Sunday, February 27, 2011

Marion Brown - You See What I'm Trying to Say?

Marion Brown and Arild Andersen in Oslo,
1968, photo copyright Erik Stenvik
Here's a rare find, also noted over at Inconstant Sol - the first film by filmmaker Henry English from 1967, You See What I'm Trying To Say?, which features the voice and music of alto saxophonist Marion Brown (1931-2010) in a quartet with pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Sirone and drummer Bobby Kapp (probably shortly after the Three For Shepp session on Impulse). Though apparently most of English's films have been in commercial and documentary contexts, this work captures beautifully the profoundly visual expression of the music and vibrant life in New York in the late 1960s. Having watched the film numerous times over the weekend, I'm also curious to know whether more music from this recording/rehearsal section exists.

Please follow this link to view the film on Vimeo.

Update: I missed this in the Inconstant Sol posting, but there is more information about the film here, further illuminating the circumstances behind this fascinating work.


  1. Regarding: "...whether more music from this recording/rehearsal section exists."

    No other music exists except this piece, the head for which Marion composed for the film, I believe. We used a recording studio purely for the purposes of the film: there was no ambient noise; we could control the lighting to some extent. That a piano was already there and even possibly the drum kit would have been additional conveniences.

    Henry English

  2. Great, thanks for the information, Henry. What a fantastic slice of history/music/art that, once again, many of us are glad has been made available.