The Complete Blue Note and Pacific Jazz Recordings of Clifford Brown (5 LPs)

(Set is out-of-print)

Meet Clifford Brown, just before his big break.

Can Clifford Brown have made all that recorded music in less than four years? Sometimes it takes researching anthologies like this to realize it.

Brownie’s talent? Nothing short of awesome. Technique? Unmatched, but never flashy. His style and phrasing? Like a singer’s. That beautiful.

Most people honor this legendary musician for the Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet, a group active until an auto crash in 1956 killed Brown. The Complete Blue Note and Pacific Jazz Recordings of Clifford Brown came first, revealing Brown was fully developed, even before joining co-leader Roach.

His first recordings.

New York: The first session from 1953 was co-led by Lou Donaldson and featured Elmo Hope, Percy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones. (Two days later, writer Ira Gitler heard Brown for the first time. He reports, “I nearly fell off my seat.”) His second session was a J. J. Johnson date with Jimmy Heath, John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke.

The third featured Gigi Gryce, Charlie Rouse, John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Art Blakey. Then Blakey led Donaldson, Horace Silver, Curley Russell, and Brown live at a magical Birdland session. They played as if any one of them could have been the leader.

L.A.: Clifford had already joined Max, but he made two dates for Pacific Jazz with Zoot Sims, Russ Freeman, Shelly Manne, Stu Williamson, Bob Gordon, Joe Mondragon (replaced by Carson Smith on the second session), and Jack Montrose.

Includes unreleased gems.

Five LPs contain all of Clifford’s live and studio dates for Blue Note and Pacific Jazz, with seven tracks never before released. The 12-page booklet includes an essay by Gitler, rare photographs, and a lovely reminiscence by Brownie’s widow, LaRue.

#1 Reissue of the Year 

(1985 down beat International Critics Poll)

“This sect stretches the five-star rating to its outermost limits.” 

Leonard Feather, The L.A. Times

“That it belongs in every jazz record collection should go without saying.”

Francis Davis, Musician Magazine