A great name, a genial arranger, a brilliant soloist, and an experienced bandleader. And all that combined in one man who is surrounded by musicians of equal calibre – his Allstars. That’s how we know it from New Orleans and Chicago, and that’s how it was in the Fifties, when the traditionalists believed that Jazz was on its way out. Clifford Brown was one of the most important musicians of that day who strove to produce a completely new form of expression by amalgamating intellectual Cool Jazz with the wild impulsiveness of Bebop.
And how successful he was! Brown’s style, the harmonic freedom of his playing, and his well-rounded, full timbre have influenced many generations of young trumpeters since then. Each side of this record (which first appeared in 1956) is devoted to a large-scale work filled with haunting melodies and a wealth of improvisation. The Allstars paint a melancholy picture of “Autumn in New York” in subdued tones as varied as the season itself. In “Caravan” the combo kindles a fire which crackles and burns for a full 15 minutes. While the whole of this improvisation is totally gripping, it is the brilliant percussion solo which stands out. For this alone, the album is worth its weight in gold.