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Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released December 1, 1954 | Verve Reissues

According to the original 1955 liner notes to Clifford Brown & Max Roach, the announcement that Clifford Brown and Max Roach had begun recording and playing together sent shock waves throughout the jazz community and predictions ran rampant about how the two might shape bop to come. The last duo to really shape the music had begun over ten years earlier, with the relationship between Bird and Diz. This recording was early fruit from a tree that would only live as long as Clifford Brown was around to water it (1956, the year of his tragic auto accident). The result is by far some of the warmest and most sincere bebop performed and committed to tape. Brown's tone is undeniably and characteristically warm, and he keeps the heat on alongside Roach's lilting vamps and pummeling solos. What really keeps this record on the orange side of things (other than the decidedly orange cover) is the solo work of saxophonist Harold Land, who plays part Bird and part Benny Goodman. His tone is as delightful as it gets on the sultry "Deliah" and as bop-expressive as it gets on "The Blues Walk" and "Parisian Thoroughfare," where he and Brownie go head to head blowing expressive runs of sheer New York-style jazz. This collection of songs runs a nice gamut between boplicity and pleasant balladry. It represents bop at its best and is recommended for collectors and casual fans alike. © Sam Samuelson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1955 | Verve Reissues

Study in Brown features the 1955 version of the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, a group also including tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow. One of the premiere early hard bop units, this band had unlimited potential. Highlights of this set are "Cherokee" (during which trumpeter Brown is brilliant), "Swingin'," and "Sandu." All of this group's recordings are well worth acquiring. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Emarcy

There are two schools of thought regarding this Clifford Brown with strings session (which has been reissued on CD). Brownie plays quite beautifully and shows off his warm tone on such numbers as "Portrait of Jenny," "Memories of You," "Embraceable You" and "Stardust." But on the other hand the string arrangements by Neal Hefti border on muzak and Brown never really departs from the melody. So the trumpeter's tone is the only reason to acquire this disc which to this listener is a slight disappointment, not living up to its potential. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 24, 1994 | Verve Reissues

Verve's two-disc collection of the best recordings from the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet recorded for Mercury/Emarcy between 1954 and 1956 includes a parade of Brown-Roach classics -- "Parisian Throroughfare," "Cherokee," "Jordu," "Daahoud." The second disc, which doesn't include Brown at all, reels through a highlight film of Max Roach's varied quintets of the late '50s after the death of Brown in 1956. Of course, Roach's sessions during that time feature many great recordings -- trumpeter Booker Little is a competent replacement for Brown, and tenors Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, and Stanley Turrentine all have great spots -- but record buyers expecting this set to live up to its title might be disappointed. To get the full treatment, get this plus any one or two of the other duet LPs, like Brown and Roach Incorporated. © John Bush /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 1, 1953 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released March 3, 1956 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released November 21, 1989 | Verve Reissues

Although undoubtedly an expensive acquisition, this ten-CD set is perfectly done and contains dozens of gems. The remarkable but short-lived trumpeter Clifford Brown has the second half of his career fully documented (other than his final performance) and he is showcased in a wide variety of settings. The bulk of the numbers are of Brownie's quintet with co-leader and drummer Max Roach, either Harold Land or Sonny Rollins on tenor, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow (including some previously unheard alternate takes), but there is also much more. Brown stars at several jam sessions (including a meeting with fellow trumpeters Clark Terry and Maynard Ferguson), accompanies such singers as Dinah Washington, Helen Merrill, and Sarah Vaughan, and is backed by strings on one date. Everything is here, including classic versions of "Parisian Thoroughfare," "Joy Spring," "Daahoud," "Coronado," a ridiculously fast "Move," "Portrait of Jenny," "Cherokee," "Sandu," "I'll Remember April," and "What Is This Thing Called Love?" Get this set while it stays in print. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | Verve Reissues

The first of the EmArcy recordings of the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, this album features trumpeter Brown, drummer Max Roach, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell and bassist George Morrow in fine form. High points include "Stompin' at the Savoy," "I Get a Kick out of You" and Brown's ballad feature on "Ghost of a Chance." Near-classic music from a legendary group. [Originally released in 1954, Brown and Roach, Inc. was reissued on CD in 2004.] © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

The 2014 Clifford Brown anthology Brownie Speaks: The Complete Blue Note Recordings compiles all of the recordings the influential jazz trumpeter made for the storied jazz label during the '50s. These are albums he recorded after his initial Powell sessions and before his Mercury dates. Included here are 1953's Jay Jay Johnson with Clifford Brown, 1953's New Star on the Horizon, 1956's New Faces New Sounds with Lou Donaldson, and the fiery 1954 live album A Night at Birdland with the Art Blakey Quintet. Also included throughout are the various bonus tracks attached to each session. A mere 22 years old when he embarked on this short four-year stint with Blue Note, Brown was already a jazz titan. Technically dazzling on the trumpet and blessed with a wealth of improvisational creativity steeped in the traditions of his forebears (namely Fats Navarro and Dizzy Gillespie), Brown was a man unparalleled on the jazz scene in the 1950s. Whether playing at burning speeds, as he does on "Cherokee," or digging deep into a slow ballad like "Easy Living" (both off New Star on the Horizon), Brown could articulate his ideas with devastating clarity. While all of the albums featured here are superb, must-hear examples of Brown's work, it is his live Birdland date as a member of drummer Art Blakey's group that reveals the most of what would become his legacy. The first incarnation of what would soon be known as Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the group included such influential players as the bluesy saxophonist Donaldson and the gospel-tinged pianist Horace Silver. From the pyrotechnic bop opener "Wee Dot" through Brown's gorgeous rendition of "Once in a While" and the rollicking Silver original "Quicksilver," the album is a masterful display of untethered artistry, bristling with a primordial energy that heralded the birth of the hard bop era. Unfathomably, only two weeks later, the group would disband for lack of bookings. Brown would, of course, go on to join drummer Max Roach in their legendary quintet, only to die in a car crash in 1956 at the age of 25. Ultimately, though there is implicit tragedy in his death at such a young age, with endless creative possibilities ahead of him, Brown had long found his voice, as evidenced by the work collected on Brownie Speaks. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 23, 1993 | Verve Reissues

In line with the series' after-hours policy, the Clifford Brown edition of Jazz 'Round Midnight features the trumpeter on a series of ballads and easy strolling swingers of the highest quality. This, of course, is fortuitous for any fan of Brown's work, considering one gets to really hear his stellar and rich tone in these spacious settings. And he's always in command, whether with arranger Neil Hefti and a string orchestra ("Laura"), supporting vocalists Sarah Vaughan ("Lullaby of Birdland") and Dinah Washington ("No More"), or in the combo he co-led with drummer Max Roach ("Land's End"). A fine choice for the jazz newcomer wary of the more frenetic side of the music. © Stephen Cook /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Booklet
The 2014 Clifford Brown anthology Brownie Speaks: The Complete Blue Note Recordings compiles all of the recordings the influential jazz trumpeter made for the storied jazz label during the '50s. These are albums he recorded after his initial Powell sessions and before his Mercury dates. Included here are 1953's Jay Jay Johnson with Clifford Brown, 1953's New Star on the Horizon, 1956's New Faces New Sounds with Lou Donaldson, and the fiery 1954 live album A Night at Birdland with the Art Blakey Quintet. Also included throughout are the various bonus tracks attached to each session. A mere 22 years old when he embarked on this short four-year stint with Blue Note, Brown was already a jazz titan. Technically dazzling on the trumpet and blessed with a wealth of improvisational creativity steeped in the traditions of his forebears (namely Fats Navarro and Dizzy Gillespie), Brown was a man unparalleled on the jazz scene in the 1950s. Whether playing at burning speeds, as he does on "Cherokee," or digging deep into a slow ballad like "Easy Living" (both off New Star on the Horizon), Brown could articulate his ideas with devastating clarity. While all of the albums featured here are superb, must-hear examples of Brown's work, it is his live Birdland date as a member of drummer Art Blakey's group that reveals the most of what would become his legacy. The first incarnation of what would soon be known as Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the group included such influential players as the bluesy saxophonist Donaldson and the gospel-tinged pianist Horace Silver. From the pyrotechnic bop opener "Wee Dot" through Brown's gorgeous rendition of "Once in a While" and the rollicking Silver original "Quicksilver," the album is a masterful display of untethered artistry, bristling with a primordial energy that heralded the birth of the hard bop era. Unfathomably, only two weeks later, the group would disband for lack of bookings. Brown would, of course, go on to join drummer Max Roach in their legendary quintet, only to die in a car crash in 1956 at the age of 25. Ultimately, though there is implicit tragedy in his death at such a young age, with endless creative possibilities ahead of him, Brown had long found his voice, as evidenced by the work collected on Brownie Speaks. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Verve Reissues

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Bebop - Released August 23, 1994 | Legacy - Columbia

The Beginning and the End has some incredible music. Trumpeter Clifford Brown is heard at the beginning of his tragically brief career, taking solos on a pair of R&B sides by Chris Powell's Blue Flames. The remainder of the package features Brown on the last night of his life, just a few hours before his death in a car accident. Performing in his hometown of Philadelphia before a loving crowd, the 25-year-old is heard playing at his absolute peak. He performs "Walkin" with a local sextet that includes Billy Root on tenor and pianist Sam Dockery (a future member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers), "A Night in Tunisia" with a quintet, and concludes both his night and his career with a quartet rendition of "Donna Lee" that is simply brilliant. Brown's death was one of the great tragedies in jazz history and his "goodbyes" to the audience are ironic and, in retrospect, quite sad; don't listen to them twice. But Clifford Brown's playing on this date is so memorable that the LP is essential for all jazz collections. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 7, 1990 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

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 dates, excellent doesn't necessarily mean essential. Recorded in 1953, the material here isn't quite as essential as some of Brown's work with drummer Max Roach in 1954 and 1955, but it's still superb. The trumpet icon is heard at two different sessions, the first with saxmen Gigi Gryce and Charlie Rouse, pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Art Blakey. The other includes 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 inspiration, 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 this to be a treasure chest. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

Sextet. This album includes some takes and Brown material unavailable elsewhere. © Ron Wynn /TiVo