At the end of May 1956, the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet was booked for their fourth appearance in seven months at the Blue Note Records in Philadelphia—this was some sort of record. The gig began on May 30, and on the following night Clifford Brown, Billy Root (who was playing in the Blue Note house band), and others were asked to play for a jam session at Music City, as they had done many times before. This particular session is historic for two reasons: first, Brown's solo on “Donna Lee”, one of three tunes recorded privately that night, has been the subject of much scholarly analysis—that he had created a new improvisational standard is the consensus opinion. Second, for reasons that are quite complex, many musicians, writers, producers, and critics have assigned the wrong date for this jam session; as a result, it has been assumed that the session took place on June 25, 1956. On June 26, 1956, Brown and Richie Powell, along with the latter's wife, Nancy, died in a car crash.
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