by Marc Davis
What if I told you there's a saxman who was there at the birth of bebop--literally, he played on the very first bebop recording--and you've never heard of him? And what if I told you his life story is the very archetype of the tragic, drug-addicted jazz musician? Would you still want to hear his music? Listen anyway. Rollin' With Leo by baritone saxman Leo Parker is an obscure pleasure. Lately, I've been listening to it ...read more
by Chris May
An uncomplicated, booting, bass-register driven melange of first generation bop and early R&B, Let Me Tell You 'Bout It is baritone saxophonist Leo Parker's finest surviving work, and it's measurably enhanced in this edition by Rudy Van Gelder's 2004 remastering.
Parker came up through the swing/jump band nexus--his most regular employer during the '40s was Illinois Jacquet--but frequently crossed over into more or less pure bop during the latter part of the decade, working with Tadd Dameron, J.J. Johnson, Fats ...read more