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Clifford Brown And Max Roach
Format: Audio CDChange
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2009
Clifford Brown; arguably one of the most forgotten, underated Jazz musicians of all time, probably tragically due to his short life and even shorter recording history - as can be seen by the number of reviews for this outstanding record. Max Roach; one of the greatest drummers of all time, and not just in jazz

This album is probably Clifford's best and should be in everyone's collection; one of the finest jazz records I have come across. Roach's drumming is awesome, Clifford's horn on fire, so articulate. If you like bebop, this is almost the definition of it. It's an involving, can't switch off album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Max Roach died aged 83, having lived through everything from swing to bebop, hard bop and modal jazz, taking in everything from cosmic groove, percussion only recordings, to orchestral and nostalgic jazz, and is considered a lynchpin in the change in jazz drumming styles, from the four-to-the-floor kick drum of swing, into the fluid ride-dominated styles of bop and beyond.

In stark contrast, Clifford Brown died aged only 25, and his legacy, whilst inspiring much passion and devotion, is, in all fairness and truth, much more limited, both in terms of his instrument, and even more so in broader terms. Whereas Roach had time to live out a life filled with all kinds of activities radiating out from his musical life, including active roles in politics and education, and, of course, his hugely prolific career both as a side-man and band-leader, in forming the evolution of jazz itself.

This is a classic date from a band that many consider one of the best of its time in jazz. Personally, as much as I like it, and I do like it a lot, there's a lot of other stuff I like even more, hence this only gets four stars, whilst Horace Silver's Song for My Father, or Grant Green's Idle Moments get the unreserved five stars. If all the material was up to the standard of the classic jazz standard 'Joy Spring', one of Brown's gifts to the jazz canon, it'd certainly merit the full five, and there are also versions of 'The Blues Walk', 'Daahoud', and 'Jordu', all of which are excellent compositions, and played well here, but not quite in the same league as 'Joy Spring'.

'Parisian Thoroughfare' and 'Delilah' are both enjoyable and interesting, but neither are as good as the aforementioned selections. 'Delilah' shares, with the treatment of Ellington's 'What Am I here For?', a pronounced melodicism, which might show the influence of Roach's time out West, filling in for Shelly Manne at Howard Rumsey's Hermosa Beach venue, the Lighthouse Café, where the legendary jam sessions could be real marathons, lasting in excess of ten hours! Certainlly there's something of the 'cool school' feel in some of the material, even though it's basically hard bop, and therefore owes more, overtly, to the predecessor bebop sound. Certainly this is markedly so on 'Parisian Thoroughfare', where Roach and bassist George Morrow, already playing an uptempo 180 bpm, jump into double-time behind the band, effectively playing at the hyper-speed-metal type tempo of 360 bpm!

Bonus tracks on this quality Verve reissue include alternate takes of 'The Blues Walk', 'Daahoud', and 'Jordu', plus the only ballad (not on the original album release), the standard 'These Foolish Things', which actually makes for a good change in pace, and features Morrow taking the lead in the first chorus, with Max on brushes, and the band in laid back sensitive mode. All in all a very solid album from an excellent if sadly short-lived band, and only falling short of the full five stars because this area of music was, at this time, so alive with incredible talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 April 2013
Trumpeter Clifford Brown(1930-1956) and drummer Max Roach(1924-2007) co-led this marvellous quintet in the mid-'50s with Harold Land(tenor sax); Richie Powell(piano) & George Morrow(bass).
The eleven enjoyable tracks(with three alternative takes) were recorded in Hollywood on August 2, 3 & 6, 1954 and New York City on February 24, 1955 and highlights include Bud Powell's 'Parisian Thoroughfare' and Clifford Brown's 'Daahoud' & 'Joy Spring'.
This excellent album contains over an hour of some of the finest small group modern jazz ever recorded and is a perfect introduction to the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2006
this is my favourite of all Clifford Brown's albums - as always his sound has soul, style, grace, and depth, and so do the compositions

love every track on here... great way to spend a morning with a coffee this and some of mother nature's finest
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2013
Some really great compositions and plenty of fab solos, particularly from Brownie. The band has a great tone and really nice grooves.
The album is quite a quiet mix, but of good quality, and although the blue starry cover is a bit ugly, it's the music that matters!
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