A Night at Birdland w/ Clifford Brown (Gatefold)
Warning: Last items in stock!
This group represents the germ of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and marked the path for the future. Brown, pianist Horace Silver, and alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson were somewhat established, but skyrocketed to stardom after this band switched personnel. This was perhaps Blakey’s most acclaimed combo, along with the latter-period bands featuring Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. Three of Silver’s greatest compositions can be heard here: “Split Kick”, “Quicksilver”, and “Mayreh” (a reharmonization of the standard “All God’s Children Got Rhythm”). Clifford’s wonderful ballad playing is showcased on “Once in a While”. This music was first released in 1954 on three 10” LPs, and then remarketed in 1956 on two 12” LPs, whose configuration is followed here.
Recorded live at Birdland, New York, February 21, 1954.
One of the most renowned jazz photographers of all time, Francis Wolff (1907-1971) was also a record company executive and producer, whose skills were essential to the success of the Blue Note record label. Born Jakob Franz Wolff in Berlin, Germany, he soon became a jazz enthusiast, despite the government ban placed on this type of music after 1933. A Jew, in 1939 he left Berlin, where he had worked as a commercial photographer, and established himself in New York. He began working there with his childhood friend Alfred Lion, who had co-founded Blue Note Records with Max Margulis. The latter soon dropped out of any involvement in the company, and Wolff joined Lion in running it. Wolff took thousands of photographs during the label’s recording sessions and rehearsals. His highly personal visual concept would be forever associated with both Blue Note and jazz as a whole.