Memphis may be the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock-and-roll, but from W.C. Handy on, it has had a pretty substantial jazz heritage as well. Part of that heritage is a trio of nationally known pianists sometimes known as the Memphis Three -- James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, and Donald Brown -- who emerged out of Memphis State University in the early '70s. The Memphis Three lost a member a year ago when Williams passed away, but this week his comrade Brown (pictured), currently teaching at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, will be in town to perform a tribute to his onetime mentor. A bop-styled player with a gospel tinge, Brown was proclaimed among the "top echelon of jazz pianists" by The New York Times and will play Williams compositions and some of his own at Café Soul this week. Brown will perform in a quartet setting that includes Rod McGaha on trumpet, Renardo Ward on drums, and Tommy Sauter on bass. He will also conduct a free clinic that afternoon, at 2 p.m., at the Stax Music Academy.
Donald Brown, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, March 11th, at Café Soul, 492 S. Main (521-4677) $22 ($12 students)