Besides Miles Davis, Clifford Brown is my other favorite jazz trumpeter. Unlike Miles’s work, which I have an extensive collection, I only own three Brownie’s albums, but I keep revisiting them again and again. His crisp, melodic phrasing and big, bright tone mesmerize me every time. Unfortunately Brownie didn’t make much recordings because he was killed in a car accident when he was only twenty-five.
Also unlike Miles, whose music and life had been documented in great lengths, Brownie only has one major biography. Nick Catalano’s Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter is a short, but well-researched text on the jazz trumpet giant. From his childhood development to his beautiful personality to his virtuosity, readers can see how Brownie became one of the most influential trumpeters in the world of jazz. Catalano’s analysis of the Brown-Roach-Rollins collaboration is a must read.