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  • Product Code: OJCDD-017-2
This inaccurately named "Memorial" album is a reissue of two recording sessions by Clifford Brown made in 1953 and 1954 with an alternative take added to the CD to bring it close to 45 minutes of music. These recording events took place about halfway between Brown's two serious car accidents, the last in 1956 was the fatal one. The first four tracks were cut while Brown and Art Farmer were on a European tour with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra with a group called the Swedish All Stars. The remaining tracks were done with a group headed by Tadd Dameron. Like most of his recordings as a leader, Dameron compositions and arrangements made up the musical play list. Both these performances represented another step in Brown's musical development that came to fruition in 1954. Then he and Max Roach formed their quintet where their collaboration produced what was to become known as hard bop. But at this juncture in Brown's career, he had not yet reached the apex of his musicianship, or as much of an apex as he could with a life cut so short. With regard to the Dameron-led performances, his arrangements are interesting and compelling but, with the passage of time, they turn out to be not all that memorable. Of special note is Brown's swinging on "Philly J.J." and his muted horn on "Theme of No Repeat." There's plenty of top-notch playing as might be expected from this all-star group. _x000D_ The Stockholm tracks are more commanding as Brown and Farmer are tamed with cream of the crop Swedish musicians in a high-voltage blowing session. The ensemble works and the solos are first-rate. Acclaimed Swedish tenor sax man, Arne Domnerus, shines on Quincy Jones' "Stockholm Sweetnin'" and on "Lover Come Back to Me." Domnerus' squeaking on the latter indicates he was having a problem with his reed. But it's Brown and Farmer who carry the musical load, trading choruses throughout. Their solos on "Lover Come Back to Me" are poignant with a dash of astringency to give them a bite. All in all, this so-called memorial album is very satisfying and should attract both Clifford Brown and straight-ahead jazz fans. _x000D_ by Dave Nathan - All Music Guide

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