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All Music Guide:
Versatility has characterized the career of Ari Brown, a Chicago-based reedman and occasional pianist who plays hard bop and post-bop as convincingly as he plays avant-garde jazz. After growing up on the city's South Side and graduating from high school in the early '60s, Brown attended Chicago's Wilson College, where he met Jack DeJohnette, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, and others who would later become members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Brown played piano in mostly soul and blues bands until 1965, when he took up the sax and starting becoming seriously interested in jazz. In 1971, he joined AACM and made jazz his primary focus. Brown played sax on a few albums by a little-known group called the Awakening (who included bassist Rufus Reid), but after losing some teeth in a 1974 auto accident, he gave up playing the sax for about a year and played the piano exclusively. Brown made a full recovery, made the sax his main instrument once again and went on to work with players ranging from McCoy Tyner and Don Patterson to Sonny Stitt in the 1970s. The Chicagoan also kept busy during the 1980s, recording with Lester Bowie before being hired by Von Freeman, Bobby Watson, and Anthony Braxton (who hired him for his Charlie Parker Project). It was in 1989 that Brown began his lucrative membership in Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio. But as long a resumé as Brown had as a sideman, he didn't record as a leader until 1995, when he provided the diverse Ultimate Frontier for Delmark.
Ari Brown (born February 1, 1944) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and pianist.
Brown grew up in Chicago and attended Wilson College, where he met musicians such as Jack DeJohnette, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Joseph Jarman. He played piano in R&B and soul outfits int the 1960s, then switched to saxophone in 1965. He joined the AACM in 1971, and also played with The Awakening in the early 1970s. In 1974 he lost several teeth in a car crash, and temporarily switched to piano again until he recovered. He played sax later in the 1970s with McCoy Tyner, Don Patterson, and Sonny Stitt. In the 1980s, he worked with Lester Bowie, Von Freeman, Bobby Watson, and Anthony Braxton, and in 1989 he became a member of Kahil El'Zabar's trio.