Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet – The Last Concert

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“Since Clifford Brown’s unexpected and sudden death following a 1956 car crash, collectors have sought any previously unknown recordings to add to the already sizable legacy left by a trumpet genius who didn’t reach his 26th birthday. The Last Concert was broadcast live just eight days prior to his passing, recorded by a listener. Brown, along with co-leader Max Roach on drums, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, pianist Richie Powell (who died in the accident with Brown), and bassist George Morrow, were in high spirits as they played in the Continental Restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. The show starts off with Brown’s only known interpretation of “Just One of Those Things,” a lengthy workout showcasing Brown, Rollins, and Powell. The trumpeter’s moving solo in “You Go to My Head” is also a highlight. A boisterous “I Get a Kick Out of You” (clocking in at 24:59) concludes this final show. Although there are some minor problems with the source material, including sporadic tape drop-outs and incomplete performances (the latter due to the fact that some of them run as long as 25 minutes, which would make it tough to judge when to change a tape reel), the recording quality is surprisingly good, even if it was made by someone in the audience. The remaining tracks on disc two come from a 1955 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, and may exist in better shape within the holdings of the Library of Congress, which has lots of live jazz originally broadcast behind the Iron Curtain by Voice of America. Harold Land is the tenor saxophonist on this occasion, with the remaining musicians the same. Brown and Land ignite fireworks with the trumpeter’s still powerful “Daahoud.” Powell’s “Jacqui” demonstrates his potential as a composer. The final track features Brown sitting in with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Gerry Mulligan, and Chet Baker in a rousing “Tea for Two” that unfortunately fades prior to completion, due to the tape running out. The sound flaws on this set are mainly from the rowdy audience, as the instruments are fairly distinct.” – Ken Dryden/AllMusic.

Track listing:

1-1 Just One Of Those Things
1-2 You Go To My Head
1-3 Good Bait
1-4 One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
1-5 Someone To Watch Over Me
1-6 What’s New
1-7 These Foolish Things

2-1 I Get A Kick Out Of You
2-2 Daahoud
2-3 A Ghost Of A Chance
2-4 Jaqui
2-5 I Get A Kick Out Of You
2-6 Tea For Two

Tracks 1-1 to 2-1: “The Final Concert” recorded at Continental Restaurant, Norfolk, Virginia, June 18, 1956, just one week before Brownie’s tragic death.
Tracks 2-2 to 2-5: The quintet’s performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, July 16, 1955.
Track 2-6: Jam Session at the same Newport festival in which Clifford Brown plays with Chet Baker, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan and the Dave Brubeck Trio!

Personnel:

Paul Desmond (tracks: 2-6) – alto saxophone
Gerry Mulligan (tracks: 2-6) – baritone saxophone
George Morrow (tracks: 1-1 to 2-5), Norman Bates (tracks: 2-6) – bass
Joe Dodge (tracks: 2-6), Max Roach (tracks: 1-1 to 2-5) – drums
Dave Brubeck (tracks: 2-6), Richie Powell (tracks: 1-1 to 2-5) – piano
Harold Land (tracks: 2-2 to 2-5), Sonny Rollins (tracks: 1-1 to 2-1) – tenor saxophone
Chet Baker (tracks: 2-6), Clifford Brown – trumpet

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Label: RLR Records ‎– RLR 88617
Format: 2 × CD, Album
Released: 2005
Recorded: June 18, 1956 & 1955
Duration: 02:08:18

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