JazzTimes

Donald Brown

Between 1987 and 2000, before a combo of rheumatoid arthritis and rotator cuff surgeries on both shoulders made pianistic expression complicated, Donald Brown recorded 14 of his 16 albums. They document a corpus that pianist Eric Reed describes as “gargantuan.” Reed had in mind Brown’s first seven dates, released domestically between 1987 and 1994—six are presently unavailable. Between 1995 and 2000, Brown made another seven (available via streaming) discs for the French label Space Time, including two tour-de-force solo recitals and the superbly detailed, polyrhythmically percolating ensemble date At This Point in My Life.

“These are serious compositions, not ditties,” Reed says. “For me, Donald’s music created the entire soundtrack for jazz in the 1980s and 1990s. The repertoire he’s created is crucial to this music’s legacy.”

For a granular example, consider Terence Blanchard’s recollection of hearing Brown play his

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