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Brown, Anthony / Rhapsodies
Album:Rhapsodies Collection:Jazz
Artist:Brown, Anthony Added:03/2006
Label:Water Baby Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2006-04-02 Pull Date:2006-06-04 Charts:Jazz
Week Ending:4 Jun14 May30 Apr16 Apr9 Apr
Airplays:21132

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Album Review
Fo
Reviewed 2006-03-27 
ANTHONY BROWN’S ORCHESTRA – “Rhapsodies”
Water Baby, 2006

Bay Area modern-jazz big band with a strong global flavor. The orchestra incorporates traditional Chinese & Japanese instruments (sheng, shakuhachi, erhu, etc.) plus Asian and African percussion for a uniquely cosmopolitan sound. The centerpiece of this disc is a nifty new 19-minute multicultural reworking of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (tracks 4-9). This should be played together, but you might get away with breaking it up. David Murray guests on 2 & 12.

Fo’s Picks: the suite & 12 (also 2 & 11 for out-jazz fans)

1. 1:18 – lovely short fugue on a Chinese-style melody, nice sax
2. 6:21 – funky Lester Bowie tribute based on “Shortnin’ Bread,” drifts into wild group improv, fades out to abstract tones, then stomps back for sax solo
3. 3:17 – sweet, shadowy Mingus ballad, played straight, rich tones
4. 5:16 – bird sounds, then the familiar melody bounces around the orchestra: marches proudly, but also has some grooving or mellow moments
5. 3:07 – starts as smooth rhumba, then back to theme in a strutting statement
6. 1:21 – wintry shakuhachi break, somewhat bleak, chilling atmosphere
7. 2:27 – bluesy restatement of theme w/ relaxed electric guitar, swampy horns
8. 3:48 – gentle and nostalgic, guitar & steel drum give it a sort of tropical feel
9. 2:59 – taiko drums imitate a train; then the big, crashing finale
10. 0:42 – “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”: solo sheng (Chinese mouth organ)
11. 8:05 – late Ellington piece (from Afro-Eurasian Eclipse): abstract for 2 minutes, then loose funky/rockin’ beats & riffs + two sax solos
12. 5:28 – Ellington gospel classic, lead voice is a duet between erhu (Chinese violin) and bass clarinet. Earthy, sprited, awesome!
13. 9:17 – blends parts of two of Brown’s extended works: starts airy & folksy, rolls with that melody, morphs into an afro-latin groove, then returns.
14. 1:09 – theme to NPR’s “Pacific Time”: happy percussion & wind layers

[Fo] - 3/27/06

Track Listing
1.Prelude To The Legacy Codes 8.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Andantino & Adagio
2.Bread & Bowie 9.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Taiko Trane & Finale
3.Self-Portrait In Three Colors 10.Take Me Out To The Ball Game
4.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Exposition 11.Tang
5.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Rumba & Recap 12.Come Sunday
6.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Gagaku 13.Anthem/Baile De La Orisha
7.Rhapsody In Blue/American Rhapsodies: Scherzando 14.Rhymes [For Children]