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Did Louis Armstrong and Clifford Brown ever play together?


BillF
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At last night's private jazz session at Malcolm Frazer's house Rossano Sportiello said he was at another private session last week where Benny Golson had been guest of honour in the audience. Benny said that when he and Clifford Brown were playing in a Tadd Dameron band (presumably the 1953 nonet that recorded "Choose Now", "Theme of No Repeat", etc and played at Atlantic City) Louis Armstrong had been persuaded to sit in using a borrowed horn. An arrangement of "Sweet Georgia Brown" was found and Louis and Clifford traded fours. Has anyone heard this story before?

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13 hours ago, sgcim said:

Benny Golson was there, and describes the event in detail in his autobiography.

Does he? And Rossano reported it as "undocumented"! He also described the Dameron outfit as a "big band", which I dropped from my retelling.

I take it, sgcim, that it was the Dameron nonet with Brown, Golson, Gryce and PJJ? And did it happen in Atlantic City?

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Many people say Louis Armstrong didn´t like bop and maybe that was so. I think Curtis Fuller once told that he would have liked to play with Louis but he said "too much bebop" .

But I think Louis was hip enough to dig good music and good musicians even if they was from the modern section. He got Dexter Gordon to play with him. I think he told Dexter something like "kid, I like your sound".

I think, many of the musicians from the older generation had ambivalent feelings about that bebop, fearing that they get much publicity. Same with Benny Goodman. He had harsh words about the boppers, but later made a side with Fats and Wardell Gray.

And dig that session Bird with Miles and Kai Winding and the old style trumpetist Max Kaminsky. Miles and Kaminsky trading 4´s , sharing the stage, you can imagine that.

I think if it happened or not, it might not have been impossible, if Louis and Clifford Brown would have played together once......

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Yes, the "two musics" never stayed entirely apart. I seem to recall Louis' bassist, Arvell Shaw quoting "Ornithology" during a solo with the All Stars. Now, was that on "Basin Street Blues"? Perhaps someone will remember ...

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14 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Many people say Louis Armstrong didn´t like bop and maybe that was so. I think Curtis Fuller once told that he would have liked to play with Louis but he said "too much bebop" .

But I think Louis was hip enough to dig good music and good musicians even if they was from the modern section. He got Dexter Gordon to play with him. I think he told Dexter something like "kid, I like your sound".

I think, many of the musicians from the older generation had ambivalent feelings about that bebop, fearing that they get much publicity. Same with Benny Goodman. He had harsh words about the boppers, but later made a side with Fats and Wardell Gray.

And dig that session Bird with Miles and Kai Winding and the old style trumpetist Max Kaminsky. Miles and Kaminsky trading 4´s , sharing the stage, you can imagine that.

I think if it happened or not, it might not have been impossible, if Louis and Clifford Brown would have played together once......

Goodman had a bop band that recorded for Capitol. He loved Wardell Gray. The band wasn't a commercial success, though, so he disbanded it, saying of bop (as you indicate in your post) "I never liked it."

 

 

gregmo

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15 hours ago, gmonahan said:

Goodman had a bop band that recorded for Capitol. He loved Wardell Gray. The band wasn't a commercial success, though, so he disbanded it, saying of bop (as you indicate in your post) "I never liked it."

 

 

gregmo

But later in the early 60´s Tadd Dameron, he himself one of the key figures of so called "bop"  wrote some charts for him, for a tour to Russia if I remember right.

And it´s reported, that even Louis Armstrong seemed to like one track that was played for him on a Blindfold Test if I remember right, it was "John´s Delight", from the Tadd Dameron band of early 1949, when Miles had replaced Fats. I must admit, this "Johns Delight" is some easy listenin tune, so I can imagine how Louis Armstrong said something nice about it.

About Benny Goodman: I think first of all he didn´t like that others got more writings and more gigs, when Billie Eckstine´s Bigband and later Dizzy´s Bigband got top billing. I think Benny Goodman was a business man too.

 Otherwise, musically ......., let me see........"Airmail Special" sounds outright hip. It´s modern for it´s time and towards be-bop. That stuff can go as "bop", hear Billie Eckstine´s band cookin on that, with Fats, one of his best solos.......

Where end´s swing and where start´s bop ? Some of so called tunes on those Savoy sides made by first hand boppers Dex and JJ Johnson don´t sound much more modern like old swing riff´s (Dexter Dig´s In), all those many many Savoy tunes based on rhythm changes, other 32 bar changes and so on, that´s called bop but every pre-bopper could play that.....

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  • 4 years later...
On 2/5/2017 at 7:00 PM, sgcim said:

Benny Golson was there, and describes the event in detail in his autobiography.

Yes, it is described in Golson' autobiography, pages 92-93.

However, it is very unlikely that such meeting ever happened, taking into consideration the well known agendas of Louis Armstrong and the Lionel Hampton Orchestra (for which Brownie played during several months during that year), as demonstrated by Spanish trumpetist Joan Mar Sauqué in his article 'Clifford Brown with Tadd Dameron: chronicle of the summer of 1953', published in the jazz research periodical Jazz-hitz (#04, 2021).

http://jazz-hitz.musikene.eus/index.php/jazz-hitz/article/view/87/51

(the article is in Spanish, but you can find and abstract in English)

Sauqué concludes that an encounter similar to what Golson describes is likely to have happened, but with a different trumpet player (Idrees Sulieman or Johnny Coles).

 

 

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