Home » Jazz Articles » New York Beat » Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research


Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research


Sign in to view read count
Jazz history is all about revisionism. New material about musicians—biographical information, newly discovered recordings and photos, corrected anecdotes and stories -are some of the areas where history is constantly evolving. This is an important process and writers should always be aware of it and report its occurrences.

Since I published my book on Clifford Brown Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter (Oxford University Press, 2000) I have been contacted by individuals who have provided valuable revisionist material which I have acknowledged in this column. The latest material comes from James Harrod, a self- described jazz researcher and blogger who lives in Irvine, California.

Harrod's latest blog fills in some strategic blanks about the spring and summer of 1954 when Brownie went out to California to join Max Roach and form a new quintet. The episode begins in April when the new quintet opened at the California Club and included Sonny Stitt in the group. Harrod notes that a local Bobby Bradford caught the group and he includes an interesting interview that Bradford did with one Ben Young. The club is described as being at "Santa Barbara and Western" and a flyer that Harrod includes gives the address as 1759 W. Santa Barbara.

Harrod inserts a photo of an AFM contract with Max dated April 28th that includes the names of Teddy Edwards, George Bledsoe, and Carl Perkins thus corroborating what I wrote in my book. He adds a note about the group's appearance at the "Sartu theater" in L.A. and includes a "Playgoer" advertisement of the venue on Hollywood Blvd.

Throughout, Harrod's blog contains several photos of Brownie, his wife La Rue, Max, and other musicians. Equally important are reproductions of engagement contracts, venue advertisements, album jacket covers, critical commentary, and production notes.

Fans, scholars, writers and producers will all find James Harrod's blog incisive and informative. His contribution to Clifford Brown's legacy is essential as the revisionist history of this great jazz artist continues to unfold.



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.