Lee Morgan: I Remember Clifford
I Remember Clifford
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Lee Morgan, Vol. 3 (EMI/Blue Note 6413)
Gigi Gryce, alto sax; Paul Chambers, bass; Charlie Persip, drums.
Composed and arranged by Benny Golson.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, March 24, 1957
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
The heartbreaking death of Clifford Brown devastated the jazz community in 1956. Admired not only for his extraordinary trumpeting but also for his clean-living gentlemanliness, if there was ever a musician who deserved to be honored with an elegy this beautiful, it was Brownie. Benny Golson tapped 18-year-old Philadelphian trumpet sensation Lee Morgan to unveil his composition, passing the torch from the great master to one of his most gifted disciples.
No frills are necessary with Golson’s immaculate melody and the normally hurried and excitable young Morgan adheres closely to it, expressive and melancholic while recalling his mentor with a velvety sound and warm vibrato. Though his improvisation exudes a lighter, bouncier spirit, it is infused with a loving reverence, capturing both the tender and playful sides of the young trumpeter’s playing. Golson has said, “I wanted to create a melody that the public would remember and associate it with [Brown].” He did just that; with the help of Morgan, “I Remember Clifford” remains one of the most touching and enduring ballads in the annals of jazz.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic
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