Monday, June 26, 2006

Brown blues

"There may be no sadder tale in modern music than that of Clifford Brown." The beginning of a Washington Post piece today on the 50th anniversary of the trumpeter's death in a tragic car accident.

He was 25, meaning he'd be 75, same age as his good friend Sonny Rollins, whom jazz journalists named artist of the year just last week. I have to think Brown, like Rollins and 85-year-old Clark Terry, would still be making music, maybe even with Mr. Rollins, and wouldn't that be something to hear and see?

Tonight, I gave a listen to "The Beginning and the End," Columbia, two cuts recorded near the beginning of Brown's career and three likely from the final night of his life, recorded live in Philadelphia. His soloing on "A Night in Tunisia" is the best I've heard on that song, and among the best on any song, and the version of Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" is fabulous.

"Thank you. You've made me feel so wonderful." What Clifford Brown says to his audience at the recording's end.

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