Issued in 1968, Why Not? is Marion Brown's second outing for the ESP label as a leader. The saxophonist also guested on a Burton Greene date earlier that same year. Featuring pianist Stanley Cowell, Coltrane alumnus Rashied Ali (Coltrane had been dead less than a year at this time), and bassist Norris Sirone Jones, Brown reveals his great strengths as a composer and bandleader, which are matched by his abilities as a soloist. The opener, "La Sorella," features a gorgeous opening solo by Cowell.
Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli's debut as a leader features the boppish trumpeter in a straight-ahead setting. His quintet, which is augmented by percussionist Daniel Sadownick on "Bella Carolina," also features spirited solos from tenor-saxophonist Eric Alexander and pianist Renee Rosnes. Every selections works well during the mixture of standards and originals. Among the more memorable performances are a revival of Tom McIntosh's "Cupbearers," an up-tempo "After You've Gone," Magnarelli's "Y-Not" (which is based on "The More I See You") and the trumpeter's sensitive ballad feature on a slow version of "When Your Lover Has Gone." Why Not is easily recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.
Why Not Here is not the title of this disc, although from a casual glance it might look like it is so. The device "Why not here" is actually the name of the duo formed by gambists Hille Perl and Friederike Heumann; they are joined on many pieces by lutenists Lee Santana and Michael Freimuth, and the latter pair even have several pieces to themselves. The "lyra viol" is not a special instrument like a viola da braccio, but refers to a specific way of playing the viol, as an instrument capable of harmony and melody rather than melody only, or used in a purely basso context.