All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

359

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie: Diz'N'Bird at Carnegie Hall

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count


For those of us born too late to have experienced it ourselves, and for everybody else who missed it as it actually happened, Diz’N’Bird At Carnegie Hall documents an awesome concert performance by a partnership whose influence on the history of jazz is inescapable and profound, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.

Diz’N’Bird At Carnegie Hall provides fifteen selections from a Carnegie Hall performance by Dizzy Gillespie – with Joe Harris on drums, bassist Al McKibbon and pianist John Lewis (developing during this period into the eventual "Third Stream" musical master and leader of The Modern Jazz Quartet) as the rhythm section — with an orchestra and special guests Parker and Ella Fitzgerald, which took place September 29 1947. Parker and Gillespie square off in the quintet format for the first five tracks, then Parker drops out and Gillespie and crew are joined by an orchestra whose members include tenor James Moody, Milt Jackson (Lewis’ partner in the MJQ) on vibes, and Gillespie’s frequent foil when in a Latin mood, percussion player Chano Pozo. (Though not one of the six Gillespie and orchestra performances with Fitzgerald survive on this release).

Suffice it to say that the five quintet numbers captured here present both Parker and Gillespie at or near the peak of their creative powers. After the Parker - Gillespie Quintet concluded a 1946 engagement in California, Gillespie returned home to New York City while Parker "took a rest" in a California hospital. Strengthened if not straightened out, Parker later returned to New York and by the summer of ’47 was leading bands at the Three Deuces, while at the same time Gillespie led his own bands at the Downbeat club right next door.

Diz’N’Bird At Carnegie Hall captures their first joint performance together since their California split. Their passionate and graceful playing on this program of "A Night In Tunisia," "Dizzy Atmosphere," "Groovin’ High," "Confirmation" and "Koko" helped establish the standard for the hard-driving, blue yet red-hot gestation of be-bop. During this period, Parker and Gillespie also helped "lift the bar" for improvisational standards for jazz musicians, viewed by many as the first such substantial shift since Louis Armstrong.

Tunes with Gillespie and orchestra include such popular and be-bop standards as "Salt Peanuts," the solo vehicles "One Bass Hit" (for McKibbon) and "Cubano-Be, Cubano-Bop" (an absolute tour-de-force for Pozo), "Hot House" and a scatback vocal bit of comic relief, "Oop-Pop-A-Da."

Such great songs played by great musicians would be enough, but there’s one more thing—the arrangements, which include the work of some of the finest jazz musicians and music theorists ever, such as Lewis, ("Toccata For Trumpet"), George Russell (Parker’s "Relaxin’ At Camarillo" and "Cubano-Be, Cubano-Bop"), Tadd Dameron (his originals "Hot House" and "Nearness," and the blues "Cool Breeze," which he co-wrote with Gillespie and Billy Eckstine), and Gil Fuller (his originals "Things To Come" and "One Bass Hit," which he co-wrote with Gillespie and bassist Ray Brown).

Diz ‘N’ Bird at Carnegie Hall completely leaves the listener with the sense that you have just walked among the jazz giants.


Title: Diz'N'Bird at Carnegie Hall | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Roost

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Under The Surface" CD/LP/Track Review Under The Surface
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Trio / Chinese Jesus" CD/LP/Track Review Trio / Chinese Jesus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "That Doesn't Even Look Like You" CD/LP/Track Review That Doesn't Even Look Like You
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Roppongi" CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Drift" CD/LP/Track Review Drift
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 18, 2018
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017