Jazz Music

Clifford Brown - Max Roach Quintet 1955 ~ The Blues Walk

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Clifford BrownRecorded: Capitol Studios, NYC, February 24, 1955

Clifford Brown - Trumpet
Harold Land - Tenor Sax
Richie Powell - Piano
George Morrow - Bass
Max Roach - Drums

At a time when many modern jazz trumpeters sought technical expertise at the expense of tone, Brown, in common with his friend and paradigm, Navarro, had technique to spare but also developed a rich, full and frequently beautiful tone. At the same time, whether playing at scorching tempos or on languorous ballads, his range was exhaustive. He was enormously and brilliantly inventive but his search for original ideas was never executed at the expense of taste. In all his work, Brown displayed the rare combination of supreme intelligence and great emotional depths. His playing was only one aspect of his talent; he was also a fine composer, creating many works that have become modern jazz standards. Although his career was brief, Brown's influence persisted for a while in the work of Lee Morgan and throughout succeeding decades in that of Freddie Hubbard. Fortunately for jazz fans, Brown's own work persists in the form of his recordings, almost any of which can be safely recommended as outstanding examples of the very best of jazz. Indeed, all of his recordings with Roach are classics.

During his remarkable three year run, Brown made more than a dozen albums among the ones on the EmArcy label are Brown & Roach Inc (1954), Study in Brown (1955), Clifford Brown With Strings(1955), A Study in Brown(1955) Clifford Brown All Stars (1956), Memorial Album (1956), Clifford Brown & Max Roach at Basin St. East (1956), and Pure Genius (1956) these are prime models of the art of jazz trumpet. There are many compilations available, as are box sets as the Complete Blue Note-Pacific Jazz (Mosaic) and the EmArcy 10 disc set Brownie: The Complete Clifford Brown.

Many of his compositions became standards, including the uptempo “Daahoud,” reflective “Joy Spring”, and “Sandu.” His version of “Cherokee” though not his composition, is still considered the definitive one. Benny Golson did a memorable “I Remember Clifford,” a moving tribute to the young trumpeter, and is a perennial jazz favorite.

Tags: modern jazz

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