Clifford Brown – “Philly J”

On this day (June 11) in 1953, trumpeter Clifford Brown, a brilliant improviser and a model for clean-living in jazz, recorded a series of tracks for Prestige with a band led by Tad Dameron and featuring Benny Golson, Percy Heath, Philly Joe Jones and others. The album was originally released later that year as A Study In Dameronia. But after Brown’s tragic death in June of 1956 — he was killed at the age of 25 after a car he had been riding in on a way to a gig careened off the Pennsylvania Turnpike — the material was re-released with four additional tunes as Memorial, Brown’s first posthumous album. “Philly J” is a track from the Dameronia session that shows Brown in full bloom, playing the kind of warm, flickering trumpet solos that made him a legend.

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