Friday, May 25, 2012

I remember Clifford Part 3

In the previous posts about Clifford Brown - Part 1, Part 2 and an Part 1, addendum - I provided a list of albums on which he was leader or featured performer. This post will conclude with some albums on which he was a sideman or among other featured musicians.

I'll start with Sarah Vaughan's Complete Recordings with Clifford Brown. This was originally released with nine tracks in December 18, 1954 as Sarah Vaughan. Later a tenth track, an alternate version of Lullaby of Birdland was added to the original, then this expanded album with an additional ten tracks:
11. Lover Man (Bonus Track)
12. Shulie A Bop (Bonus Track)
13. Polka Dots & Moonbeams (Bonus Track)
14. Body & Soul (Bonus Track)
15. They Can't Take That Away From Me (Bonus Track)
16. Prelude To A Kiss (Bonus Track)
17. You Hit The Spot (Bonus Track)
18. If I Knew Then (What I Know Now) (Bonus Track)

Although Clifford Brown receives co-billing in the title (and his playing is beautiful), this album is all about Sarah and her own instrument: one of the most beautiful voices in jazz. That is not to say that having Clifford in the ensemble is not important because he will forever remain one of the most influential trumpeters. His performance on this album is simply beautiful.

However, the other musicians on this album and the arrangements and conducting (by Ernie Wilkins) all contribute to what I consider to be one of Sarah's best albums and one I recommend to friends who want a good starting point into her music. Those musicians are: Paul Quinichette on tenor, Herbie Mann on flute, Jimmy Jones on piano (with John Malachi on track 12), Joe Benjamin on bass and Roy Haynes on drums.

Some tracks from that album:

Dinah Washington was backed by Clifford and an all star ensemble in August 1954 in Hollywood. This session was performed before a studio audience and captured on Dinah Jams (with some additional material from the same recording sessions on Jam Session. My personal favorite track is:

The above is also on Compact Jazz album that is worth checking out if you are a Dinah Washington fan. Why I love that album is her rendition of I Remember Clifford - Benny Golson's moving tribute to Brown who died at a young 25 - is so soulful that it evokes tears. I digress. Back to the album - here is another great track:

The above ensemble consists of the core Brown-Roach group consisting of Clifford on trumpet, Max Roach on drums, Richie Powell on piano, George Morrow on bass and Harold Land on tenor.
Other musicians in the jam included Herb Geller on alto Junior Mance on piano and Keter Betts on bass. Fellow trumpeters Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry also sat in, and Dihah Washington handled vocals.

Helen Merrill recorded an album with Clifford in December 1954 that is worth tracking down: Helen Merrill with Clifford Brown. Arranged by Quincy Jones with Helen Merrill on vocals, Clifford Brown on trumpet, Milt Hinton on bass, Danny Bano on flute, bass clarinet and baritone sax, Osie Johnson on drums, Barry Galbraith on guitar, and Hank and Jimmy Jones on piano. Some tracks which make this album worhtwhile:

A bonus is this jam at Eric Dolphy's home in Los Angeles in the summer of 1954. Eric Dolphy on alto, Clifford Brown on trumpet, Harold Land on tenor, Richie Powell on piano, George Morrow on bass and Max Roach on drums.

Parting notes. Clifford's son, Clifford Brown, Jr. is an announcer at KCSM Jazz 91.1 FM in San Mateo, CA. Also, for die hard fans Brownie: The Complete EmArcy Recordings Of Clifford Brown contains over 14 hours of Clifford's recordings.

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