On November 19th, composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown will lead a septet of some of the Bay Area’s finest players in a concert dedicated to the brilliant composer- pianist Herbie Nichols’ 1957 album Love, Gloom, Cash, Love. Brown has been studying the music of Herbie Nichols for years, and performing it with a quintet consisting of himself, Darren Johnston, Matt Clark, John Shifflett and Jason Lewis, and a piano- less quartet with Ben Goldberg, Shifflett and Lewis. For this concert he has put all those musicians together to form a sextet. Sheldon Brown – Alto and Tenor Saxophones Ben Goldberg – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet Darren Johnston – Trumpet Matt Clark – Piano John Shifflett – Bass Jason Lewis – Drums
This is part of KCSM’s In the Moment Concert Series, produced by Jim Bennett, presented by Jazz in the Neighborhood and Musically Minded Academy.
Tickets are available now at http://jazzintheneighborhood.org/events/inthemoment/
For Brown’s 2011 performance at The Hillside Club, Andrew Gilbert wrote in Berkeleyside: “Responsible for the composition Lady Sings the Blues, a tune indelibly linked to Billie Holiday, Nichols became jazz’s quintessential overlooked genius. While he recorded several classic trio sessions for Blue Note, he scuffled for work until his death from leukemia in 1963 at the age of 44. Combining his love of modernist composers like Satie and Bartok with Caribbean inflections and bebop’s hurtling tempos, tunes like House Party Starting, The Gig, and Shuffle Montgomery, have entranced subsequent jazz generations. For Brown, Nichols’ music has provided endless inspiration, and over the course of a decade he ended up transcribing every tune the pianist ever recorded. He notes that while Nichols was profiled as a hard-luck case in A.B. Spellman’s classic book Four Lives in the Bebop Business, he should be remembered for his musical achievements rather than canonized as an abused master. ‘Nichols is like St. Jude for all those cats who didn’t make it,’ says Brown, a longtime Oakland resident. ‘There is that aspect to his story, but I wouldn’t want that to be the take away. The music is just brilliant. When I was in my transcribing fever, playing through his tunes a lot, I really got to know his completely unique voice. He was a melodic improviser. He uses the melody of the piece in his solos, which distinguishes him from great players who apply their ideas to any tune. There’s elegance and humor is his music, but definitely tempered by a little bit of melancholy.’ ”
Composer and woodwind mulit-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene for over 20 years. In June of 2014 he premiered his extended composition “Blood of the Air” at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. Based on the speech melodies of Beat-era Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia, “Blood of the Air” was made possible with the help of Chamber Music America’s 2013 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble program (funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), and with additional support from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.
Since 1994 he has led Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own compositions. Sheldon Brown Group has performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, the Presidio Sessions series, and has appeared several times at Yoshi’s Nitespot. In 2010 he formed Sheldon Brown Quintet, which performs the music of Herbie Nichols, and Distant Intervals, based on poetic speech melodies. Brown has performed internationally as a featured soloist with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and recorded on 5 of Sosaʼs albums. While with Sosa he performed at many famous venues, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag, New Morning in Paris, Tribute to the Love Generation in Tokyo and many others.
Brown performs with many groups in the S.F. Bay Area, including: Clarinet Thing; Goldberg, Brown, Anderson; Ian Carey Quintet + 1; Club Foot Orchestra, and Laurie Antonioli. As a composer, Brown has written music for his own groups and many of the other groups he performs with. For Club Foot Orchestra he composed music for the silent films, Metropolis, Sherlock Jr., Pandoraʼs Box, and The Hands of Orlac. He also wrote music for Club Footʼs scores for the cartoon series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, which aired on CBS.