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A Night At Birdland, Vol. 1 & 2

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Album Review

Just prior to forming the first edition of the Jazz Messengers, drummer Art Blakey led a superb quintet at Birdland for a brief gig in 1954. The band featured the great trumpeter Clifford Brown, altoist Lou Donaldson, pianist Horace Silver, and bassist Curly Russell in addition to the leader/drummer. All of the music has since been reissued as part of a Clifford Brown box set for Mosaic, but this is the original LP. The first volume is highlighted by "A Night in Tunisia," "Quicksilver," and "Once in a While" and finds all of the participants in inspired form. Classic bop.


Born: October 30, 1930 in Wilmington, DE

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s

Clifford Brown's death in a car accident at the age of 25 was one of the great tragedies in jazz history. Already ranking with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis as one of the top trumpeters in jazz, Brownie was still improving in 1956. Plus he was a clean liver and was not even driving; the up-and-coming pianist Richie Powell and his wife (who was driving) also perished in the crash. Clifford Brown accomplished a great deal in the short time he had. He started on trumpet when he was 15, and by 1948...
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