CHARLIE PARKER/DIZZY GILLESPIE posted with frogfunk
Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
Charlie Parker - alto saxophone
Sid Catlett - drums
Curley Russell - double bass
Producer-Robert E. Sunenblick M.D.
03 A Night In Tunisia
04 Groovin' High
05 Salt Peanuts
06 Hot House
07 Fifty Second Street Theme
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Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker first became aware of each other in 1940 when the former was playing in Cab Calloway's band and the latter with Jay McShann. Two years later they were both living in New York City and a real friendship developed. By 1945 they were recording and gigging together, culminating in this Town Hall concert on June 22, 1945. These recordings languished for sixty years as acetates that weren't even known to exist in their entirety. That this set captures these two formidable players in their ascendancy and with such clarity is a staggering find. Here, with host Symphony Sid announcing the songs (this would have been for his radio show, but apparently never ended up in his possessions), an important chapter in American music is now restored. By the end of the summer of '45 Gillespie and Parker went their separate ways, both emerging with their own bands and reaching new heights of commercial success. --David Greenberger
Fred Kaplan, The New York Times July 31, 2005
"It's an unlikely story, but the most stunning jazz discovery in a decade - the Rosetta Stone of bebop - was unearthed at an Elks Lodge in Chelmsford, Mass. The trove consisted of seven 12-inch acetate discs, on which was recorded a 40-minute concert by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker at Town Hall in New York on June 22, 1945. That date is significant. The two musicians - Diz and Bird, as the world would soon know them - were still fairly obscure. (Most of the audience had probably come to hear other musicians on the bill, especially the tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, who didn't show up.) The first Gillespie-Parker record had been in stores for only a few weeks. The second, produced on May 11, hadn't yet been released.
In short, these discs vividly transport us to the birth of modern jazz.
In those days of the 78 r.p.m. single, studio sessions were limited to about three minutes per song, solos to 15 or 20 seconds. At the Town Hall concert, the musicians were free to play the tunes - "Bebop," "Groovin' High," "Hot House," "A Night in Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts," all jazz anthems by the end of that year but at the time still unknown - for twice as long, and at a furious tempo. Solos went on for two minutes or more, and they're blazing - Diz scaling heights on trumpet, Bird hitting speeds on alto sax, that no one had heard before. The studio recordings, great as they are, sound mellow, even quaint, by comparison.
Now, 60 years after the concert, the small jazz label Uptown Records has sonically restored the acetates and transferred them to a CD titled simply "Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker: Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945."
"It's hard to believe the good fortune we have of being able to listen to this surprisingly well-recorded, previously lost Town Hall concert concert from June 22, 1945. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Don Byas, Al Haig, Curley Russell, Max Roach & Big Sid Catlett are presented here just months after the first Bop records were recorded in a blistering concert MC'd by the redoubtable Symphony Sid Torin. This is Bop at it's inception, played in the heat of enthusiasm and discovery. Diz is a marvel on every cut, Bird plays as if his very life depended on it, Al Haig is allowed to stretch out as he never was on the original records and the rhythm section of Russell & Roach were creating the sound of the future. Special guests Byas & Big Sid are an added treat. The breaks & solos on "Night In Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts" have lost none of their ability to scare the living s**t out of musicians to this very day. If you have ANY interest in these artists and this music, DO NOT delay and buy this release as soon as you possibly can. Can I give Uptown Records & this CD twenty stars?!?!?!?!? "
"This previously unknown concert recording from 1945 of one of the greatest groups in jazz history, the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet with Charlie Parker, exceeds the listener's lofty expectations. First, the quality of the music is at the highest level of inspiration, with the innovations of Parker and Gillespie still fresh, new and exciting. Parker and Gillespie are both in astounding form. Second, the quality of the recording is very good--this is easily one of the best recorded live concerts of this era. Third, this release is from Uptown Records, and hence is meticulously prepared and researched. In short, this is an essential jazz recording and one of the great music discoveries of the last fifty years."
"Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker hooked up in late June of 1945 for this knock-out concert at Town Hall, New York City, maybe for a post-VE Day celebration! With a history somewhat reminiscent of another newly released CD, "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane," these recordings, as acetates, were buried somewhere for sixty years and no one knew they existed in their entirety. Thus, this is the first time the concert has ever been released. Sixty years in the "lost and found!!" Makes one wonder what other treasures are buried out there! I recently read a comment that, "...the discovery of this recording is a Dead Sea Scrolls kind of event." For jazz/bebop lovers, it is so true!
Unlike the Monk/Coltrane find, the quality of this recording is uneven, but the quality of the music is simply superb! The brilliance of young jazz greats Parker's and Gillespie's music shines through. At a time when jazz meant big band sound to most folks, Dizzy and Bird were discovering bebop, and coming out with classics like "A Night in Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts" for the first time. The quintet's rhythm section, with great bop bassist Curley Russell, percussionist Max Roach and pianist Al Haig, is outstanding! Billed as Gillespie's Quintet, and playing mostly Dizzy's tunes, underrated tenor sax player Don Byas stands in for Bird until the tardy Parker shows for his gig. Big Sid Catlett makes a brief appearance for his solo on "Hothouse." And, as a campy side event, there is commentary by "Symphony" Sid Torin, a famous New York City disc jockey who covered the jazz scene, and introduces, announces and occasionally banters with the musicians and audience.
Dizzy often said, when speaking of his musical collaboration with Parker, that Bird was "the other half of my heartbeat." The famous quote was actually prefaced by the following: "He had just what we needed. He had the line and he had the rhythm. The way he got from one note to the other and the way he played the rhythm fit what we were trying to do perfectly." It is amazingly clear, on this recording, how in sync these two musicians were and are. Their exquisite timing, their humor, their talent and virtuosity - unbelievable!! Gillespie's solo on "Groovin' High" is sublime as is Bird's transition into it.
"Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945" is a remarkable find, a CD for every jazz lovers' collection. To be able to listen to this album and the "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane" CD, (both lost for decades and just released, within a 3 month period of each other), is an amazing gift. The only downside is that the Dizzy/Bird recording is a mere 40 minutes long...but you can play it over and over!
This Uptown Jazz Records presentation includes a 30 page booklet with notes by Ira Gitler, describing how the priceless acetate discs were discovered and turned into this compact disc project. Photos are from the Frank Driggs Collection and reprints of concert reviews from the NYC press. Also included are some technical notes by Ted Kendall, who is responsible for this remastering." JANA
Bass - Al McKibbon /Bongos - Lorenzo Salan (tracks: 6 to 15) /Congas - Chano Pozo (tracks: 6 to 15) /Drums - Joe Harris/ Piano - John Lewis/Producer - Teddy Reig/ Saxophone [Alto] - Charlie Parker (tracks: 1 to 5) , Howard Johnson (tracks: 6 to 15) , John Brown (3) (tracks: 6 to 15) /Saxophone [Baritone] - Cecil Payne (tracks: 6 to 15)/ Saxophone [Tenor] - James Moody (tracks: 6 to 15) , Joe Gayles (tracks: 6 to 15)/ Trombone - William Shepherd* (tracks: 6 to 15) , Taswell Baird (tracks: 6 to 15) /Trumpet - Dave Burns (tracks: 6 to 15) , Elmon Wright (tracks: 6 to 15) , Matthew McKay (tracks: 6 to 15) , Raymond Orr (tracks: 6 to 15)/ Trumpet, Vocals - Dizzy Gillespie /Vibraphone - Milt Jackson (tracks: 6 to 15) /Vocals - Kenny Hagood (tracks: 6 to 15)
Recorded live at Carnegie Hall on September 29, 1947. Tracks 1-5 were performed by a quintet; tracks 6-15 were performed by a big band.
01 A Night In Tunisia (5:11)
02 Dizzy Atmosphere (4:05)
03 Groovin' High (5:16)
04 Confirmation (5:38)
05 Koko (4:17)
06 Cool Breeze (5:13)
07 Relaxin' At Camarillo (2:42)
08 One Bass Hit (5:20)
09 Nearness (3:59)
10 Salt Peanuts (5:11)
11 Cubano-Be, Cubano-Bop (7:15)
12 Hot House (5:02)
13 Toccata For Trumpet (3:17)
14 Oop-Pop-A-Da (7:38)
15 Things To Come (3:02)
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This historic September 29, 1947, concert reunited Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker for five stunning performances and captures 11 selections by Dizzy's big band at the peak of its powers. Released in scattered form over the years, the complete releasable material from this important concert is brought together on CD for the first time with the best possible sound.
"Don't let the recent discovery and hype surrounding the 1945 Gillespie-Parker Town Hall concert discourage you from picking up the 1947 Carnegie Hall concert. The audio quality isn't markedly inferior to either the Town Hall or Massey Hall dates, and the playing by Bird and Diz is not only worlds apart from the 1945 encounter but in some instances is superior to the later, Massey Hall performance. Listen carefully to Bird's four-bar break on "Night in Tunisia," which Martin Williams analyzed in "The Jazz Tradition." Bird alters the meter and tempo ever so slightly, an aerialist who communicates the sense of being suspended in time and space, yet suddenly becoming reanimated just in time for the first beat of the chorus. It's very likely the most melodically-rhythmically complex four bars of improvised music every recorded, deserving a place right alongside Louis Armstrong's famous cadenza at the start of "West End Blues." You won't hear anything near this level of complexity on the Town Hall session, recorded two years earlier, let alone on any non-Parker performance. (Side-by-side comparisons of Bird's break with that of numerous other "name" saxophone players at the same juncture on the same tune inevitably is a disservice to the "pretenders." Listen, for example, to Lou Donaldson with Clifford Brown on "Art Blakey at Birdland, Vol. 1." Embarrassingly awful jive--merely meaningless motion.) The remainder of the recording gives ample evidence of the heat and mastery of Bird as well as Diz (their unison ensembles defy credibility even today). And even though Bird gets more playing time in the small-group setting, there's enough heard from Diz to bolster the case of any listener who wishes to maintain that he was superior to Parker as an improviser (an argument I still have with some musicians). Ignore the reviews that complain about the sound quality or the limited number of tunes featuring Bird. This contains some of the most exciting and significant Bird and Diz on record--if your ears are up to the challenge."
"This is an awesome sounding CD for a live concert that was recorded almost fifty years ago (considering the studio technology back in 1947). Besides the fact that the CD sounds good, it also "sounds" good. Charlie Parker is, as always, awesome, and Dizzy is spectacular as well. While these men had their ups and downs between one another, they sure sound great together. Moreover, Bird and Diz also play well off of one another in a live performance, and this performance demonstrates this quite well. For instance, on track 2 "Dizzy Atmosphere" both players ping pong off of one another with great speed and brilliance. Track (#2) is in my opinion, the best on the CD. Overall, the music is moving, fast, heart felt, and wonderful. This is a great CD to add to your Jazz collection."
"I would rate this as one of the top 5 live jazz albums of all time. Bird and Diz are only together for the first five tunes, but don't let that deter you. They really tear it up on every song and Bird's amazing solo on "Confirmation" is probably the highlight. The remainder of the tracks is Dizzy Gillespie with his big band and while those songs aren't as exciting as the ones he does with Charlie Parker, they are still excellent. So if you're a jazz fan and you don't own this, get it. It belongs in every jazz fan's collection."
BIRD AND DIZ (1950 re-issue 1986)
Bass - Curly Russell /Drums - Buddy Rich/ Mastered By - Dennis Drake /Piano - Thelonious Monk /Producer - Norman Granz/ Saxophone [Alto] - Charlie Parker /Trumpet - Dizzy Gillespie
Reissue, 1986. Originally released in 1950. Original sessions produced by Norman Granz. Recorded June 6, 1950 in New York. Prepared for compact disc by Richard Seidel and Donald Elfman. Previously unreleased material researched by Phil Schaap and Bob Porter. Digitally remastered directly from the original mono master tapes by Dennis Drake, PolyGram Studios, U.S.A. Designed for compact disc by Tom and Ellie Hughes, HughesGroup. All selections previously released except where noted. Liner notes by Phil Schaap (Noted Jazz Historian and broadcaster). Tracks 6, 8, 10: Additional tracks on compact disc only.
01 Bloomdido (Master Take) (3:24)
02 An Oscar For Treadwell (Alternate Take) (3:20)
03 An Oscar For Treadwell (Master Take) (3:22)
04 Mohawk (Alternate Take) (3:48)
05 Mohawk (Master Take) (3:34)
06 My Melancholy Baby (Alternate Take) (3:16)
07 My Melancholy Baby (Master Take) (3:23)
08 Leap Frog (Alternate Take) (2:33)
09 Leap Frog (Alternate Take) (2:00)
10 Leap Frog (Alternate Take) (2:05)
11 Leap Frog (Master Take) (2:28)
12 Relaxin' With Lee (Alternate Take) (3:53)
13 Relaxin' With Lee (Master Take) (2:44)
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"This collection of 78 rpm singles, all recorded on June 6, 1950, was originally issued in album format in 1956. Several things distinguish this from numerous other quintet recordings featuring these two bebop pioneers. It was recorded during the period that Charlie Parker was working under the aegis of producer Norman Granz, whose preference for large and unusual ensembles was notorious. The end result in this case is a date that sounds very much like those that Parker and Dizzy Gillespie recorded for Savoy and Dial, except with top-of-the-line production quality. Even more interesting, though, is Parker's choice of Thelonious Monk as pianist. Unfortunately, Monk is buried in the mix and gets very little solo space, so his highly idiosyncratic genius doesn't get much exposure here. Still, this is an outstanding album -- there are fine versions of Parker standards like "Leap Frog," "Mohawk," and "Relaxin' with Lee," as well as a burning performance of "Bloomdido" and an interesting (if not entirely thrilling) rendition of the chestnut "My Melancholy Baby." [This 1986 CD reissue of Bird Diz adds alternate takes to make what was originally a very skimpy program slightly more generous.]" ~ Rick Anderson, All Music Guide
"this disc is blazing with Musical Genius.Bird is in true form Monk adds his style Dizzy was Birds Musical SoulMate and Buddy Rich is in the Pocket.a Must have.nothing but Genius here."
"Though the title credits Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, bop pioneer Thelonious Monk is also on this date, bringing three bop masters together. Add drummer Budy Rich who, though out of his natural element, plays exceedingly well, and you have a cooking set of bop tunes. The only problem I have with this CD reissue is the extensive number of false starts tacked on to the end of the disc. Though jazz hounds might find this fascinating, they take away from the magical music that preceeded them. My advice is to stop your disc player after track 13, or better still, seek out the original CD which contained only the first 13 tracks"
02 My Melancholy Baby
03 Relaxing With Lee
04 Leap Frog
05 An Oscar For Treadwell
07 My Melancholy Baby
08 Relaxing With Lee
09 Leap Frog
10 Leap Frog
11 Leap Frog
12 An Oscar For Treadwell
14 Relaxing With Lee
15 Relaxing With Lee
16 Relaxing With Lee
17 Relaxing With Lee
18 Leap Frog
19 Leap Frog
20 Leap Frog
21 Leap Frog
22 Leap Frog
23 Leap Frog
24 Leap Frog
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This date from June 6, 1950, was an unusual one for Charlie Parker. He chose to play with fellow bop creators Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, in a striking reunion with the trumpeter and the only occasion on which Parker recorded with the pianist. Though the three may have felt encumbered by the presence of swing drummer Buddy Rich, they're in brilliant form, with Parker and Gillespie spurring one another to heights that range from the warm to the electric. Bird's ideas flow with characteristic ease and swing while Gillespie sparks and flares. It's unlikely that anyone else but Gillespie could match Parker on the dazzling interplay of "Leap Frog," a performance supplemented by several alternate takes. Monk's characteristically skewed solos are a rare delight in what is otherwise an orthodox bop setting. The tunes are all Parker's except for "My Melancholy Baby," which inspires witty play. --Stuart Broomer
"The retail price for this single-disc album will no doubt seem steep to some consumers, especially since the entire program clocks in at under 45 minutes. But it's a well-produced, artfully packaged (though the "retro-cardboard" fold-over case raises questions about durability), and unique session by three of jazz' most blessed improvisors at the pinnacle of their powers. Originally a 1950 recording released on a 10" LP in 1952, the session was apparently conceived by Norman Granz as an opportunity to win for Bird a larger audience by showcasing him in the company of jazz stars playing "pretty tunes written by good songwriters" (in several years Sonny Stitt would be laying down 5-6 tracks per side of exquisitely played standard tunes for Roost Records). But with the exception of "Melancholy Baby" these are exactly the same kinds of bebop head charts based on blues and "Rhythm" chord changes that Bird had recorded at Dial and Savoy. What distinguishes the album--apart from the singularly aggressive and competitive playing of Parker and Gillespie in their last studio session--is the presence of Monk (playing Bud Powell-like lines on uncharacteristically up-tempo tunes but still unmistakably Monk) and Buddy Rich. In his generous, well-documented liner notes, James Patrick laments the neglect this session has received from previous critics and historians. Then he observes that though Parker, Gillespie, Monk, and (even) bassist Curley Russell "play beautifully," Buddy Rich is "intrusive" and should have been replaced by a Max Roach, Roy Haynes, or Kenny Clarke. Fine, then we have another recording indistinguishable from the earlier Dials and Savoys! Rich may be less flowing and propulsive than the aforementioned bebop drummers, but he's definitely not intrusive. In fact, his swing-era symmetry and unfailing metronomic pulse bring a different dimension to the music and complement, above all, Monk's rhythmic approach. It's impossible to believe a musician like Monk would have hung around the studio if he did not appreciate Rich's time. (In the early '70's at Chicago's Plugged Nickel I saw Monk fire a drummer in the middle of the second tune of the first set!) What I love about this recording are the eleven takes of "Leap Frog." Even though seven are false starts, Bird and Diz are going after one another like rival gladiators on each take. In fact, it's quite a challenge to determine what caused Bird to abort seven of the attempts so quickly (and he clearly is in charge, stopping the recording and giving orders to Monk and the other musicians). The recording provides a fascinating glimpse of the creative process as practiced by one of the indisputable musical geniuses of the 20th century."
"The great collaboration of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (no Salt Peanuts!?) is a short one indeed. The first six tracks are the actual record, recorded in 1950. Tracks seven through thirteen are alternate takes of the same tunes. And tracks fourteen to twenty four are all breakdowns and false starts. I agree with another reviewer: buy it used.Still, it's neat to hear two master musicians play these impossible melody lines in perfect synchronization. Parker wrote all of the songs except for My Melancholy Baby. They are very good, although not many people are probably willing to make them standards today because the melody lines are so all-over-the-place.But reading the liner notes is a bit of a bummer. There were those who thought that the inclusion of Buddy Rich on drums was a big mistake and that the producer was just being nice to him. Well, thanks for giving me that notion! So every time I hear this recording, I keep wondering and wondering what it would have sounded like with Max Roach playing. Another element of the frustration is that you can't really objectively listen to Rich's drumming after reading such thoughts. Still, Bird & Diz is a special little snapshot in time that deserved to be preserved. It just costs too much."
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was one of the greatest jazz trumpet players of the 20th century. Nicknamed Dizzy for his on-stage antics, Gillespie set new standards for trumpet players with his innovative rhythmic and harmonic explorations. This definitive change moved American jazz from swing to "bebop". Gillespie joined Cab Calloway's orchestra in 1939 and worked with many bands in the early 1940's, including Chick Webb, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Bill Eckstine before teaming up with Charlie Parker in 1945. Dizzy also wrote some of the greatest jazz tunes of the era, including Groovin' High, A Night in Tunisia, and Manteca. Dizzy became a symbol of both jazz and of independence during the 40's and 50's. His interest in Cuban and African music helped to introduce these genres to a mainstream American audience. Entire generations of trumpet players are influenced by Dizzy's music, as well as by his upbeat and optimistic attitude. (http://www.dizzygillespie.com/)
Did you know?
In 1953 someone accidentally tripped and fell on Gillespie's trumpet, bending the bell of his horn so it faced up at a 45o angle. He liked the way it sounded even better after the accident and from then on had his horns built that way on purpose. This became Dizzy's trademark.
Gillespie was an extremely popular performer, with superstar personality and status. On one occasion, upon return home from a European tour, he was met by crowds of cheering fans waving "welcome home" signs.
Dizzy wrote the popular hit A Night in Tunisia, which became the first Latin-influenced jazz standard. (http://www.hypermusic.ca/jazz/gillespie.html)
Charlie Parker was one of the most influential improvising soloists in jazz, and a central figure in the development of bop in the 1940s. A legendary figure in his own lifetime, he was idolized by those who worked with him, and he inspired a generation of jazz performers and composers. (http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_parker_charlie.htm)
Did you know?
Charlie Parker made some of his most important recordings using borrowed instruments. Charlie Parker's nickname was "Bird." His life story was the subject of a 1988 film of the same name. (http://www.hypermusic.ca/jazz/parker.html)
Few more info about Dizzy Gillespie:
Few more info about Charlie Parker: