Clifford Brown – Memorial Album (1956/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Clifford Brown – Memorial Album (1956/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:54 minutes | 1,34 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

From the very beginning of his brief career, it was obvious that Clifford Brown was one of the greatest trumpeters of all time. The music on the Clifford Brown Memorial Album features Brownie in 1953 on his first jazz recordings. Even if he had only recorded the music on this release, Brown would have been considered an immortal. Five songs match him with Lou Donaldson and Elmo Hope and these not only include his brilliant solos on “Brownie Speaks” and Hope’s catchy “De-Dah” but a mature ballad statement on “You Go To My Head.” Brown was building on the legacy of Fats Navarro while challenging Dizzy Gillespie’s position as modern jazz’s top trumpeter, and Brownie was only 22. The other half of this remarkable release has Brown in a sextet with Art Blakey and John Lewis, ripping into “Cherokee” (Charlie Parker would have been proud) and “Wail Bait” while caressing “Easy Living.” His large beautiful tone, mastery of bebop and remarkable technique made Brown a giant from the start. Listen to the Clifford Brown Memorial Album and hear where Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw came from.

Like swing guitarist Charlie Christian, Clifford Brown was incredibly influential for someone who died so young. The Fats Navarro-minded trumpeter was only 25 when a car accident claimed his life in 1956, but his influence remained long after his death — Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd, and Carmell Jones were among the many trumpet titans who were heavily influenced by Brown. In the early to mid-’50s, Brown kept getting more and more exciting; those who found him impressive in 1952 found even more reason to be impressed in 1955. That means that when it comes to Brown’s CDs, excellent doesn’t necessarily mean essential. Recorded in 1953, the material on this 18-track CD isn’t quite as essential as some of Brown’s work with drummer Max Roach in 1954 and 1955, but is still superb. The trumpet icon is heard at two different sessions — one with saxmen Gigi Gryce and Charlie Rouse, pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Art Blakey, the other with Heath, alto saxman Lou Donaldson, pianist Elmo Hope, and drummer Philly Joe Jones (who in 1953 was two years away from joining Miles Davis’ quintet). Brown’s solos are consistently expressive; he swings unapologetically hard on up-tempo fare like “Carvin’ the Rock,” “Cherokee,” and Quincy Jones’ “Wail Bait,” but is quite lyrical on the ballads “You Go to My Head” and “Easy Living.” One thing all of the performances have in common is a strong Fats Navarro influence; Navarro was Brown’s primary influence, although Brown became quite distinctive himself at an early age. Casual listeners would be better off starting out with some of Brown’s recordings with Max Roach; nonetheless, seasoned fans will find that this CD is a treasure chest. –Alex Henderson

01. Clifford Brown – Hymn Of The Orient (04:05)
02. Clifford Brown – Easy Living (03:41)
03. Clifford Brown – Minor Mood (04:33)
04. Clifford Brown – Cherokee (03:24)
05. Clifford Brown – Wail Bait (04:00)
06. Clifford Brown – Brownie Speaks (03:46)
07. Clifford Brown – De-Dah (04:51)
08. Clifford Brown – Cookin’ (03:13)
09. Clifford Brown – You Go To My Head (04:20)
10. Clifford Brown – Carving The Rock (03:57)

Alto Saxophone – Gigi Gryce (tracks: 1 to 5), Lou Donaldson (tracks: 6 to 10)
Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Philly Joe Jones (tracks: 6 to 10), Art Blakey (tracks: 1 to 5)
Flute – Gigi Gryce
Piano – Elmo Hope (tracks: 6 to 10), John Lewis (2) (tracks: 1 to 5)
Tenor Saxophone – Charlie Rouse (tracks: 1 to 5)
Trumpet – Clifford Brown


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