In the words of veteran performing artist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, once nicknamed the "San Antonio Ballbuster," "There are just three great musical traditions in America: blues, jazz, and country." And that's where Clarence Brown is right at home - in the midst of it, somewhere between one style and the next. Brown is a veritable quick-change artist: From Kansas City jazz to "dirty" blues and Texas swing, he has mastered nearly every roots genre imaginable. Now you can experience his amazing talents in this 60 minute live concert with 10 great songs!
This CD reissue brings back a classic album, one of the finest of drummer Max Roach's very productive career. The illustrious sidemen (trumpeter Booker Little; trombonist Julian Priester; Eric Dolphy on alto, bass clarinet, and flute; tenorman Clifford Jordan; pianist Mal Waldron; and bassist Art Davis, in addition to some guest percussionists) all have opportunities to make strong contributions and Dolphy's pleading alto solo on "Mendacity" is particularly memorable. Abbey Lincoln has two emotional and very effective vocals, but it is the overall sound of the ensembles and the political nature of the music that make this set (along with Roach's Freedom Now Suite) quite unique in jazz history.
At the end of 1955, Sonny Rollins replaced Harold Land as the saxophonist in the Brown-Roach quintet. Rollin’s style proved a perfect fit for the group’s equilibry betwen fast and slow tunes...
Although Clifford Brown did a phenomenal amount of commercial recordings during his all too brief lifetime (he died prior to his 26th birthday in a car crash that also took the life of his quintet's pianist Richie Powell, Bud's younger brother), relatively few of the recordings he made were on stage. Fortunately, this CD includes performances from two 1956 broadcasts from the old Basin Street club in New York City, and two tracks from a Carnegie Hall concert the previous year…
Clifford Brown: "Best Coast Jazz" is the Five Star bookend session to "Clifford Brown All Stars", both having been recorded at the same session in Los Angeles in 1954. On the vinyl LP, each song took up a side, allowing for plenty of blowing room. "BCJ" would be released in 1955. One year later, Clifford Brown (and pianist Richie Powell and wife) would be dead from a car wreck on the Penn Turnpike during a rainstorm. Thus altering the course of jazz trumpet history in one tragic act. "CBAS" would be hurriedly released following the accident and we would once again shake our heads at the tremendous loss of trumpet genius Clifford Brown.
Other than a trio set with the legendary pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali, this set was Max Roach's only recording as a leader during 1963-67. Three of the six numbers ("Nommo," "St. Louis Blues" and "In the Red") find Roach heading a group that includes trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, altoist James Spaulding, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Jymie Merritt and, on "St. Louis Blues," Roland Alexander on soprano. Their music is essentially advanced hard-bop with a generous amount of space taken up by Roach's drum solos. The other three selections ("The Drum Also Waltzes," "Drums Unlimited" and "For Big Sid") are unaccompanied features for Max Roach and because of the melodic and logically-planned nature of his improvisations, they continually hold on to one's attention.
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.