades. In that time, Brown has also revealed himself to be a very gifted composer and group leader. Crown Trunk Root Funk is among his greatest works as leader to date, due in no small measure to the strong writing; specifically for the fellow tremendous musicians involved. He first brought this ensemble together for a performance at the 2006 Vision Festival; bringing this group & material into the studio to make an album was deemed essential. We remain exceptionally pleased that this (trees, you see) was his AUM debut as a leader.

"A fiercely original voice." –JazzTimes

"It's hard to think of another jazz player who's emerged in the last two decades who can cover so much territory so effortlessly: he's just as commanding playing swinging bebop over a walking bass-line as he is furiously spitting motivic variations in a totally free context." –Chicago Reader

"An alto saxophonist of astonishing virtuosity, Rob Brown possesses a rare mastery of the instrument's tonal colors." –Alternative Press

"Both acerbic and ambitious, Rob Brown's mercurial alto solos are often powered by a sense of mystery; he not only deciphers puzzles, he creates them." –Village Voice

“Good-on-paper groups are ten a penny. This one deliver royally, not least because Brown’s writing is so inventive and un-clichéd, proposing new relationships between old demarcations like ‘lead,’ ‘harmony,’ ‘rhythm section.’ –Brian Morton, The Wire

"In what is certain to be a career landmark recording for altoist Rob Brown, the New Yorker leads a tight, driven ensemble, bold in both its sound and flexibility.” –Mike Szajewski, WNUR Jazz

[ Also of note: this ensemble was the inaugural manifestation of the Taborn-Parker-Cleaver mesh. Not long after this session, their astonishing collective trio–Farmers By Nature–was formed. All of their recordings and live performances ought register as essential to any fan of music. ]

1. Rocking Horse - 10:57
2. Clearly Speaking - 06:56
3. Sonic Ecosystem - 11:17
4. Ghost Dog - 07:33
5. Exuberance - 06:18
6. Lifeboat - 06:29
7. Worlds Spinning - 09:51

All compositions by Rob Brown, © Self-Propelled Music (BMI)

Produced by Rob Brown and Steven Joerg
Recorded at MPI Studio, Manhattan on February 15, 2007
Engineer: Glen Forrest
Mixed at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn on October 9, 2007
Engineer: Michael Marciano
Final mastering by M. Marciano at Systems Two
Images and design by Ming@409