Provizer: Adams-Pullen vet Brown
brings own band to town

June 9, 2006

By Norman Provizer

There are musical memories that never fade. After all, how does one forget evenings spent in New York clubs with John Coltrane or the Thelonious Monk Quartet or Charles Mingus? But it's not only the legendary figures that leave lasting impressions.

The George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet (with Dannie Richmond on drums and Cameron Brown on bass) was on the scene from 1979 to 1988. During that time, I caught the band at a small and crowded spot near Harvard Square, and it was a night to remember.

In fact, the power of that evening still resonates with me two decades later as bassist Brown stops at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln St., tonight with his own ensemble.

Brown first found his way to vinyl in 1965 on a disc by composer George Russell. During the 1970s, he frequently played with saxophonist Archie Shepp, toured as one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and worked with singer Sheila Jordan and drummer Beaver Harris.

In the 1980s, along with his key, ongoing role in the Adams-Pullen Quartet, the bassist spent considerable time in the company of trumpeter Don Cherry, saxophonist Dewey Redman and drummer Ed Blackwell. By the late 1990s, he had his own band, called Hear and Now.

Despite decades on the scene, it wasn't until 2003 that the bassist released a disc under his own name, titled Here and How! The music for that CD was recorded in Belgium in 1997 and features singer Jordan, saxophonist Redman and others.

At Dazzle, Brown's ensemble consists of saxophonist Jason Rigby, trumpeter Russ Johnson and drummer Tony Jefferson. The sets for the show, sponsored by Creative Music Works, are at 7 and 9 p.m. ($15/$10 students and CMW members, 303- 839-5100). All the players have solid playing credentials, and saxophonist Rigby celebrates the release of his new CD, Translucent Space, at New York's Cornelia Street Café not long after he wraps up his date in Denver.