Perhaps one of the better Hard Bop
standards, Joy Spring
was written by Clifford Brown
for his wife, Larue Anderson
I personally love this piece, and have recently transcribed
Clifford's trumpet solo
. (It's just on the verge of impossible to play on the bass
, and I can't do it at speed yet).
The main theme of the piece is introduced in the key of F, and then the melody is repeated, but transposed to Gb. Then, for the B section, another modulation occurs, and we find ourselves in the key of G. In the B section itself, two variations are played, while each is itself modulated to another key, and we return in the final A section. This chromatic modulation (F->Gb->G) is mirrored in the A section as a chromatic ascent of chords (Am7 - Ab7 - Gm7).
The piece is typically hard bop, and is riddled with II-V's. In fact, more than half of the bars are actually II-V's.
Clifford's solo is wonderful, and also mocking - in the B section, he plays a not-so-jazzy line in 16ths, which is happy and carefree, and I love it anyway. Arturo Sandoval (if I'm not mistaken), copied parts of that solo in a tribute to him. Also interestingto note in the solo is that the first chorus is very packed, and the second is more spacey. This is atypical of solos, but it works nevertheless. Also, you can hear Clifford miss several notes. I think this makes him all the more human (unlike many musicians who will not record a botched-up solo).
A.B. Spellman, a jazz critic says, on a radio show: " There's a nice story for that I'm going to squeeze in here. Larue Anderson was a classical music student who was writing her thesis, called "Classics versus Jazz," wherein she wanted to prove that jazz was inferior. So Max Roach introduced her to Clifford Brown and Clifford took her aside and said "Honey, the whole world is not built around tonic/dominant." And he convinced her otherwise. And then she became of course a jazz devotee. And Mrs. Clifford Brown. So he called her his "Joy Spring." And that's where this comes from. "
The line up for the original recording is:
(for some reason, until I read the lineup, I always assumed the Sax player was Sonny Rollins
, as did my jazz teachers. Maybe Mr. Harold Land should be given some praise for his solo too.)