Monday, January 7, 2008

My New CDs: Clifford Brown & Max Roach

Sometimes a review, interview, or other article points me toward some music I like. Most recently, an Appreciation piece (i.e., an obit in the Washington Post Style section) on Max Roach spurred me to add the album Clifford Brown & Max Roach to my Amazon wish list just before xmas.

When Max Roach passed away a couple months ago, he was the last of the jazz greats who created the bebop movement. He was quite a man and quite an artist who lived a life that was full of creating fine music and (perhaps more importantly) sharing his passion with others. He won a MacArthur "Genius" grant in 1988, so his greatness of mind, talent, and spirit were known to many.

On the other hand, Clifford Brown died in a car accident at age 25. In his tragically short life, he managed to create some really tremendous music including A Night at Birdland (with Art Blakey) and his collaboration with Max Roach and his quintet (a few albums worth.)

This music is very accessible. Even someone who is not into jazz could probably find a tune or two they like in this album. Both Brown and Roach were technically impressive performers who were able to do things that few others could do. The really amazing part is that they both were able to bring such passion and feeling to their music.

It's sad that it took Max Roach's death to get me to appreciate what these two great talents brought to the world of music.

The Day

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