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No. 10, October 2000
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Clifford Brown
Biography
Nick Catalano: Clifford Brown. The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter. Oxford University Press, 2000, 208 p.
[August 17, 2002: out of print]
The trumpeter and composer Clifford Brown was born in a African-American middle class family in Wilmington, DE, in 1930. He died in a tragic car accident in 1956, before his 26th birthday. But it was not for this reason alone that he has become a legend. He had studied with band director Harry Andrews, with Robert Lowery and Sam Wooding. In Philadelphia, he performed together with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro, whose style was a major influence on him. Clifford Brown studied math at Delaware and music at the Maryland State College. Already in 1950, he was hospitalized after a car accident. Later he played in Chris Powell's Blue Flames band. In 1953, he toured Europe with Lionel Hampton, recorded with Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, J.J. Johnson, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. In 1954, he formed the Brown-Roach quintet, together with drummer Max Roach. In 1955, Sonny Rollins became a member of the group when he replaced Harold Land. Despite a professional career shorter than five years, ended by a car accident while traveling from Philadelphia to Chicago, Clifford Brown is considered one of the most influential jazz trumpeters. Leonard Feather writes that he was "admired for his broad tone and strong attack; flawless execution in all registers and at all tempos; flowing, logical improvisations; and lyrical ballad playing."
 
Nick Catalano, a University Performing Arts Director and Professor of Music and Literature at Pace University, who himself has not only taught and written about, but also played and produced jazz, e.g. as a writer-producer of films and documentaries for television, has written a notable biography on The Life and Art of Clifford Brown. The trumpeter was a role model for other musicians because he was clean-living and drug free. In this regard, he had an important influence on tenor saxophone player Sonny Rollins. Catalano covers the family background, the high school years and Clifford Brown's moves to Philadelphia, New York and California, the foundation of the Brown-Roach quintet and his collaborations with other famous musicians. The man and his music come alive. This biography is a tribute to an artist who died to early. It is based on interviews with Clifford Brown's family, friends and fellow jazz musicians.
 

www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 10, October 2000
current edition & archives
Art  Film  Music  History  Politics  Archives
Links  For Advertisers  Feedback  German edition  Travel

Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.