Clifford Brown

Brown 6Born in Wilmington Delaware in 1930, Clifford Brown was possibly the most influential jazz trumpeter of his generation. His life was cut short in an auto accident in 1956 when he was 26 years old. Even with such a short career his legacy is huge and he left a large body of recorded work starting in the early 1950’s until the day before his tragic death. He possessed great technique, a beautiful big sound, and was a great admirer of both Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro.

Clifford Brown - Episode 1

CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Blues WalkClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
AnthropologyFats Navarro and Tadd Dameron1948
Get HappyClifford Brown and J.J. JohnsonThe Eminent Jay Jay vol. 11953
What Is This Thing Called LoveClifford Brown and the Max Roach QuintetAt Basic St.1956

Clifford Brown - Episode 2

In 1953 Clifford was a member of the Lionel Hampton Big Band that toured France, Denmark, Italy, and Sweden. While on the tour Clifford had ample opportunities to record with small groups comprised of local musicians and members of the Hampton Band. Hampton forbade his musicians from making these bootleg recordings, but many of the recordings have become classics. Brown and Max Roach spent much of 1954 and 1955 in Los Angeles making some of the Quintet’s best known recordings. In 1954 Clifford made a series of recordings with some west coast musicians including Zoot Sims. Here was the quintessential east coast hard bop trumpeter recording with west coast cool players! The results were outstanding. One of the trademarks of the Brown/Roach Quintet were the cleverly constructed introductions used on many of their recordings including “Take the A Train,” “Cherokee, “and Parisian Thoroughfare.”
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
S'cuse the BluesClifford BrownComplete Clifford Brown in Sweden1953
Blueberry HillClifford BrownClifford Brown Jazz Immortal1954
Joy SpringClifford BrownClifford Brown Jazz Immortal1954
CherokeeClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
Parisian ThoroughfareClifford BrownClifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet1954
Joy SpringClifford BrownBrownie's Eyes1954

Clifford Brown - Episode 3

One Clifford’s most memorable albums was a collaboration with composer/arranger Neal Hefti on Clifford Brown with Strings. Here one can get the full impact of Clifford’s beautiful sound and great sense of phrasing. The quintet recordings set a standard for many years as the quintessential hard bop group. His playing set the groundwork for the next generation of trumpet players including Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Booker Little.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
If I Love AgainClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
Memories of YouClifford BrownClifford Brown with Strings1955
StardustClifford BrownClifford Brown with Strings1955
I'll Remember AprilClifford BrownClifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin St.1956
DahoudClifford BrownClifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet1954