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Jose Reyes

The Clifford Brown “Complete Paris Sessions” Vol.1, Vol.2 and Vol.3

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The article below is so informative that there is no reason to add anything else. I don’t know why Volume One and Volume Two are reasonably valued but Volume Three is so expensive and almost impossible to find. As Marc Myers mentions, this can be the official beginning of “Hard Bop”and he could possibly right.

About all three volumes (Marc Myers (Jazz Wax):

Trumpeter Clifford Brown is best remembered for the groundbreaking hard-bop albums he made with Max Roach for EmArcy Records starting in August 1954 and ending with his tragic death in June 1956.

Often overlooked, however, are the recordings Brown made as a sideman during the summer and fall of 1953. Like the EmArcy dates, these sessions are dynamic and cutting-edge—but for very different reasons.

Over the course of nine days—between June 11 and October 15, 1953—Brown recorded with different bands under the direction or influence of Tadd Dameron, Gigi Gryce and Quincy Jones (the photo on the right is of Brown and Gryce in Paris in 1953).

At the time, all three jazz musicians—Dameron, Gryce and Jones—were pioneering a new sophisticated harmonic sound influenced by Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” recordings. But their version of cool was much tougher than the laid-back, West Coast interpretation being advanced by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

The East Coast leveraging of cool was more melodically complex and musically urgent than the Hollywood approach, which relied on contrapuntal minimalism. All you have to do is listen to Gigi Gryce’s staggeringly pretty Keeping Up With Jonesy from 1953 to hear the sizable changes taking place. In Brown’s hands, East Coast cool would become hard bop within a year.

In the summer of 1953, Brownie was at the right place at the right time after extensive healing following a horrible college auto accident in 1950. The crash left Brown with two broken legs, and he was in a full-body cast for months while undergoing skin and bone grafts. Released in May 1951, Brown spent the next year trying to regain his trumpet playing skills.

In 1953 Brown joined Tadd Dameron’s group, which featured  Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Herb Mullins on trombone, Gigi Gryce on alto saxophone, Benny Golson on tenor, Oscar Estelle on baritone,  Dameron on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. The band recorded four beautiful Dameron originals for Prestige on June 11—Philly J.J., Choose Now, Dial B for Beauty and Theme of No Repeat.…..Learn More

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