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KNOXVILLE — A jazz recording by a University of Tennessee associate professor of music is one of the best albums you may never hear.

Donald Brown

The Donald Brown Trio’s “Autumn in New York” (Space Time, 2002) is on the New York Times’ annual list of top CD’s not in the mainstream music industry.

“Brown makes lush, personal, small-group albums, sweet-smelling with Southern manners and full of sprightly original writing,” the Times’ review says. “This, with bassist Essiet Essiet and the drummer Billy Kilson, is a honey dripper.”

The list includes small independent labels, experimental or avant-garde groups, older legends making a comeback, younger musicians just starting and other unheralded acts.

Brown, one of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers 20 years ago, has released four recent albums and recorded with notable jazz musicians, including Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Henderson and Donald Byrd. Other jazz artists have performed and recorded many of his original compositions.

“UT’s jazz program is internationally known because of its terrific faculty and artists like Donald Brown,” Roger L. Stephens, director of the UT School of Music, said.

“To have his CD reviewed by the New York Times is just tremendous. The people who come here to study jazz know about him, so it really is a huge shot in the arm for our program.”

Click here to read the entire NY Times article.