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Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown
Usage Conditions Apply
Herman Leonard, 1923 - 2010
Clifford Brown, 30 Oct 1930 - 26 Jun 1956
1954 (printed 1998)
Selenium-toned gelatin silver print
Image: 38.5 × 31.5cm (15 3/16 × 12 3/8")
Sheet: 50.4 × 40.7cm (19 13/16 × 16")
Frame: 71.8 × 56.5 × 3.8 cm (28 1/4 × 22 1/4 × 1 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Herman Leonard Photography LLC
Object number
Exhibition Label
Trumpeter Clifford Brown played with seemingly effortless virtuosity. He began formal music studies at the age of twelve and acquired his first trumpet a year later. Progressing rapidly under the guidance of skilled instructors at the high school and college level, Brown developed superb musicianship and excelled in deftly exploiting the full tonal range of his instrument. Urged by Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, and Charlie Parker to pursue a career in jazz, Brown was stymied when injuries from an auto accident in 1950 left him hospitalized and unable to play for nearly a year. Following his recovery, he performed with a series of major bands—including those led by Tadd Dameron and Lionel Hampton––and cut his first jazz recordings. In 1954 Brown and drummer Max Roach formed one of the era’s stellar combos, the Brown-Roach Quintet, which showcased the improvisational talents of its namesakes. Two years later, another car crash claimed Brown’s life at twenty-five.
El virtuosismo del trompetista Clifford Brown parecía no costarle ningún esfuerzo. Brown comenzó sus estudios formales de música a los doce años y adquirió su primera trompeta un año después. Progresó rápidamente bajo la guía de buenos maestros en la escuela superior y la universidad, desarrollando un dominio musical extraordinario y una gran habilidad para explotar las posibilidades tonales de su instrumento. Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro y Charlie Parker lo impulsaron a hacer carrera en el jazz, pero en 1950 sufrió un accidente de automóvil que lo dejó hospitalizado y sin poder tocar casi un año. Ya recuperado, actuó con diversas bandas importantes, como las de Tadd Dameron y Lionel Hampton, y realizó sus primeras grabaciones de jazz. En 1954 Brown y el baterista Max Roach formaron uno de los combos estelares de la época, el Brown-Roach Quintet, vehículo que puso de relieve el talento para improvisar de ambos. Dos años después, otro accidente de auto acabó con la vida de Brown, a los veinticinco años de edad.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
United States\New York\Kings\New York