TRC

Clifford Brown: The Complete Paris Sessions [vol 1-3] (1953)

The Complete Paris Sessions 2

The Complete Paris Sessions, vol 1:
1954 Vogue – 1997 BMG France 74321457282

vol 1

Track list:

1-01 – Brown Skins (alt)
1-02 – Brown Skins (master)
1-03 – Deltitnu
1-04 – Keeping Up With Jonesy (master)
1-05 – Keeping Up With Jonesy (alt)
1-06 – Conception (master)
1-07 – Conception (alt)
1-08 – All The Things You Are (master)
1-09 – All The Things You Are (alt)
1-10 – I Cover The Waterfront
1-11 – Goofin’ With Me

Personnel:

vol 1#01-09 – Gigi Gryce and His Orchestra:
Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, Walter Williams, Fernand Verstraete, Fred Gérard: trumpet
Al Hayse, Jimmy Cleveland, Bill Tamper: trombone
Gigi Gryce, Anthony Ortega: alto sax
Clifford Solomon, Henry Bernard: tenor sax
Henri Jouot: baritone sax
Henri Renaud: piano
Pierre Michelot: bass
Alan Dawson: drums
Recorded in Paris on September 28, 1953
Fred Gérard not on #03

vol 1#06-11 – Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown Sextet:
Clifford Brown, trumpet
Gigi Gryce, alto sax
Henri Renaud, piano
Jimmy Gourley, guitar
Pierre Michelot, bass
Jean-Louis Viale, drums
Recorded in Paris on September 29, 1953

vol 1 (The Paris Collection)

In the fall of 1953, Brown—now a member of Lionel Hampton’s band—left for a tour of Europe and North Africa.

Before they left, Hampton reminded the band of his rule against making records on the side.

The practice was common among musicians in big bands who wanted to earn extra cash and a name for themselves during their down time.

The problem for band leaders, of course, was the risk of losing their biggest stars if the sideline records became hits.

Despite Hampton’s firm directive, Brown, Jones, Farmer, Gryce, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland and alto saxophonist Anthony Ortega slipped out of hotels in Stockholm and Paris to record with local jazz musicians.

The recordings turned up on European labels—Metronome and Vogue—and the new sound made them all instant stars.

According to a 2002 obituary of Lionel Hampton in The Independent of London:

“[Hampton’s] 1953 band came to Europe, and it included the young trumpeter Clifford Brown, by then a jazz phenomenon, although Hampton seemed not to notice.

Under the iron fist of Gladys Hampton, the musicians were instructed that they were not allowed to record unless under Lionel’s leadership.

A guard was placed in the lobby of their Paris hotel to prevent any recalcitrant sidemen from escaping.

In the middle of one night, Clifford Brown and Quincy Jones left by a rear bedroom window and went to a studio where Brown cut a batch of recordings which were to change the face of jazz trumpet playing.

Presumably they also supplemented the measly number of dollars which had escaped from Gladys’s fist as salary.”
~Marc Myers

*****

The Complete Paris Sessions, vol 2:
1954 Vogue – 1997 BMG France 74321457292

vol 2

Track list:

2-01 – Minority (master)
2-02 – Minority (alt 2)
2-03 – Minority (alt 3)
2-04 – Salute to the Band Box (master)
2-05 – Salute to the Band Box (alt)
2-06 – Strictly Romantic
2-07 – Baby (master)
2-08 – Baby (alt)
2-09 – Quick Step (master)
2-10 – Quick Step (alt 2)
2-11 – Quick Step (alt 3)
2-12 – Bum’s Rush (master)
2-13 – Bum’s Rush (alt 2)
2-14 – Bum’s Rush (alt 3)
2-15 – No Start, No End

Personnel:

vol 2#01-08 – Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown Sextet:
Clifford Brown: trumpet
Gigi Gryce: alto sax
Henri Renaud: piano
Jimmy Gourley: guitar (except #6,7,8)
Pierre Michelot: bass
Jean-Louis Viale: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 8, 1953

vol 2#09-14 – Gigi Gryce and His Orchestra:
Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Walter Williams: trumpet
Quincy Jones: trumpet & arranger
Jimmy Cleveland, Al Hayse, Benny Vasseur: trombone
Gigi Gryce, Anthony Ortega: alto sax
Clifford Solomon, André Dabonneville: tenor sax
William Boucaya: baritone sax
Henri Renaud: piano
Pierre Michelot: bass
Jean-Louis Viale: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 9, 1953

vol 2#15 – Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown Octet:
Clifford Brown: trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland: trombone
Gigi Gryce: alto sax
Clifford Solomon: tenor sax
Henri Renaud: piano
Jimmy Gourley: guitar
Pierre Michelot: bass
Jean-Louis Viale: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 10, 1953

What’s amazing about all of these 1953 sessions is that you can hear clearly the contributions and influences of each artist.

You can hear the emergence of Brown’s confident trumpet style as well as the fluttering runs that would become a hallmark of his sound.

You can hear Quincy Jones’ early wide-body arranging skills.

You can hear Gigi Gryce’s bold, sensual songwriting and arranging style in Minority, Salute to the Band Box, Strictly Romantic, Quick Step and many others.

And you can hear Tadd’s catchy songs and powdery charts that would reach full flower three years later on the album Fontainebleau.

And Brown is in the thick of all these talents—his jazz sensibilities and soul being marinated by some of the most innovative young composers and arrangers of the day.

I like to think of these sessions as Birth of the Hard Bop—Brown’s, Dameron’s, Gryce’s and Jones’ response to Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool.

Each song is a gem and way ahead of its time, especially when you consider that in the summer of 1953 Charlie Parker was recording sides that would eventually fill out the Verve album Now’s the Time.

Hardly a bad album by Bird but not nearly as ahead of the curve as these Clifford Brown sides.

A significant change was occurring in jazz in 1953.

Fortunately the shift was captured on these Clifford Brown sessions.
~Marc Myers

*****

The Complete Paris Sessions, vol 3:
1953 Vogue – 1998 BMG France 743214573020

vol 3

Track list:

3-01 – (Venez Donc) Chez Moi
3-02 – All Weird (master)
3-03 – All Weird (alt 2)
3-04 – All Weird (alt 3)
3-05 – Blue and Brown
3-06 – I Can Dream, Can’t I (master)
3-07 – I Can Dream, Can’t I (alt 2)
3-08 – I Can Dream, Can’t I (alt 3)
3-09 – The Song is You (master)
3-10 – The Song is You (alt 2)
3-11 – Come Rain or Come Shine (master)
3-12 – Come Rain or Come Shine (alt 2)
3-13 – It Might As Well Be Spring (master)
3-14 – It Might As Well Be Spring (alt 2)
3-15 – You’re a Lucky Guy (master)
3-16 – You’re a Lucky Guy (alt 2)
3-17 – You’re a Lucky Guy (alt 3)

Personnel:

vol 3#01: Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown Octet:
Clifford Brown: trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland: trombone
Gigi Gryce: alto sax
Clifford Solomon: tenor sax
Henri Renaud: piano
Jimmy Gourley: guitar
Pierre Michelot: bass
Jean-Louis Viale: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 10, 1953

vol 3#02-04 – Gigi Gryce/Clifford Brown Nonet:
Clifford Brown: trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland: trombone
Gigi Gryce, Anthony Ortega: alto sax
Clifford Solomon: tenor sax
William Boucaya: baritone sax
Quincy Jones: piano
Marcel Dutrieux: bass
Jean-Louis Viale: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 11, 1953

vol 3#05-17 – Clifford Brown Quartet:
Clifford Brown: trumpet
Henri Renaud: piano
Pierre Michelot: bass
Benny Bennet: drums
Recorded in Paris on October 15, 1953

tracks 5-to-17 feature the great trumpeter with a quiet rhythm section consisting of pianist Henri Renaud, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Benny Bennett.

There are six songs and six alternate takes (including three versions apiece of “I Can Dream, Can’t I” and “You’re a Lucky Guy”) but each of Brownie’s solos are different and his tone is so warm that every performance is well worth hearing.

Ironically the finest solo, a classic version of “It Might as Well Be Spring,” was improvised in one take.
~Marc Myers

*****

Advertisements