Ted Brown the man who plays Cherokee

Ted Brown — August 6, 2011 — photo by Mark Weber


September 13, 2o12 – Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER – KUNM Albuquerque, USA – 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web > KUNM.org – Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)


Ted Brown has never swayed from pure lyricism. In all his years playing tenor saxophone the focus has always been beauty and lyrical invention.

What is this devotion to lyricism and beauty? Why not give in to the urge to wreak havoc and destroy everything harmonious like punk rockers and stomp everything assunder into a smoking pile of rubble?

Beauty is the realization of order, and lyricism represents hope, even as hope always looks to the future. (If you’re one of those lucky people who “lives in the moment,” is hope irrelevant?) We’ll ask Ted about these Aristotlean questions when we talk with him on Thursday Jazz Show via telephone from his home in Riverdale, New York, on the Hudson.

Ted Brown is a contemporary of Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh who were all associates of Lennie Tristano. And they were all devotees of Lester Young and Charlie Parker, geniuses every one of them. I’ll fly clear across the country to hear Ted Brown play and thanks to Will Jhun’s GPS mounted on his dashboard we were able to navigate from Lower Manhattan to somewhere in New Jersey without a hitch. I remember on that drive WKCR was playing Bix music and they spun the tune where Tram takes a chorus on his Goofus (small toy-like instrument) and not three days later I was with Dan Morgenstern at Institute of Jazz Studies, Newark, and he shows me Tram’s goofus, the very instrument we were listening to on KCR !

Small world sometimes.

Ted Brown Quartet at Trumpets, Montclair, New Jersey — August 6, 2011 — Don Messina, bass; Jon Easton, piano; Bill Chattin, drums — photo by Mark Weber

Ted Brown — 1951 Selmer Balanced Action tenor saxophone

Saxophonists Will Jhun, Ted Brown, Nick Lyons — August 6, 2o11 — photo by Mark Weber

Pianists Jon Easton and Carol Liebowitz — August 6, 20122 — photo by Mark Weber

Ted & Lee — May 28, 2004 — photo by Mark

Springsville cool jazz conference, Four Points Sheridan Hotel LAX — May 28, 2004, Los Angeles. Left to right: pianist Dave MacKay, guitarist Billy Bauer, tenor man Ted Brown, moderator Don Heckman — photo by Mark Weber (Note: the photos this day taken on one of those plastic $10 toss-away disposable cameras)

Warne Marsh in his studio — Pasadena, California — December 15, 1976 — photo by Mark Weber

The Ted Brown-Lee Konitz Quintet — May 28, 2004 @ Four Points Sheridan Hotel — Ted, tenor saxophone; Lee, alto; Dave MacKay, piano; Derek Oles, bass; Mark Ferber, drums ( I was experimenting with the aesthetic of Lo-Tech at the time, under the influence of Robert Frank.)

Lester Young’s gravestone — Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn — Redemption section, Grave 11418 — December 6, 2004 — photo by Mark Weber. Ted’s website can be found by clicking here…


  1. Kirk Silsbee

    Beautiful, as usual, Mark. Breckow is the one who pulled my coat to Ted Brown. I’ve been thinking about you this week, wondering how it went with Buell last Tuesday. I’m working on a piece about Ian Whitcomb and listening to an aircheck of his weekly Luxuria show. Whaddayaknow? He played a track from 1973 of a ragtime tune he wrote and Buell is the bassist. Small world indeed.

  2. Mark Weber

    My friend, the late Joyce Guion Shipley, a poet, used to be fond of the notion that beauty = joy.

  3. Mark Weber

    Kirk, I believe the first time I heard the name Ted Brown was on John Breckow’s radio show in the late 70s — the world just doesn’t seem right when someone of John’s knowledge doesn’t have a radio show anymore, but the workings of KPFK just became untenable for jazz (was he there 26 years?)

    Los Angeles was the better for it, those days…………

  4. Mark Weber


    Mark Weber

    Sep 13, 2012
    12:00PM – 1:30PM
    Name Song Title Name of CD
    Bakes a Cake Mark Weber Every Thursday @ Noon
    Warne Marsh Quintet–Oct. 3, 1956 “Smog Eyes” JAZZ OF TWO CITIES
    Warne Marsh Quintet + Art Pepper–Dec. 21, 1956 “Broadway” JAZZ OF TWO CITIES
    Lennie Tristano–1960 “G Minor Complex” LENNIE TRISTANO(Atlantic)
    Ronnie Ball Quintet–March 21, 1956 “Citrus Season” ALL ABOUT RONNIE
    Ted Brown–Oct. 27, 2009 “Big Foot”(Bird–blues) LIVE AT THE PIT INN, TOKYO
    Live telephone conversation with TED BROWN from Riverdale, Bronx, NY
    Ted Brown Quartet–Aug. 6, 2011 “Smog Eyes” private recording LIVE at Trumpets
    Ted Brown & Jimmy Raney–Dec. 23, 1985 “Blimey” GOOD COMPANY
    Warne Marsh-Ted Brown Quintet–Dec. 21. 1956 “On a Slow Boat to China” JAZZ OF TWO CITIES

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