Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Brownie: The Complete EmArcy Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
This is the mother lode, 10 full discs of the great hard-bop trumpeter Clifford Brown recorded at the peak of his powers for Emarcy Records in 1954-56 leading up to his tragic death in a car crash at the age of 25. Start ... more »
This is the mother lode, 10 full discs of the great hard-bop trumpeter Clifford Brown recorded at the peak of his powers for Emarcy Records in 1954-56 leading up to his tragic death in a car crash at the age of 25. Start with his first quintet recordings with drummer Max Roach, pianist Richie Powell (Bud's younger brother), bassist George Morrow, and underrated tenor saxophonist Harold Land, including the great readings of "I Get a Kick Out of You" and the Brown originals "Daahoud" and "Joy Spring." Then it's on to the Clifford Brown All-Stars including Roach and saxophonists Herb Geller and Joe Main, then the huge All Star Live Jam Session with Geller, Land, trumpeters Clark Terry and Maynard Ferguson, and vocalist Dinah Washington. The vocal work continues with Brown's seminal albums with Sarah Vaughan and Helen Merrill, and the sensitivity Brown shows there comes full flower with his Clifford Brown with Strings, a rare example of a jazz-with-strings album that actually works, thanks to his beautiful phrasing on "Stardust" and others. Then it's back to the classic Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, with Sonny Rollins eventually replacing Land in what's considered one of the all-time-great jazz ensembles. Brownie isn't a perfect package: It includes a ton of bonus tracks--that's a good thing, but the integrity of the original albums is lost. For example, disc 3 consists of three takes of "Coronado," 43 minutes in all. And of course while this 10-disc set is a great collection, any Brown lover still needs to pick up Sonny Rollins Plus Four and at least some of his Blue Note work--A Night at Birdland or, for gourmands, the perfect bookend to this set, the four-disc Complete Blue Note & Pacific Jazz Recordings. --David Horiuchi
Just one word: Essential!
Gerhard Auer | Leoben, Steiermark Austria | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific collection! Every single note that Clifford recorded for the EmArcy label in 1954 and 1955 is included here, and that means: 11 albums plus a lot of bonus tracks. Listening to this immense body of work makes one wonder how a man in his mid-twenties could have achieved that much - as a trumpet player, as a bandleader, as a creative musician. The set is constantly thrilling, you won't find a weak track here. - CDs 1, 2, 9 and 10 contain the quintet recordings with Harold Land and Sonny Rollins (the original releases: Clifford Brown & Max Roach, Brown & Roach Inc., Study In Brown, More Study In Brown, At Basin Street). The original compositions (Swingin`, The Blues Walk, Sandu,...) are all first-rate and executed with an unparalleled feeling for the 'right notes' - every single solo is downright perfect. The band really functions as a unity - just listen to the final section on The Blues Walk when the trumpet/saxophone chases have gone down to half-bar (!) chases and the horns of Brown and Land blend almost like a single instrument! - The versions of standards like Cherokee and Stompin` at the Savoy border on definitive, at least as far as the Hardbop era is concerned. There is a lot of fun, too, like the 'train' intro to Take The A Train and the many quotes from other tunes, especially by pianist Richie Powell. I Get A Kick Out Of You and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing with their special arrangements (with changing meters) are a particular joy to listen to; if you've heard Art Blakey's version of Moon River, you've got an idea of the feelings these performances evoke. Wonderful stuff throughout! - CDs 3 and 4 contain the long jams recorded with the Clifford Brown All Stars (the original releases: The Clifford Brown All Stars, Best Coast Jazz), featuring 3 saxophonists (Herb Geller, Joe Maini, Walter Benton). Especially Caravan is a gem, running for 15 minutes with not a second wasted. - CDs 5 and 6 contain the complete monster jam session with Dinah Washington (the original releases: Jam Session, Dinah Jams, Jams 2) in the original sequence, featuring among others Herb Geller on saxophone and Clark Terry / Maynard Ferguson on trumpet. Dinah's passionate vocals send shivers down your spine on ballads like Darn That Dream and There is No Greater Love, and they are the cream on the near-10minute-version of Lover Come Back To Me. Brilliant soloing by all musicians! Listen to I've Got You Under My Skin, with all 3 trumpet players! No need to blame Maynard Ferguson for his highnote-addicted playing, for it is well in place here. And then there's the sheer ecstasy in Move, which is played at breakneck speed and reaches levels of intensity in the first ensemble passage which few Bop records reach even in the middle of the solos... - CD 7 is the CD Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown; CD 8 combines Helen Merrill Featuring Clifford Brown and Clifford Brown With Strings. Clifford provides for the perfect counterpoint to the two (very different) vocalists. No need to say anything about Sarah Vaughan; pure beauty of sound! Helen Merrill is a highly underrated (and underrecorded) singer who CARESSES the microphone most of the time so that she seems to SHOUT when she raises her voice just slightly. - The recording with strings is a true masterpiece, fully showing Clifford's immense talent for ballad playing. The last piece in the puzzle showing his great bandwidth. -- If you like any of Clifford's recordings, chances are you'll like the whole bunch - and this box set is the peak of his output. Hardbop doesn't get any better than this!"
Fabio | Chicago, Illinois United States | 02/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clifford Brown may not be as famous as Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis, but he left an enduring mark in the history of jazz,
and many musicians and fans consider him to be one of the finest improvisers and composers of the 1950's. Among jazz trumpet players, Brown has an almost god like status. If you want to be taken seriously as a jazz trumpet player, you had better know Brown's compositions and you should be able to improvise in a style reminiscent of Brown.The Emarcy Clifford Brown set in an essential document of Brown's career. It has crucial recordings of his most famous compositions and great tracks with the master jazz singers. That by itself is worth the price of admission, but there is more. There are jam sessions, and a great album with Helem Merrill.So what you get is a complete document of a jazz great playing with other jazz greats, on some recordings which went on to define jazz in the years to come. The recording quality is good, and should satisfy all but the most hard core audiophiles.This is essential material for fans of hard bop, jazz songs and jazz trumpet. You really can't go wrong.The only major criticism I have is that the CD's put alternate takes next to the originals, so unless you program your CD player, you get repition. I don't care what people say, but when Clifford Brown wrote "Joy Spring" he sure didn't expect people to listen to it three times in a row. It's just annoying."