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His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown

His Name Is Alive: Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown

Desc:CD REVIEW: ARTIST: His Name Is Alive
Label:High Two

Many fans of His Name Is Alive may be struck by the oddity of their favorite dreampop act delivering an album of cosmic free-jazz. But HNIA main man Warn Defever’s studio, Brown Rice, isn’t named after a Don Cherry album for nothing. As the participant in many non-rock-oriented extracurricular activities involving jazz, noise and theatrical ridiculousness, Defever is far from limited by the expectations listeners may have of His Name Is Alive. Regardless of how diverse that group’s albums have been, Defever’s always kept them firmly within a modern-pop framework, leaving his more out-there tendencies for other projects. Putting the HNIA moniker on this project, then, is something of a surprise. Even more 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.
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