Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clifford Brown & The Ladies of Jazz

In I remember Clifford Part 3 I discussed three albums that were collaborations between Clifford Brown and Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Helen Merrill. In the few days since that port I discovered a comiplation that contains all three of those albums for a fraction of the cost of buying them separately: Clifford Brown & The Ladies of Jazz. Complete Recordings.

Here is what you get:

  1. Sarah Vaughan. Recorded and released in 1954, this is one of my favorite Sarah Vaughan albums. While the backing musicians all contributed to making this album special, with the real genius coming from Sarah, having Clifford Brown on the album is an added bonus. I do not want to diminish Clifford's contributions because I purchased this album specifically because he is on it. But make no mistake - this album showcases Sarah, and deservedly so. If I were to meet someone who was unfamiliar with her music this would be at the top of my list of recommendations.
  2. Dinah Jams. Not only does it contain the Clifford Brown-Max Roach ensemble, but it also features Clifford, Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry on trumpet. This album was in a jam session setting before a live audience. Brown's solo on I've Got You Under My Skin - to me - is reason enough to own this album.
  3. Helen Merrill with Clifford Brown. I discovered this album by accident while digging up every Clifford Brown track I could uncover. Clifford's parts on the album are as I expected: amazing. What I did not expect was to be so taken with Helen Merrill. Her voice, phrasing and attitude immediately made me a fan.
If you are a Clifford Brown fan, this compilation will save you a tidy sum compared to buying each album individually. If you don't know who Brown is, but are a fan of any or all of the three vocalists, grab it anyway. I seriously doubt you will regret the decision. Listen to the clips on this page or the track samples on the product page to hear why.

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