Amazing work from Marion Brown
– two albums we'd never be without! Geechee Recollections is quite possibly our favorite record ever from reedman Brown
– and very different than both his seminal 60s recordings, and his European sides from later years! There's a really earthy feel to this record – one that really lives up to the title, and which comes from the use of lots of percussion, played by just about every group member, ala AACM – but handled in a style that's warmly spiritual, and very organic too – right in line with the best Impulse Records vibe of the time, yet completely its own thing too! Brown
plays alto and soprano sax, and is working with players who include Leo Smith on trumpet, William Malone on mbira and autoharp, James
Jefferson on bass, and Steve McCall, Jumma Santos, Bill Hasson, and A Kobena Adzenyah on percussion – in addition to percussion plays by other group members too. Two tracks are spare, beautiful solos – almost a Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre vibe – and titles include "Buttermilk Bottom", "Once Upon A Time", "Tokalokaloka", and "Karintha". Sweet Earth Flying has an unusually introspective quality, and features Muhal Richard Abrams playing piano, Fender Rhodes, and Ring Modulated Hammon Organ, plus Paul Bley playing some of the same on a few tracks. The two-keyboard sound is very cool, and the record's dominated by it in a way that we find really surprising, given the fierceness of Brown
's sax playing on earlier sessions. Each side of the album features a long suite – side one has "Sweet Earth Flying" and side two has "Eleven Light City" – and each have the tracks drifting in and out, with piano lines swirling about in a soulful spiritual way, as Brown
's alto and soprano snake through the elegant arrangements. Really fantastic stuff – and a record that's unlike any we've heard from him!