"Joy Spring" is a 1954 jazz composition by Clifford Brown that became his signature work. It is the name he called his wife, Emma LaRue Anderson (maiden; 1933–2005),[1] whom he married June 26, 1954 – on her 21st birthday – in Los Angeles.[i]

"Joy Spring"
Song by Clifford Brown and Max Roach
from the album Clifford Brown & Max Roach
ReleasedDecember 1954 (1954-12)
RecordedAugust 1954
StudioCapitol, Los Angeles
Composer(s)Clifford Brown
Lyricist(s)Jon Hendricks

Early historyEdit

Brown first recorded "Joy Spring" in a studio session led by him on August 6, 1954, at Capitol Recording Studios, in Los Angeles, with Harold Land (tenor sax), Richie Powell (piano), George Morrow (bass), and Max Roach (drums). They did two takes10877-3 and 10877-4.[2][3]

Six days later (August 12, 1954), at the same studio, Brown, as leader, recorded Jack Montrose's arrangement of it with Stu Williamson (valve trombone), Zoot Sims (tenor sax), Bob Gordon (bari sax), Russ Freeman (piano), Joe Mondragon (bass), Shelly Manne (drums). That take has been issued on several albums, including (i) Jazz Messages (Jazztone J-1281), (ii) Clifford Brown & Max Roach (Pacific Jazz CDP 7 46850 2), and (iii) Jazz Imortal – Featuring Zoot Sims (1988; Pacific Jazz CDP 7 46850 2).[1]

There is an anecdote tied to this composition. Larue Anderson, before marrying Brown, had been a classical music student at the University of Southern California.[4] Absent any knowledge of jazz theory – and in particular, absent any knowledge of bebop articulations, phrasing, and the use of half-step progressions, tritone substitutions, and other musical features of the style – she began writing a thesis titled "Jazz versus the Arts." Max Roach, her friend who introduced her to Brown, took her aside and said: "Honey, the whole world is not built around tonic / dominant." He convinced her to the point that she became a jazz devotee.[5][1]


In 1985 Jon Hendricks wrote a lyric to Brown's music and the song was performed and published by Manhattan Transfer on their album Vocalese with the title Sing Joy Spring.


1988: Let's Get Lost – "Joy Spring"
1999: Guinevere – "Joy Spring"

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ Brown and Anderson had three marriage celebrations, partly because their families were on opposite coasts and partly because of their differing religions – Brown was Methodist and Anderson was Catholic. They were first married on June 26, 1954, in Los Angeles (on Anderson's 21st birthday), then again in a religious ceremony on July 17, 1954, in Los Angeles, then, Anderson's parish priest followed them to Boston, and, on August 1, 1954, performed their marriage ceremony at Saint Richards Church in the Roxbury neighborhood. (Meadows; Spring 2011)


  1. ^ a b c Spellman, A. B. and Murray Horwitz (August 1, 2001). "Max Roach: 'Clifford Brown and Max Roach,'" NPR Retrieved on 2016-10-24.
  2. ^ "Clifford Brown" (Musician detail: B13509), The Jazz Discography Online (lordisco.com), Tom Lord (ed.) (retrieved June 19, 2019); OCLC 182585494, 690104143
  3. ^ Clifford Brown Featuring Zoot Sims – Jazz Immortal on Discogs Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  4. ^ "Kappa Kappa Alpha – Larue Anderson" (college yearbook entry with photo), El Rodeo (yearbook of the University of Southern California), Vol. 46 (1951), p. 317; OCLC 822063048, 910495447 (accessible via Ancestry.com)
  5. ^ "Clifford Brown in Los Angeles," by Eddie Spencer Meadows, PhD; born 1939; Black Music Research Journal, published by the Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago and University of Illinois Press, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring 2011, pps. 45–63; JSTOR www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/blacmusiresej.31.1.0045; OCLC 729620529, 6733333114, 778359559; ISSN 0276-3605
  6. ^ Stan Getz - The Dolphin on Discogs
  7. ^ Joy Spring (The Swinging Side Of Larry Coryell) su Discogs