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 Clifford “Brownie” Brown, Sr

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Clifford “Brownie” Brown, Sr

  • Birth 30 Oct 1930 Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
  • Death 26 Jun 1956 Bedford, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA
  • Plot Just inside gate to the right.
  • Memorial ID 60900814

Jazz trumpeter and composer. Best known for the jazz standard "Joy Spring" (1954) one of the best known songs that he wrote. Often referred to as the most brilliant trumpet player of his generation, an original and memorable composer, a dynamic stage presence and one of the authentic legends of modern jazz. Noted for lyricism, clarity of sound, and grace of technique. He was a principal figure in the hard-bop idiom. He died at age 25, leaving behind only four years' worth of recordings. Nonetheless, he had a considerable influence on later jazz trumpet players, including Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Valery Ponomarev, and Wynton Marsalis. His playing was only one aspect of his talent; he was also a fine composer, creating many works that have become modern jazz standards. As a young high school student he began playing trumpet and within a very short time was active in college and other youth bands. By his late teens he had attracted the favorable attention of leading jazz men, including fellow trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Fats Navarro. At the end of the 40s he was studying music at Maryland University and in 1952, following recovery from a serious road accident, he made his first records with Chris Powell and Tadd Dameron. In the autumn of 1953 he was a member of the big band Lionel Hampton took to Europe. Liberally filled with precocious talent, this band attracted considerable attention during its tour. Contrary to contractual stipulations, many of the young musicians moonlighted on various recordings and Brown in particular was singled out for such sessions. Back in the USA, he was fired along with most of the rest of the band when Hampton learned of the records they had made. He then joined Art Blakey and in mid-1954 teamed up with Max Roach to form the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet. The quintet was quickly recognized as one of the outstanding groups in contemporary jazz and Brown as a major trumpeter and composer. In 1956, while driving between engagements from Philadelphia to Chicago during a nationwide tour, Brown and another quintet member, pianist Richie Powell along with his wife Nancy, were killed in a tragic road accident. He won the Down Beat critics' poll for the 'New Star of the Year' in 1954; he also was inducted into the Down Beat 'Jazz Hall of Fame' in 1972 in the critics' poll.

Bio by: Curtis Jackson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
  • Added: 30 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 60900814
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clifford “Brownie” Brown, Sr (30 Oct 1930–26 Jun 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 60900814, citing Mount Zion Cemetery, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .