O.J.'s Trumpet Page Great artists

Clifford Brown (1930 - 1956)

Clifford Benjamin Brown was born in Wilmington, Delaware on October 30, 1930. He was the youngest of 8 kids. His father, Joe Brown was a true music lover and he encouraged all his children to have as much formal training in music as possible. As a kid Clifford started "messing around" with his fathers trumpet. By age twelve, Clifford showed such interest that Joe decided to provide him with private lessons.
Clifford Brown studied math at Delaware and music at the Maryland State College.
In 1950, he was hospitalized after a car accident.
He died in a tragic car accident, Tuesday, June 26,1956, while traveling from Philadelphia to Chicago.

Robert "Boysie" Lowery - "the classes"
Clifford Brown was a junior high school student (at Howard High) when he started as student of Lowery.
"I didn't start him in a book" said Lowery, "I taught him how to hear."
Lowery also encouraged students to record their practice session. In the 1940's wire spool recorders existed. Clifford Brown became one of the first jazz players to use these devices.

Harry Andrews was hired as band director at Howard High. "I started him [Brown] on the Prescott system, which is based on the Arban's method" said Andrews."I also introduced him to the non-pressure system. He had been using a lot of pressure on putting his lips to the mouthpiece."

Performing career:
In Philadelphia, he performed together with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro, whose style was a major influence on him. 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.

Trumpet practice:
Clifford used to practice a lot. LaRue had this recollection (page 154 in the Catalano book):
"I'll put it like this: We would have breakfast, and Clifford would practice. We would go out and then Clifford would practice. We would have lunch and Clifford would practice. Clifford practiced anytime he possibly could, and even if we were in a place where he couldn't blow his horn, even with the mute, he would do lip exercises and tongue exercises or he would just simply play his mouthpiece. He played constantly."

The legacy:
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."

A book on Clifford:
By Nick Catalano: "Clifford Brown : The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter"

"Brownie" in Norway:
On September 6th 1953, Brownie played in Norway. It was the first country outside U.S. and he was a member of the Linonel Hampton band.

Sound samples:
Here are some sound samples in RealAudio.
Are you interested in the imporvisor you should seek out the Max Roach-Clifford Brown recordings. If you want to listen closely to the trumpeter's tone you could go to Clifford Brown with Strings.

Study in Brown:

Clifford Brown with Strings:

Links to Other Clifford Brown Sites:

oj. 2001