Re: I Remember Clifford

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Posted by Forrest Williams ( on May 06, 2003 at 20:10:36:

In Reply to: posted by Seth Priebe on April 30, 2003 at 15:23:23:

: I want to know everything I can about the ballad...such as what the compser was like, what inspired the tune, how many diferent arrangements there are of the tune, anything else that would be of interest. Please let me know.

The melody was written by Benny Golson in memory of the phnomenal (yet young) Clifford Brown. Clifford Brown was a be-bop trumpet player of simply awesome ability - even without the hype about Clifford that resulted from his untimely death, I think I would've always looked to Clifford Brown as the greatest Jazz trumpet player of the 20th Century - better than Maynard, Louis or even Miles. The only other player who even comes close to Clifford Brown is Clark Terry.

At any rate, Clifford Brown was killed in a car wreck at the age of 25, when he was still improving and growing. A man with a clean lifestyle, it's hard to say how far he might've gone had he lived longer.

Clifford performed in 1954 with Art Blakey's group (pre-"Jazz Messengers" era), and after Clifford died, Golson wrote "I Remember Clifford" for Art Blakey, who first performed it (I believe...).

Everything I've ever read about Clifford Brown indicates that he was a warm, funny and personable human being, and his music reflects his honest nature. It's not an exaggeration to say that his untimely death broke the hearts of many older musicians (like Blakey and Max Roach) who looked to Clifford, with his high personal standards, as Jazz's torch bearer for the next generation. It can be argued that Jazz never fully recovered from the loss of such a one as Clifford Brown.

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