Consilience Productions
CD Picks

Donald Brown
(b. 3/28/54 - Hernando, MS)

Title: Enchante'
Personnel: Donald Brown (piano & arranger), Bill Easley (clarinet, flute, alto sax), Steve Nelson (vibes), Stephane Belmondo (trumpet), Daniel Sadownick (percussion), Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
Recorded: 1998
Label: Space Time Records
Comments: Another of the "Memphis Gang" (members would include Harold Mabern, Charles Thomas, James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Frank Strozier, and George Coleman - not to mention the fantastic Phineas Newborn, Jr. and Charles Lloyd), Donald is a very special pianist, educator, and prolific composer. He grew up in Memphis and actually started out on drums and trumpet, but by the time he attended Memphis State University (1972-1975), he was playing jazz piano. After years of local work, Brown replaced James Williams with the Jazz Messengers (1981-1982) before arthritis forced him to leave. He went on to teach at Berklee (1983-1985) and the University of Tennessee (starting in 1988), recorded albums as a leader for Sunnyside and Muse, and has had his compositions performed and recorded by a wide variety of top jazz players around the country. Whenever he comes to New York City to perform, those "in the know" flock to see this under-appreciated master, as his approach to the piano and to composition is truly remarkable and completely original.

Enchante' is another in line of stellar recordings by Donald, this time on the Space Time Record label, which has recorded him on other occasions as well. Note the very special presence of ever swinging Billy Higgins on this one.

Title: The Sweetest Sounds
Personnel: Donald Brown (piano), Charnett Moffett (bass), Steve Nelson (vibes) and Alan Dawson (drums).
Recorded: 1988
Label: Evidence
Comments: Recorded in the late Eighties but reissued in 1998, this quartet features only three Donald Brown originals, yet stands out due to his exceptional playing and interaction with Alan Dawson and Charnett Moffett. Don't miss out on this little gem!
Title: French Kiss
Personnel: Donald Brown (piano), Jerome Barde (guitar), Anga Diaz (percussion), Essiet Essiet (bass), Billy Kilson (drums).
Recorded: 1997
Label: Space Time Records
Comments: This recording is another in a long line of must-have Donald Brown CD's. Sometimes these are hard to get, but if you can get your hands on any of these CD's recorded throughout the 90's, we highly recommend them for the sophistication and soulfulness of Donald's music. He is simply one of the most important pianists and composers of his generation!

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