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Marion Brown: Juba-Lee

Album Notes

Recorded only a month before his classic Impulse debut, Three for Shepp, this much overlooked session, though quite different, is more than reputable in its own right. The reason for its obscurity is pretty simple. Juba-Lee, as of May 2003, had yet to see formal release anywhere in the world other than its original Dutch pressing and subsequent reissues in Japan. Otherwise, it bears a good deal of resemblance to his Marion Brown Quartet date on ESP, so listeners familiar with that session should know what to expect here. Among other reasons, this is because both sessions share the talents of Alan Shorter and bassist, Reggie Johnson. Also on hand were tenor man Bennie Maupin, pianist Dave Burrell, drummer Beaver Harris, and trombonist Grachan Moncur III. All but Maupin and Shorter would also appear on Three for Shepp. It should go without saying that any free jazz session featuring either Shorter or Moncur is going to be heavy. Both men, as soloists and as composers, tend to dramatically alter any recording upon which they appear. They usually contribute at least one tune to the repertoire -- here it's Shorter -- and both have a very deliberately paced and immediately recognizable delivery as soloists. Unfortunately, this would be the only session upon which the two appeared together, making the historical relevance of this date even more pronounced. The opening tune is a free-for-all, but the title track is reminiscent of Brown's wonderful "Capricorn Moon," employing a playful and spirited head. Both "The Visitor" and "Iditus" are deep and pensive, very much what one would expect from a session featuring Moncur or Shorter. Highly recommended. ~ Brandon Burke



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