Clifford Brown: At The Cotton Club (1956)  2011

At The Cotton Club 1956

Track list:

CD 1:
01. Introduction by Clifford Brown (1:28)
02. Take The ‘A’ Train (13:39)
03. Darn That Dream / Intermission announcement by Clifford Brown (4:28)
04. Nice Work If You Can Get It (18:52)
05. Jordu (16:36)
06. Valse Hot (incomplete) (3:44)

CD 2:
01. Introduction by Max Roach into Get Happy (23:25)
02. Untitled Blues (14:09)
03. Delilah (13:27)
04. Lover (14:58)

CD 3:
01. Lover Man (6:01)
02. Daahoud (10:42)
03. What’s New (3:48)
04. I’ll Remember April (19:04)
05. Daahoud * (6:53)
06. ‘Round Midnight * (8:27)
07. The Blues Walk * (8:13)


Clifford Brown – trumpet
Sonny Rollins – tenor saxophone
Richie Powell – piano
George Morrow – bass
Max Roach – drums
possible guest drummer on “Lover” – ???Chuck Lampkin???

Recorded: Live at the Cotton Club, Cleveland, Ohio.
CD1, #1-5: Recorded on May 28, 1956.
CD1, #6 & CD 2, #1-2: Recorded on May 29, 1956.
CD 2, #3-4 & CD 3, #1-4: Recorded om June 1, 1956.

*Bonus tracks: CD 3, 5-7: Same Personnel.
Radio broadcast from Town Casino, Buffalo, New York, February 26, 1956.

This compilation:
Label: Rare Live Recordings – RLR 88624
Liner Notes: Stewart Clay (2007)
Cover Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty images
Other Photos: X.


“I play the trumpet, my name is Clifford Brown.”

With these simple and unpretentious words, Brownie introduced himself to the audience of the Cotton Club in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 28, 1956.

And indeed he played the trumpet, with a fire and excellence that has earned him renown worldwide.

May 28 was the opening night of a week-long engagement for the Max Roach-Clifford Brown Quintet, featuring Sonny Rollins on tenor sax, Richie Powell (Bud Powell’s younger brother) on piano, and George Morrow on bass.

Despite the exceptional talent of the individual band members, the quintet proved to be more than the sum of its parts.

The Cleveland Cotton Club performances contained on this package -issued here for the first time ever- were recorded on amateur equipment and include sets played by the quintet on May 28, May 29 and June 1, 1956.

As a bonus to these amazing performances, we present another previously unissued set: a radio broadcast by the same quintet coming from the Town Casino, in Buffalo, New York, recorded on February 26, 1956.
~Lonehill Jazz. 2007.


Don’t believe everything you read:

Comment from Mark E Lewis at (August 13, 2007):

The music on these cds comes from some tapes that belonged to Clifford Brown’s widow, LaRue who was a friend of mine.

Many years ago she gave me a stack of reel to reel tapes to make copies of, some which had been in the trunk of clifford’s car when it crashed.

None of the tapes had any kind of information on them.

So excepting the radio broadcast from Buffalo and the untitled blues, everything else on the three cd’s is from ONE night, somewhere, starting with Take the “A” Train in the first set, and ending with get happy in the third set.

The Cotton Club is a guess, and the recording dates are wrong, because all three sets are surely from the same night.

They are issued out of order here.

The untitled blues, [wee dot] is from another tape, and another night.

Both of these tapes were used to make the record album, “Pure Genius”.

“Lover”, [or Diggin’ Diz] has a guest drummer sitting in.

I think Max said Chuck Lampkin.

My guess is that Clifford recorded most of this with his reel to reel.

When he and Sonny finish their solos, someone moves the mike over to the piano.

Clifford’s solos are a joy to behold, and the cd is worth buying just to hear what he plays on Lover!

I guess the people who put this out felt they had to come up with a title and date to help sell it.

The music is all that counts, and it is beautiful.
~Mark E Lewis