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Live Reviews

Clifford Brown-Max Roach Project at the Piedmont Piano Company

By Published: August 25, 2013
After everyone walked around inspecting pianos, the band reconvened for a rendition of Brown's "most famous" composition, "Joy Spring," which featured Sabine's swirling piano. Sax and trumpet played in tandem, each leaving the stage to allow the other to solo.

The classic "Daahoud" was next. An intricately fingered bass solo introduced Clifford Brown's "Georgia Dilemma," which had swinging sax and trumpet solos on tap. Barnhart then offered Stewart an opportunity to play his choice of ballads, and the saxophonist launched into a nuanced rendering of the lyrical "Laura," a ballad which has been covered hundreds of times. Cameron offered up exquisite, swirling brush work.

Bud Powell's "Gertrude's Bounce" followed, as Barnhart gripped his trumpet firmly while fingering the valves. Next, George Gershwin's "Our Love is Here to Stay" afforded Barnhart a short but astonishing opportunity to show off his formidable plunger chops, accompanied by Chambers. At the end he exclaimed "That's a lot of work for one hand and a plunger—my goodness." Then, Barnhart led the charge with "Sweet Clifford"—a tune wherein Brown had appropriated "Sweet Georgia Brown" to build a composition suitable for Max Roach's rapid-fire drumming. The drums and horns chimed in as the tune ended and the evening drew to a close.

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