Klifford Brayn

Klifford Brayn

American jazz musician
Date of Birth: 30.08.1930
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Clifford Brown
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Music Career
  4. Quintet and Later Career

Biography of Clifford Brown

Clifford "Brownie" Brown (October 30, 1930, Wilmington, Delaware - June 26, 1956, died in a car accident) was an American jazz musician (trumpet, piano), composer, and band leader.

Early Life and Education

Clifford Brown began studying music at the age of 15 under the influence of his father, a amateur musician who played the violin and trumpet. He developed a serious interest in music during his high school years (1945-48), taking lessons in harmony, music theory, and playing the trumpet, piano, vibraphone, and double bass. Despite initially falling behind his musically trained peers, he quickly overcame this setback due to his exceptional abilities. After briefly studying mathematics at the University of Denver, he continued his musical education at the Maryland State College. He played in the college orchestra and wrote arrangements for them, earning a special scholarship in 1949.

Music Career

Clifford Brown began performing as a jazz trumpeter and pianist in the ensembles of Kenny Dorham, Miles Davis, "Fats" Navarro, Max Roach, and "J.J." Johnson. He immediately gained respect and recognition in the bebop community. In 1950, he was involved in a car accident and spent about a year in the hospital. He returned to the jazz scene with the help of Dizzy Gillespie. In 1952-53, he toured with Chris Powell's rhythm and blues band, the Blue Flames, and recorded his first records with them. He then worked with Tedd Dameron and Lionel Hampton (1953, European tour). He recorded an album with French musicians in a non-typical setting for him, as a soloist with a rhythm section.

Quintet and Later Career

In early 1954, Clifford Brown collaborated with Art Blakey in New York, and after leaving him, moved to California where he co-founded a quintet with Max Roach. He remained a permanent member of the quintet until his death and recorded at least 20 albums with them. The original lineup of the quintet included Clifford Brown (trumpet), Harold Land (tenor saxophone), Richie Powell (piano), George Moppoy (double bass), and Max Roach (drums). Later, saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins also performed with the group. Clifford Brown's recordings include solo albums (1953-55), albums with the Brown-Roach Quintet (since 1954), and collaborations with Tedd Dameron, Lou Donaldson, Quincy Jones, Gigi Gryce (1953), Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill (1954), Art Farmer, John Lewis, Zoot Sims (1953-56), and Sonny Rollins (1956). He was a highly talented musician and one of the best trumpet players of modern jazz (in the 1950s, he repeatedly ranked high in jazz polls). He was considered one of the founders of hard bop. Clifford Brown was known for his brilliant improvisations, rich imagination, excellent sense of swing, virtuosic technique, and individualized sound. He followed the path of Gillespie and Navarro, gravitating towards a forceful and "hot" style of playing with a tendency to maintain high dynamic tension and emotional intensity. He cultivated a timbre-rich, flexible sound (in the style of Roy Eldridge) and often used sub-tone effects (taking the sound with a breath that enhances the impression of naturalness and similarity to the human voice) - in analogy with woodwind instruments. Initially, he specialized mainly in playing in the middle register and continuous eighth note rhythms, but later achieved greater melodic and rhythmic variety. He is associated with the soul-funk direction within hard bop. He had many students and followers, including "Blue" Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Don Cherry, and others. Clifford Brown composed several pieces, including Sandu, Daahoud, Joy Spring, and Tiny Capers. Benny Golson dedicated a vocal-instrumental composition, "I Remember Clifford Brown" (with lyrics by Jon Hendricks), to his memory.