Why this tune?
This week marks the start of a new Tunes On Tuesday series, returning to stories about tunes worth knowing and what they mean to me. This week’s tune is a tribute to the
great Clifford Brown, a brilliant bebop trumpet player and composer who died at age 23
in a 1956 car accident. In his short life he released many lasting recordings and wrote at least three tunes we still play today.
Brown wrote “Joy Spring” in 1954 in honor of his wife Larue Anderson. It’s a great bebop workout, moving through several keys with an intricate melody built like a solo. There are over 150 recordings of the tune, including several by vocalists singing Jon Hendricks’ lyrics. It’s also a jam session standard, part of the jazz “canon” that players are expected to be
at least familiar with.
Hear my version
Tunes On Tuesday Reel
Check out these recordings
Clifford Brown and Max Roach, 1954
Karrin Allyson singing Jon Hendricks’ lyrics