This review is from: Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun (Audio CD)
In my review of Brown's GEECHEE RECOLLECTIONS / SWEET EARTH FLYING on this site I argued that this album can be viewed as part of a trilogy, if you will, with the two LPs that make up that other title, but this could hardly summon up what this music is all about.
The two LP side-long pieces that make up this album mirror the efforts of the Art Ensemble of Chicago when they were a drummerless quartet, but that's merely a point of reference for both the title track and "Djinji's Corner" could qualify as the sounds of rituals worthy of anthropological study. Such a level of praise is likely to put off as many potential listeners as it's going to attract, but that's their loss as this is music which even in face of repeated listening still retains tantalisingly inscrutable qualities.
Brown was blessed in terms of the band he was fortunate enough to assemble. Both Anthony Braxton and Bennie Maupin are here, on rafts of reeds and flutes, while the undervalued vocalist Jeanne Lee makes her presence tellingly felt on "Djinji's Corner" where Chick Corea -no less- turns in perhaps some of the freest playing he's ever committed to record.
But in essence this is egoless music; it's the sound of the collective, if you will, in the degree to which the ego is sublimated. Even where solos do happen they burn like solar flares only to sink within the quietly hypnotic tumult, although personality is always on the agenda and in places it takes the form of Braxton's contrabass clarinet.
The denial of familiarity and the ability to defy it no matter what isn't that common in creative improvised music, but as this title shows it's a darn sight more common there than it is in most other fields of musical so-called creativity, and while there's no point in getting precious about it, it has to be said that this little gem deserves to shine a damn sight more brightly than it does.