Rob Brown (saxophonist)

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Rob Brown
Rob Brown at the Vision Festival 23 June 2010.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRob Brown
Born (1962-02-27) February 27, 1962 (age 61)
OriginHampton, Virginia, United States
free jazz
avant-garde jazz
free improvisation
Instrument(s)Alto sax
Years active1987–present
LabelsAum Fidelity, Clean Feed Records, No More, Not Two, Marge Records, RogueArt, Riti
WebsiteOfficial Website

Rob Brown (born February 27, 1962)[1] is an American free jazz saxophonist and composer.

Life and career[edit]

Brown was born in Hampton, Virginia, United States.[1] He started playing saxophone at the age of 12.[2] His first gigs were with a local Virginia swing band. He eventually studied at Berklee College for two years,[1] and worked privately with both Joe Viola and John LaPorta.[3] After a year on the west coast, Brown relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where he met pianist Matthew Shipp.[1] He moved to New York in 1985,[1] where he enrolled at New York University, earned a music degree, and studied with saxophone masters such as Lee Konitz, but the teacher who had more influence on Brown conceptually was Philadelphian Dennis Sandole.[1] Brown travelled to Philadelphia by rail once a week to study with him for a year and a half.[2]

His first issued recording was the duet with Shipp Sonic Explorations (1988),[1] and since then has been actively leading groups or working as a sideman with Shipp, William Parker,[1] Whit Dickey, Joe Morris and Steve Swell.

He is a 2001 CalArts/Alpert/Ucross Residency Prize winner and has received many Meet The Composer Fund grants. In 2006, Brown was awarded a Chamber Music America New Works grant.[4]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Release year Title Label Personnel/Notes
1988 Sonic Explorations Cadence Jazz Duo with Matthew Shipp (piano)
1990 Breath Rhyme Silkheart Trio with William Parker (bass), Denis Charles (drums)
1992 Youniverse Riti Trio with Joe Morris (guitar), Whit Dickey (drums)
1995 Illuminate Leo Quartet co-led by Joe Morris (guitar), with William Parker (bass), Jackson Krall (drums)
1996 High Wire Soul Note Trio with William Parker (bass), Jackson Krall (drums)
1997 Blink of an Eye No More Duo with Matthew Shipp (piano)
1997 Orbit Music & Arts Collaborative trio with Guerino Mazzola (piano), Heinz Geisser (percussion)
1998 Scratching the Surface CIMP Quartet co-led by Lou Grassi (drums), with Assif Tsahar (tenor sax), Chris Lightcap (bass)
2000 Visage Marge Trio with Wilber Morris (bass), Lou Grassi (drums, percussion)
2000 Jumping Off the Page No More Quartet with Roy Campbell (trumpet), Chris Lightcap (bass), Jackson Krall (drums)
2002 Round the Bend Bleu Regard Trio with William Parker (bass), Warren Smith (drums)
2003 Likewise Riti As part of the band Stone House; trio with Luther Gray (drums), Joe Morris (bass)
2004 The Big Picture Marge Quartet with Roy Campbell (trumpet, flugelhorn), William Parker (bass), Hamid Drake (drums)
2005 Radiant Pools RogueArt Quartet with Steve Swell (trombone), Joe Morris (bass), Luther Gray (drums)
2006 We Are Not Obstinate Islands Clean Feed As part of the band The Diplomats; trio with Steve Swell (trombone), Harris Eisenstadt (drums)
2007 Sounds Clean Feed Trio with Daniel Levin (cello), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)
2008 Right Hemisphere RogueArt As part of the band Right Hemisphere; quartet with Matthew Shipp (piano), Joe Morris (bass), Whit Dickey (drums)
2008 Live in Chicago Ruby Red Duo with Andrew Barker (drums, percussion)
2008 Crown Trunk Root Funk AUM Fidelity Quartet with Craig Taborn (piano, electronics), William Parker (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums)
2009 Live at Firehouse 12 Not Two Trio with Daniel Levin (cello), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)
2010 Natural Disorder Not Two Duo with Daniel Levin (cello)
2011 Unexplained Phenomena Marge Quartet with Matt Moran (vibraphone), Chris Lightcap (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums)
2011 Unknown Skies RogueArt Trio with Craig Taborn (piano), Nasheet Waits (drums)
2014 Day in the Life of a City Multikulti Trio with Daniel Levin (cello), Jacek Mazurkiewicz (bass)
2015 Divergent Paths Cipsela Duo with Daniel Levin (cello)


As sideman[edit]

Release year Leader Title Label
1998 Whit Dickey Transonic AUM Fidelity
2000 Whit Dickey Big Top Wobbly Rail
2001 Whit Dickey Life Cycle AUM Fidelity
2001 Alan Silva Alan Silva & the Sound Visions Orchestra Eremite
2002 Whit Dickey Prophet Moon Riti
2004 Whit Dickey Coalescence Clean Feed
2005 Whit Dickey In a Heartbeat Clean Feed
2006 Whit Dickey Sacred Ground Clean Feed
1999 Joe Morris Many Rings Knitting Factory
1994 William Parker Flowers Grow in My Room Centering
1995 William Parker In Order to Survive Black Saint
1996 William Parker Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy Homestead
1997 William Parker Sunrise in the Tone World AUM Fidelity
1998 William Parker The Peach Orchard AUM Fidelity
1999 William Parker Posium Pendasem FMP
2000 William Parker O'Neal's Porch Centering
2000 William Parker Mayor of Punkville AUM Fidelity
2002 William Parker Raincoat in the River Eremite
2002 William Parker Raining on the Moon Thirsty Ear
2002 William Parker Spontaneous Splasc(h)
2003 William Parker Mass for the Healing of the World Black Saint
2005 William Parker Sound Unity AUM Fidelity
2005 William Parker For Percy Heath Victo
2007 William Parker Corn Meal Dance AUM Fidelity
2007 William Parker Alphaville Suite RogueArt
2007 William Parker Double Sunrise Over Neptune AUM Fidelity
2008 William Parker Petit Oiseau AUM Fidelity
2012 William Parker Essence of Ellington Centering
2013 William Parker Wood Flute Songs AUM Fidelity
1992 Matthew Shipp Points Silkheart
1999 Matthew Shipp Magnetism Bleu Regard
2009 Steve Swell Planet Dream Clean Feed


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b "Silkheart Records presents the New American Jazz". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  3. ^ "Rob Brown | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  4. ^ "Rob Brown @ All About Jazz". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  5. ^ "Rob Brown | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 25, 2021.

External links[edit]