His Name is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower

His Name is Alive - Sweet Earth Flower

His Name is Alive - Sweet Earth Flo

  1. Sweet Earth Flying Download Sweet Earth Flying
  2. Juba Lee
  3. Capricorn Moon (live)
  4. November Cotton Flower
  5. Bismillahi ‘Rrahmani ‘Rrahim
  6. Geechee Recollections (I) (live)
  7. Geechee Recollections (II)
  8. Sweet Earth Flying (II) (live) Download Sweet Earth Flying

All songs written by Marion Brown (Nia Music, BMI)
except “Bismillahi ‘Rrahmani ‘Rrahim” written by Harold Budd
Produced by Warn Defever at Brown Rice Studio
Live tracks recorded November 2004 at
University of Michigan Museum of Art

Performed by:
Warn Defever – guitar, piano
Elliot Bergman – tenor saxophone, Rhodes
Jamie Saltsman – double bass
Justin Walter – trumpet
Jamie Easter – percussion
Dan Piccolo – drums, percussion
Michael Herbst – alto saxophone
Erik Hall – electric piano
Olman Piedra – congas, cajon

Originally conceived only as a single concert at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2004, His Name is Alive began recording Sweet Earth Flower shortly after that very successful evening. Although the connection between His Name is Alive and Marion Brown may not be obvious to some of the younger students, this is album is truly a very special release in either artist’s varied catalog.

His Name is Alive is probably best known for having been one of the few American bands signed to famed British label 4AD. HNIA’s sonic experiments in electro, folk, blues, r & b, pop, and indie, have left fans always guessing what direction the band will turn next. Their most popular recording was a song (recorded on a four-track cassette recorder) that was used on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire film, others may recognize the band from its collaborations with legendary animators, The Brothers Quay. HNIA has chosen to honor the music of Marion Brown (1935- ), saxophonist, composer and one of the great innovators of New Music. His body of work includes Geechee Recollections – a blending of childhood experiences in Georgia with traditional Gullah culture – to Bismallahi, a lyrical performance with composer Harold Budd, produced by Brian Eno. Although Brown appeared on John Coltrane’s Ascension album, performed alongside Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp and recorded his albums for IMPULSE!, ECM, Black Lion, and ESP, he remains largely an unsung hero of improvised music and avant-garde jazz.

On Sweet Earth Flower, His Name is Alive collaborates with members of Nomo and Antibalas for the project Album contains studio recordings and several live recordings Marion Brown has given the project his blessing. “I thought we should do it while he is alive. We’ve talked quite a bit about the project and he’s supported us all the way. His encouragement and insight has been incredible,” says His Name is Alive’s mainman Warn Defever.
“It’s beautiful. Thank you. You really understand me.” -Marion Brown

All Music Guide
Thom Jurek
“FOUR STARS… Sweet Earth Flower is one of those rare moments when a restless talent like Defever, whose musical interests are all over the map can focus his vision on something outside the indie rock comfort zone and pull it off authentically. This is jazz, to be sure, but it’s unlike jazz as well, taking into itself the full measure of Brown’s own ambition to make a universal, reflective, meditative music that encompassed many traditions and notions of aesthetic evolution, from ancient folk traditions where stories are revealed to a future where space and quiet would walk hand in hand with something more chaotic and undefined. Under Defever’s direction, His Name Is Alive has given us the full panorama of that vision and done it with elegance, grace, and spiritual toughness not normally associated with rock.”

Dusty Groove
“A wonderful tribute to the legendary Marion Brown — and a surprisingly jazzy, surprisingly sensitive record from His Name Is Alive! The group really get at our favorite part of Brown’s genius here — that second chapter of his work after the more harder-edged recordings — a time when Marion was really laying back a bit, and finding a lot more room for space in his music — letting keyboards, saxophone lines, and other elements swirl around together wonderfully! Instrumentation here includes tenor sax and Fender Rhodes by Elliot Bergman from Nomo — plus more electric piano, percussion, guitar, alto sax, and trumpet.”

Chicago Reader
{Peter Margasak, Oct. 2007}
“Brown loves to use ostinato figures—repetitive little licks casting an air of hypnosis for the soloist—and HNIA transforms them into something warmer and more spellbinding… and it does manage to shine a different, yet deeply empathetic light on Brown as a composer and conceptualist”

Orlando Weekly
{Jason Ferguson, Nov 22, 2007}
“surprising is how Defever and the nine musicians performing with him manage to successfully channel the rootsy, psychedelic ambience of Marion Brown’s best work, without ever trying to directly mimic it. It’s a tribute album in the truest sense: one that captures the essence of the artist being honored, but without resorting to rote renditions.”

San Antonio Current
{John Defore, Oct 24, 2007}
A lovely, atmospheric disc that mixes live performances with studio recordings, Sweet Earth Flower takes the work of one cult artist and makes it available to another (barely overlapping) cult.

Point of Departure
{Stuart Broomer, Nov 2007}
“Given the stark melodies and declamatory presentations, there’s a feeling almost of prayer about the music. It has a loop like quality, and I found I could hear it happily all day.”

{Richard Marcus, Nov 30, 2007}
“If, like me, you had never heard of Marion Brown before listening to His Name Is Alive.s Sweet Earth Flower you.ll be amazed at brilliance of his music. Not only does that say something about the quality of his sound, but it also speaks volumes as to the abilities and attitude of His Name Is Alive. They were quite content with being the vehicle that carried the message of Marion Brown to a new generation, and to all those who had missed him the first time”

{Troy Collins, Nov 2007}
Drawing stylistic inspiration from Brown’s introspective 1970s period lends a serene and exploratory feel to the session. His Name Is Alive brings a sense of respectful admiration to these pieces, honoring Brown’s spirit while making its own subtle mark on the work.

{Nov 2007}
Sweet Earth Flower is one of the most inspired and interesting albums I have heard all year.”

Glamour Profession
{Trevor Tremaine, Nov 2007}
“Every track is a killer”

Order His Name is Alive - Sweet Earth Flower


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