Brownie

Helloooo friends! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. And if you’re experiencing some cold, snowy, sleety winter weather where you are, please stay warm and dry if you can. We should all probably get our shoveling muscles limber. Except me, of course, because I pay the neighborhood kids to do it 😉

Let’s have a Music Monday, shall we? Saturday, December 7th, marked nine years that my father passed away, so I’d like to honor him with a video I was excited to discover on YouTube. It’s a rare television appearance of the great trumpet player Clifford Brown on the Soupy Sales show. Brown was a huge favorite of my Dad’s, who most of you are aware was himself a trumpeter. Clifford, known affectionately as “Brownie”, was a gifted musician who died tragically as a passenger in a car accident in 1956 at the young age of 25. In his brief career he had already earned the respect of older, seasoned jazz musicians who recognized his incredible talent. One of the things which distinguished Clifford Brown from many of his bebop jazz world contemporaries was his “clean” lifestyle. He never used drugs, rarely drank alcohol, and was a devoted family man. The great saxophonist Sonny Rollins said of Clifford, “He showed me that it was possible to live a good, clean life and still be a good jazz musician”.  Given so many associations of music legends with drug abuse – Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Parker, etc – Clifford Brown’s regular “good guy” conduct is a refreshing departure from the stereotype of the reckless, drug-using tortured soul. A short interview with Clifford takes place at the end of this video, and you can see that he is sweet, soft-spoken, without an ounce of bravado. I wish my father were alive to watch this, as I know he would enjoy it very much. Miss you Dad. RIP 😦

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I’ll post again in a couple of days and then, on Sunday, the Museworthy Art Show!

3 thoughts on “Brownie

  1. Bill says:

    I never associated Soupy Sales with music — then again, I did see a clip of Shemp Howard working with the Andrews Sisters the other night, so I’m seeing a pattern here.

    I am sorry about your dad — that is certainly a fitting remembrance. You’ve spoken about him playing trumpet — was it primarily jazz? Was he associated with any one particular group or did he work with different people?

    Take care.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      My Dad was a club date musician. He worked steadily for decades and played gigs throughout the city and tri-state area. The music he played was mostly popular standards, but he often played jazz for his own enjoyment. He worked with different people, bandleaders, etc, and had professional relationships that spanned many years. The club date musician business, however, is not nearly what it used to be in its heyday. That topic could be a separate blog post in itself!

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks, Claudia — that sounds like a great way to make a living. You’re right about the business, though. I still miss my local Blues club that closed a few years back — you had everyone from bikers to bankers in that place. The common bond was the music 🙂

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