Home » Jazz Articles » New York Beat » 92nd Street Y Jazz in July: The Music of Clifford Brown


92nd Street Y Jazz in July: The Music of Clifford Brown


View read count
The Y's Jazz in July programing this summer included an evening celebrating the music of Clifford Brown on July 23rd—a treat for me as it was one of the few such tributes I've seen since Oxford U. published my biography of Brownie over a decade ago. The production included a panorama of Brownie photos projected onto the stage's big screen and some knowledgeable commentary from the series' director Bill Charlap.

The musical aggregation amassed for the evening included trumpeters Jeremy Pelt, Warren Vache, and Joe Magnarelli. The rhythm section featured the Washington boys Peter on bass and Kenny on drums. Charlap and his keyboard directed matters and new singing phenom Veronica Swift supplied the vocals.

The production was comprehensive with Clifford Brown compositions and recordings well represented; Such Brownie standards as "Joy Spring," "Daahoud," "Sandu," "Gerkin for Perkin," and "Blues Walk" were featured and the packed audience was treated to selections not heard in these parts for a while. The trumpet trio worked well although a tenor sax and two horns might have provided greater authenticity in capturing the Clifford Brown—Max Roach imprimatur. The horn players played the Heads with confident aplomb and their improvisations were evocative of the hard bop magic that Brownie engineered over 60 years ago. The Washington rhythming was delivered with the usual understated authority and Charlap's comping and improvs provided a highlight for this writer. Swift's vocals were outstanding. The young star continues to increase her performance weaponry and delivers lyrics with the power of a jazz veteran. I was hoping for the inclusion of Sonny Rollins's tune "Pent-Up House" (Swift's Mom, jazz star Stephanie Nakasian wrote memorable Lyrics) which was recorded in the last session before Brownie's tragic demise in 1956.

The Jazz in July series continues to feature some of Gotham's most thoughtful jazz programming and, hopefully, Charlap and company can continue their masterful run.

Next >



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Jazz article: Eric Reed Quartet at Smoke
Jazz article: Voices of Mississippi at Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz article: The Mingus Big Band at The Django


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.