Maurice Brown
The Cycle of Love

Cycle of Love

Review by James Walker, Jr.

Maurice's second studio CD is quite different from his Hip To Bop of 2004. The Cycle of Love illustrates his growth and the diversity in his writing. This CD demonstrates the "softer" side of this eclectic artist and his world class band mates. As indicated in his narrative, life consists of many stages that one goes through and Mobetta paints that picture with 10 sensuous tunes.

Brown can bop hard with the best of them, but this project allows him and his partners to "tone it down" a bit , while still captivating ones attention with sweet melodic numbers like "Merry Go Round," "Lovely," and "Good Vibrations." Brown's equal on this CD, saxophonist Derek Douget, shares the lead on most selections. These two, along with keyboardist Chris Robb have been sharing 'good vibes' together for years. Brown has such confidence in these two that often one forgets who's the leader.

Robb's tickling of the 88s on "Good Vibrations" is reminiscent of the sound of Miles Davis' former keyboardist Robert "Baabe" Irving III. He's also very solid on "Misunderstood," running full length on the keyboard. "Merry Go Round" and "Reflections" also allows Rob to express himself with extended solos.

This listener is particularly fond of "Time Tic Toc". This infectious 'of beat' number is truly the Mobetta from Hip to Bop. He again shares the spotlight with Douget and Rob, a trademark of Brown's recordings and his live performances. Another favorite is "Lovely" - a number so appropriately titled. It's the type of song one should be cuddled up with that 'special person' while listening to Brown's mellow muted horn complemented by both Rob and Douget.

And finally, while not having many lead opportunities, bassist Solomon Dorsey gets in some good strokes on "Reflections." His bass is distinguishable throughout, but stands out on this final cut with Brown getting the final licks.

Yes, Mr. Brown has come a long way, and continues to grow as a writer, producer and performer. This CD proves that he refuses to be "boxed" in one style of jazz and will continue to "stretch" the envelope in his music making.

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