The Music of Clifford Brown by Sue Richardson

'Jazz Immortal'

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Last Show: Sunday 13 th August 2017

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

International trumpeter and vocalist, Sue Richardson recreates the music of Clifford Brown from his 'Jazz Immortal' album to his classic compositions and work as a sideman for some of the great jazz singers of the time. The best of 1950’s jazz. Following the huge success of Sue Richardson’s recent Chet Baker show ‘Too Cool’, trumpeter/singer Sue has turned the spotlight onto another of her musical heroes, the legendary Clifford Brown. Sue’s in-depth research has resulted in an engaging narrative following his meteoric rise to stardom and his sudden end at a tragically early age. As with ‘Jazz Immortal’, the 1954 album Brown made with Zoot Simms, Sue’s band features a four-piece horn section (trumpet, tenor, baritone and trombone), with Sue’s soaring trumpet taking the Clifford Brown part in her fantastic arrangements of the Jazz Immortal album. The show also spotlights standards he played with some of the greatest singers of the day (Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill, Dinah Washington), elegantly sung by Sue. 

“She plays swinging jazz trumpet... And sings with a musician’s phrasing.”

The Observer

Since being tipped for the top by Jazzwise magazine, Sue Richardson’s career has gone from strength to strength. Her most recent album, 'Too Cool, The Life & Music of Chet Baker', cemented her position in the jazz world – gaining four and five star reviews in the jazz press as well as internationally and sell out gigs at Ronnie Scott’s.

It was also in The Sunday Times 100 Best Records of The Year 2013 - “The trumpeter and singer Sue Richardson’s homage to Chet Baker brings the boy wonder back to life”.
“Sue Richardson’s trumpet playing catches [Baker’s] combination of delicacy and strength, and her singing has something of his candid simplicity. She even writes the kind of tunes that he might have invented.” 4* review in The Observer
“I kid you not, you closed your eyes, you were listening to Chet Baker.  A remarkable young woman.” Richard Wheatly, Jazz FM.

In 2012 Sue worked in Paris with French singer Mina Agossi and Archie Shepp on the blues project ‘Red Eyes’. Archie, on hearing Sue’s playing for the first time, commented “She can sure growl!”
When Ian Shaw recorded his album dedicated to the work of Fran Landesman he asked Sue to guest on it following the success of their recording of Humphrey Lyttleton’s Sad Sweet Song. Sue was to work with The Humphrey Lyttelton Band as a result of the recording. Clive Davis writing in The Times compared her style to Humph’s:  “When the cast of 'I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue' led a high-spirited tribute to the late Humphrey Lyttelton at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2011, the trumpeter Sue Richardson was among the many musicians who helped to give the old man a stirring send-off. Some of his insouciant comic timing seems to have rubbed off on her as well: she is a breezy presence on the bandstand who is quite happy to make self-deprecating asides about the everyday problems of finding a lipstick that doesn’t leave sediment inside her horn. More to the point, she also possesses something of Hump’s flair for constructing a concise, neatly crafted melody. If Chet Baker and Clifford Brown are two of her main role models - her timbre is warm and full-bodied - her soloing, while avoiding high-note theatrics, evokes the generosity and exuberance of players from the swing era.” 

Touring with big bands by the age of 16, Sue’s musical journey has seen her gigging in over 50 countries in hotels, jazz clubs and on cruise ships. You can even hear her recorded version of 'The Girl From Ipanema' being played in Rio in the famous bar where the song was written. She has worked for the BBC, performing at The Last Night of The Proms and gaining a Blue Peter badge for her singing!

Sue’s gigs are a great combination of her original songs and imaginatively reworked standards, revealing her love of mainstream and 1950s jazz. The musicians in the band also take centre stage with well thought-out solo spots. The tightly-knit band have taken their special brand of modern jazz with a main stream twist to many venues on the national and international circuits.

Band Lineup

Sue Richardson (trumpet and vocals)
Andy Panayi (tenor)
Neal Richardson (piano)
Andy Cleyndert (bass)
Rod Youngs (drums)