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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Definitive Clifford Brown

1. Easy Living

2. Wee Dot (Live At Birdland, New York/1954)

3. Jordu

4. I Get A Kick Out Of You

5. Joy Spring

6. Daahoud

7. I've Got You Under My Skin (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

8. He's My Guy

9. Born To Be Blue

10. Stardust

11. Cherokee

12. I'll Remember April

13. The Scene Is Clean

x

Track List: Ultimate Clifford Brown

1. Gertrude's Bounce

2. Stardust

3. I Get A Kick Out Of You

4. Don't Explain

5. Delilah

6. Powell's Prances

7. I've Got You Under My Skin

8. Memories Of You

9. Step Lightly (Junior's Arrival)

10. Cherokee

11. Stompin' At The Savoy

12. September Song

x

Track List: The Best Of Clifford Brown

1. Brownie Speaks

2. You Go To My Head

3. Get Happy

4. Brownie Eyes

5. Cherokee

6. Easy Living

7. Hymn Of The Orient

8. Joy Spring

9. Daahoud

10. Tiny Capers

11. Wee Dot

12. Once In A While

13. A Night In Tunisia

x

Track List: Jazz 'Round Midnight

1. Land's End

2. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance

3. Willow Weep For Me

4. September Song

5. Where Or When

6. Born To Be Blue

7. Portrait Of Jennie

8. No More

9. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

10. Lullaby Of Birdland

11. Laura

12. April In Paris

13. Time

14. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

x

Track List: Brownie: The Complete EmArcy Recordings Of Clifford Brown

Disc 1

1. Delilah

2. Darn That Dream

3. Parisian Thoroughfare

4. Jordu

5. Sweet Clifford

6. Sweet Clifford (Clifford's Fantasy)

7. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance

8. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance

9. Stompin' At The Savoy

10. I Get A Kick Out Of You

11. I Get A Kick Out Of You

12. I'll String Along With You

Disc 2

1. Joy Spring (Alt. Take)

2. Joy Spring

3. Mildama (Alternate Take #1)

4. Mildama (Alternate Take #2)

5. Mildama (Alternate Take #3)

6. Mildama (Alternate Take #4)

7. Mildama (Alternate Take #5)

8. Mildama (Alternate Take #6)

9. Mildama

10. These Foolish Things

11. Daahoud

12. Daahoud

Disc 3

1. Coronado

2. Coronado

3. Coronado

Disc 4

1. You Go To My Head

2. Caravan

3. Caravan (The Boss Man)

4. Autumn In New York

Disc 5

1. Introduction By Bob Shad (Live (1954/Los Angeles))

2. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

3. I've Got You Under My Skin (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

4. No More (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

5. Move (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

6. Darn That Dream (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

Disc 6

1. You Go To My Head (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

2. Medley: My Funny Valentine/Don't Worry 'Bout Me/Bess, You Is My Woman Now/It Might As Well Be Spring (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

3. Lover Come Back To Me (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

4. Medley: Alone Together/Summertime/Come Rain Or Come Shine (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

5. Crazy He Calls Me (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

6. There Is No Greater Love (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

7. I'll Remember April (Live In Los Angeles / 1954)

Disc 7

1. September Song

2. Lullaby Of Birdland

3. Lullaby Of Birdland

4. I'm Glad There Is You

5. You're Not The Kind

6. Jim

7. He's My Guy

8. April In Paris

9. It's Crazy

10. Embraceable You

Disc 8

1. Don't Explain

2. Born To Be Blue

3. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

4. 'S Wonderful

5. Yesterdays

6. Falling In Love With Love

7. What's New

8. Portrait Of Jenny

9. What's New

10. Yesterdays

11. Where Or When

12. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

13. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

14. Laura

15. Memories Of You

16. Embraceable You

17. Blue Moon

18. Willow Weep For Me

19. Stardust

Disc 9

1. Gerkin For Perkin

2. Take The "A" Train

3. Lands End

4. Lands End

5. Swingin'

6. George's Dilemma

7. If I Love Again

8. The Blues Walk

9. The Blues Walk

10. What Am I Here For?

11. Cherokee

12. Jacqui

13. Sandu

14. Gertrude's Bounce

15. Step Lightly (Junior's Arrival)

16. Powell's Prances

Disc 10

1. I'll Remember April

2. I'll Remember April

3. I'll Remember April

4. Time

5. The Scene Is Clean

6. Flossie Lou

7. Flossie Lou

8. Flossie Lou

9. Flossie Lou

10. What Is This Thing Called Love

11. What Is This Thing Called Love

12. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

13. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

14. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Disc 11

1. Flossie Lou (Bonus Disc Version)

x

Track List: The Beginning And The End

1. I Come From Jamiaca (live)

2. Ida Red (live)

3. Walkin' (live)

4. A Night In Tunisia (live)

5. Donna Lee (live)

x

Track List: Memorial Album

1. Bellarosa

2. Carvin' The Rock

3. Cookin'

4. Brownie Speaks

5. De-Dah

6. You Go To My Head

7. Carvin' The Rock (Alternate Take)

8. Cookin' (Alternate Take)

9. Carvin' The Rock (Alternate Take #2)

10. Wail Bait

11. Hymn Of The Orient

12. Brownie Eyes

13. Cherokee

14. Easy Living

15. Minor Mood

16. Wail Bait (Alternate Take)

17. Cherokee (Alternate Take)

18. Hymn Of The Orient (Alternate Take)

x

Track List: Clifford Brown Memorial

1. Stockholm Sweetnin'

2. 'Scuse These Blues

3. Falling In Love With Love

4. Lover Come Back To Me

5. Philly J J

6. Dial 'B' For Beauty

7. Theme Of No Repeat

8. Choose Now (Take 1)

9. Choose Now (Take 2)

x

Track List: Clifford Brown With Strings

1. Yesterdays

2. Laura

3. What's New

4. Blue Moon

5. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

6. Embraceable You

7. Willow Weep For Me

8. Memories Of You

9. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

10. Portrait Of Jenny

11. Where Or When

12. Stardust

x

Track List: Jazz Immortal

1. Daahoud

2. Finders Keepers

3. Joy Spring

4. Gone With The Wind

5. Bones For Jones

6. Blueberry Hill

7. Tiny Capers

8. Tiny Capers (Alternate Take)

9. Gone With The Wind (Alternate Take)

x

Track List: New Star On The Horizon

1. Cherokee

2. Easy Living

3. Wail Bait

4. Minor Mood

5. Hymn Of The Orient

6. Brownie Eyes

Comments

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Man,player produced basically an archive before his demise,what if for 30-40 years of creating The Great One has brother Brown in excellent position,Tha n k s brother.R.Ma c k n
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His contribution to the album with Sarah Vaughn was that of an old seasoned performer. He was too good to live -couldn't get better!
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What a lost to the jazz world what a lost to the music world in general
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Amazing talent
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hinesjrca
Love Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan....gr e a t Bop Trumpeters
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I am from WILMINGTON, DE and street FORM


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Vicious runs!! This guy's a hurricane!!
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When life getting bumpy...what a beautiful way too start �� at a new one !!
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Butter
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escofwino
Brown hailed from my home town of Wilmington, DE. I wish I was old enough to have seen him live. Good trumpeter and even better songwriter. What a loss at such a young age.
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jjwilson231
He already sounded like a seasoned trumpeter. What a loss.
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poppa_bear49
If only we could've had more but we have what we have...thank s Cliff.
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mrdiggy3
Love how the pianist tries to keep up
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jalliq21
Great music
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When I lived in Delaware I used to go to a place called a stall that was going Clifford Brown Street and his dad played nothing but if its brown and it is still mandy was a good cat that show missed that brother but Brown is always been a favorite of mine Jeff from DC
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Mr. Brown-blow'i n hard & smooth-the late g-r-e-a-t!!! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
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
Report as inappropriate
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...
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gregory.o.fu l l e r
He is the Man!! The best such power on the solos
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Jazzy classy
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Of all timessssss timeless!!!
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Roy Hargrove comments frequently about his admiration for Clifford Brown, and Hargrove's version on fugelhorn of I Remember Clifford is preeminent.
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shantawlsn
Classy
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His work with Dinah Washington is legendary... w h a t a true genius
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Best trumpet player from the swing era
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oooh! my first listen! LOVE it
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dcardoza62
Exceptional horn player and, as noted, sadly long gone.
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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.
Report as inappropriate
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.
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Clifford Brown and, after him, Booker Little--what a loss, but we can still listen.
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laraiine77
oh man how come i never got my ears around Clifford Brown after all these years of listeniing to jazz? Thanks to Pandora.
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I'll say this slowly. Best. Jazz. Trumpeter. Ever.

Yes, there are others that are close, but close only counts in horseshoes & handgrenades .
Report as inappropriate
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.
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Jazz musicians only fad away.... They never die.
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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
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Fat, punchy and sturdily emotive. That's the Clifford Brown sound for ya.
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He has the best sound so round and smooth. I Remember Clifford
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oceanblues58
Brown is so very cool...thank s Pandora!
Report as inappropriate
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.
Report as inappropriate
Such a tragic loss for sure. Still, he left behind some great music.
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adorough3
The two CDs in my collection by Brown and Max Roach are never far from the rotation. What an amazing groove.
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sjones1941
I may not be good at words, but I know great music when I hear it, and Brown was one of the greatest.
Report as inappropriate
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.
Report as inappropriate
I remember Clifford !!!
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jdubbs256
I agree!
Report as inappropriate
I Love Brownie's work...he was truly one of the great improviser's of the century.
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fischerd3
Love that high octane improve!
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mainarg
Great Music wish he was still here.
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Yeah, he was Lee Morgan (Sidewinder, e.g.) before Lee Morgan. BF.
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beagleboy800
the best...
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