Although undoubtedly an expensive acquisition, this ten-CD set is perfectly done and contains dozens of gems. The remarkable but short-lived trumpeter Clifford Brown has the second half of his career fully documented (other than his final performance) and he is showcased in a wide variety of settings. The bulk of the numbers are of Brownie's quintet with co-leader and drummer Max Roach, either Harold Land or Sonny Rollins on tenor, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow (including some previously unheard alternate takes), but there is also much more.
Although Lionel Hampton forbid his sidemen from recording during their trip to France in 1953, many of the musicians fortunately ignored his orders; the band broke up soon anyway. Trumpeter Clifford Brown is heard on this LP mostly with a big band actually put together by Gigi Gryce. A few of these tracks are excerpts but the two takes of "Brownskins" and "Keeping up with Jonesy" are fairly long as is a nearly eight-minute "Chez Moi." The music is not essential but Brownie did not live long enough to record anything less than excellent.
Clifford Curzon was among the finest English pianists of the twentieth century, known for his clear, ego-less performances of the German Classical and Romantic masterpieces. A quiet intellectual who nevertheless possessed a formidable technique, Curzon played everything from Mozart to Liszt with equal authority. His fans often cite this ability to emphasize the personality of each composer, rather than his own, as his most distinctive quality. Curzon recorded for the Decca label for over 30 years, leaving behind a modestly sized, but musically impressive catalog. His recordings of Mozart and Schubert are considered his best.