Clifford Brown (October 30, 1930 – June 26, 1956), aka "Brownie," was an influential and highly rated American jazz trumpeter. He died aged 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.
He won the Down Beat critics' poll for the 'New Star of the Year' in 1954; he was inducted into the Down Beat 'Jazz Hall of Fame' in 1972 in the critics' poll.
Brown was born in Wilmington, Delaware. After briefly attending Delaware State University and Maryland State College (University of Maryland, Eastern Shore), he moved into playing music professionally, where he quickly became one of the most highly regarded trumpeters in jazz.
His style was influenced by Fats Navarro, sharing Navarro's virtuosic technique and brilliance of invention. His sound was warm and round, and notably consistent across the full range of the instrument. He could articulate every note, even at the high tempos which seemed to present no difficulty to him; this served to enhance the impression of his speed of execution. His sense of harmony was highly developed, enabling him to deliver bold statements through complex harmonic progressions (chord changes), and embodying the linear, "algebraic" terms of bebop harmony. As well as his up-tempo prowess, he could express himself deeply in a ballad performance. It is said that he played each set as though it would be his last.
Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins (born September 7, 1930 in New York City) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Rollins' long, prolific career began at the age of 11, and he was playing with piano legend Thelonious Monk before reaching the age of 20. Rollins is still touring and recording today, having outlived most of his contemporaries such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Max Roach, and Art Blakey, all performers with whom he recorded.
Rollins started as a pianist, changed to alto saxophone, and finally switched to tenor in 1946. During his high-school years, he played in a band with other future jazz legends Jackie McLean and Kenny Drew. He was first recorded in 1949 with Babs Gonzales – in the same year he recorded with J. J. Johnson and Bud Powell. In his recordings through 1954, he played with performers such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.
In 1950, Rollins was arrested for armed robbery and given a sentence of three years. He spent 10 months in Rikers Island jail before he was released on parole. In 1952 he was arrested for violating the terms of his parole by using heroin. Rollins was assigned to the Federal Medical Center, Lexington, at the time the only assistance in the U.S. for drug addicts. While there he was a volunteer for then-experimental Methadone therapy and was able to break his heroin habit. Rollins himself initially feared sobriety would impair his musicianship, but then went on to greater success.
As a saxophonist he had initially been attracted to the jump and R&B sounds of performers like Louis Jordan, but soon became drawn into the mainstream tenor saxophone tradition. Joachim Berendt has described this tradition as sitting between the two poles of the strong sonority of Coleman Hawkins and the light flexible phrasing of Lester Young, which did so much to inspire the fleet improvisation of be-bop in the 1950s. Rollins drew the two threads together as a fluid post-bop improviser with a sound as strong and resonant as any since Hawkins himself.
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