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Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown's death in a car accident at the age of 25 was one of the great tragedies in jazz history. Already ranking with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis as one of the top trumpeters in jazz, Brownie was still improving in 1956. Plus he was a clean liver and was not even driving; the up-and-coming pianist Richie Powell and his wife (who was driving) also perished in the crash.

Clifford Brown accomplished a great deal in the short time he had. He started on trumpet when he was 15, and by 1948 was playing regularly in Philadelphia. Fats Navarro, who was his main influence, encouraged Brown, as did Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. After a year at Maryland State University, he was in a serious car accident in June 1950 that put him out of action for a year. In 1952, Brown made his recording debut with Chris Powell's Blue Flames (an R&B group). The following year, he spent some time with Tadd Dameron, and from August to December was with Lionel Hampton's band, touring Europe and leading some recording sessions. In early 1954, he recorded some brilliant solos at Birdland with Art Blakey's quintet (a band that directly preceded the Jazz Messengers) and by mid-year had formed a quintet with Max Roach. Considered one of the premiere hard bop bands, the group lasted until Brown's death, featuring Harold Land (and later Sonny Rollins) on tenor and recording several superb sets for Emarcy. Just hours before his death, Brownie appeared at a Philadelphia jam session that was miraculously recorded, and played some of the finest music of his short life.

Clifford Brown had a fat warm tone, a bop-ish style quite reminiscent of the equally ill-fated Fats Navarro, and a mature improvising approach; he was as inventive on melodic ballads as he was on rapid jams. Amazingly enough, a filmed appearance of him playing two songs in 1955 on a Soupy Sales variety show turned up after being lost for 40 years, the only known footage of the great trumpeter. Fortunately, virtually all of his recordings are currently available, including his Prestige dates (in the OJC series), his work for Blue Note and Pacific Jazz (on a four-CD set), and his many Emarcy sessions (reissued on a magnificent ten-disc set). But the one to pick up first is Columbia's The Beginning and the End, which has Brown's first and last recordings. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
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Comments

Mr. Brown-blow'i n hard & smooth-the late g-r-e-a-t!!! ! ! ! !
What can u say. Clifford Brown perhaps would have surpassed Miles as a trumpeter but hey...but who cares...Musi c is music and what he recorded was/is outstanding. Listen to his DJ (jazz) son who plays jazz for a west coast station...I believe it's KJAZZ-FM. If not...I'm close. Later-Rod Trussell---C h i t o w n
His sound so fat, his articulation so clear, his ideas so creative & mature- Brownie simply stands out as not only 1 of the very greatest trumpet players but improvisers in the history of jazz. Dizzy said he would have put the trumpet out of everyones reach had he live. Stevie Wonder said Clifford Brown was 1 of his very 1st influences!! Brownie lives...
gregory.o.fu l l e r
He is the Man!! The best such power on the solos
Jazzy classy
Of all timessssss timeless!!!
Roy Hargrove comments frequently about his admiration for Clifford Brown, and Hargrove's version on fugelhorn of I Remember Clifford is preeminent.
shantawlsn
Classy
His work with Dinah Washington is legendary... w h a t a true genius
Best trumpet player from the swing era
oooh! my first listen! LOVE it
dcardoza62
Exceptional horn player and, as noted, sadly long gone.
jimdrum31
Jim Fitzsimon The most warm creative human being . I had the pleasure
of meeting in Buffalo NY. I'll never forgot that day of days.
James Ward,
One of my favorite songs of all time is I Remember Clifford. So many artists have done this man tribute. I love Stan Getz's version as well as Arturo Sandoval's and Pat Matheny's. Check it out if you can.
Clifford Brown and, after him, Booker Little--what a loss, but we can still listen.
laraiine77
oh man how come i never got my ears around Clifford Brown after all these years of listeniing to jazz? Thanks to Pandora.
I'll say this slowly. Best. Jazz. Trumpeter. Ever.

Yes, there are others that are close, but close only counts in horseshoes & handgrenades .
Discovered him via a couple of Chicago jazz DJ's forty-some years ago, and was soon able to get my paws on some vintage LPs made both before and after his tragic demise. They still sound as good today as they did then. Clifford, we hardly knew ye. Thanks, man.
Jazz musicians only fad away.... They never die.
Clifford B. was an influence on our teen age trumpet section in the late fifties..we were cool that we even knew of him, in Philadelphia where we were....so coo.l
Fat, punchy and sturdily emotive. That's the Clifford Brown sound for ya.
He has the best sound so round and smooth. I Remember Clifford
oceanblues58
Brown is so very cool...thank s Pandora!
I am in love again! I can't wait to turn my 16yr old daughter onto him. She got her letter Freshman year (last year)High School for trumpet and is this minute on her way to Fondulac for her solo ensemble. I love Clifford Brown. Thanks Pandora.
Such a tragic loss for sure. Still, he left behind some great music.
adorough3
The two CDs in my collection by Brown and Max Roach are never far from the rotation. What an amazing groove.
sjones1941
I may not be good at words, but I know great music when I hear it, and Brown was one of the greatest.
When I think of Brownie and Lee Morgan, I always feel a little bit robbed that they left us so abruptly. Both were on the upswing and would have undoubtedly been kings in jazz history, had their lives not been cut short.
I remember Clifford !!!
jdubbs256
I agree!
I Love Brownie's work...he was truly one of the great improviser's of the century.
fischerd3
Love that high octane improve!
mainarg
Great Music wish he was still here.
Yeah, he was Lee Morgan (Sidewinder, e.g.) before Lee Morgan. BF.
beagleboy800
the best...
he was probably the best at that time.Played most genres with feeling.
Clifford and Satchmo are the reason I play the trumpet! I am featured on trumpet on Dee Jazzs' present cd! The Blues Muse, Dr. WD Burton
There's so much great Miles stuff. Love it. And all the other horn men too. But Brownie's tone and expressivene s s , like his life, are clean and pure. Un-matched. The sides with the Messengers (Blakey and H. Silver) are among my favorites. Really energetic. Too bad we couldn't know his work in full maturity. Sad irony.
The anti-Miles. And i mean that in a GOOD way. This dude was LEE MORGAN before lee was!
Tragic loss, but he left just enough for Lee.
So sad to have lost him so young, his sound was so warm and inventive.

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