The Rifftides series of occasional visits to jazz bands of the United States armed services continues with the US Army’s Jazz Ambassadors. In a concert at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, singer Alexis Cole joined the Ambassadors in trumpeter Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring.” That classic composition was one of the showpieces of the quintet that Brown co-led with drummer Max Roach in the 1950s. The tune has become a part of the modern jazz repertoire. This version features vocalist Alexis Cole, who spent seven years of her Army career with the Jazz Ambassadors. Since she left the service in 2017, Ms. Cole has launched a civilian singing career and heads the vocal program at the State University Of New York, Purchase. The “Joy Spring” arrangement is by retired Sergeant Major Scott Arcangel. The trumpet soloist is Sergeant Major Kevin Watt.
To hear the Brown-Roach July 12, 1954 recording of “Joy Spring,” with its indelible and influential Clifford Brown solo, go here. Brown is on trumpet, with Harold Land, tenor saxophone; Richie Powell, piano; George Morrow, bass; and Max Roach, drums.