Originally conceived only as a single concert at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2004, His Name is Alive began recording Sweet Earth Flower shortly after that very successful evening. Although the connection between His Name is Alive and Marion Brown may not be obvious to some of the younger students, this is album is truly a very special release in either artist's varied catalog.
His Name is Alive is probably best known for having been one of the few American bands signed to famed British label 4AD. HNIA’s sonic experiments in electro, folk, blues, r & b, pop, and indie, have left fans always guessing what direction the band will turn next. Their most popular recording was a song (recorded on a four-track cassette recorder) that was used on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire film, others may recognize the band from its collaborations with legendary animators, The Brothers Quay. HNIA has chosen to honor the music of Marion Brown (1935- ), saxophonist, composer and one of the great innovators of New Music. His body of work includes Geechee Recollections - a blending of childhood experiences in Georgia with traditional Gullah culture – to Bismallahi, a lyrical performance with composer Harold Budd, produced by Brian Eno. Although Brown appeared on John Coltrane's Ascension album, performed alongside Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp and recorded his albums for IMPULSE!, ECM, Black Lion, and ESP, he remains largely an unsung hero of improvised music and avant-garde jazz.
On Sweet Earth Flower, His Name is Alive collaborates with members of Nomo and Antibalas for the project Album contains studio recordings and several live recordings Marion Brown has given the project his blessing. "I thought we should do it while he is alive. We've talked quite a bit about the project and he's supported us all the way. His encouragement and insight has been incredible," says His Name is Alive's mainman Warn Defever.