Marion's son Djinji posted this today on FB... and I thought that instead of sharing on FB for likes I'd come back "home" and post it here. So here it is:
I remember Marion Brown in 1968 when he came to Paris. I was three. I remember his hands, I remember his voice and thinking that it didn't fit what I thought his voice should be like. He was brown and skinny like Poppy and somehow I thought he should sound like him. I remember Marion Brown's music. I remember that he and my Mima had a love and so he was at my house a lot. I had a huge crush on him because he was always very quiet around me. His music was not.
This is the music of my very early childhood. It brings to mind the smell of my mother's paint, the sound of my father's typewriter, my new baby sister who was born that spring of '68 during the Paris Student Riots, the constant grey of Paris skies that pressed against the warm yellow of our little apartment on Rue Regis that my mom had filled with her paintings and African fabrics.
I remember people like John Keyes and Prince Kisa from the Congo and still others whose names I've forgotten but faces I vaguely remember, writers, thinkers, musicians, hustlers, artists. I remember Marion's musical partner Gunter Hampel who scared me because he was tall and his energy was weird, and I'd hide under the table when ever he came around.
I didn't know what racism meant, I didn't know yet that people could be mean. I knew that I was loved.
I was three, but I still remember all of that as if it were the day before yesterday.