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Tommy Potter

Tommy Potter was always best-known for his association with Charlie Parker (1947-50), particularly for being a member of Bird's quintet at a time when its other players were Miles Davis, Duke Jordan and Max Roach. Never a major soloist himself on the level of an Oscar Pettiford, Potter (who usually just played four-to-the-bar lines) was really an advanced swing stylist who was flexible (and skilled) enough to keep up with Parker's often rapid tempoes. He actually began on the bass fairly late, originally playing piano and guitar and not switching to bass until he was already 21 in 1940

Birth Of Bebop - Celebrating Bird At 100

Label: ezz-thetics
Released: 2020
Track listing: Savoy Sessions:- Billie's Bounce; Thriving From A Riff; Koko; Meandering; Donna Lee; Cheryl; Buzzy; Another Hair Do; Bluebird; Klaunstance; BirdGets The Worm; Barbados; Constellation; Parker’s Mood; Parker’s Mood (AT-2); Marmaduke; Steeplechase; Merry Go Round; A Night In Tunisia; Dizzy Atmosphere; Groovin’ High; Confirmation; Koko; Dial Sessions:- Moose The Mooche; Yardbird Suite; Ornithology; A Night In Tunisia; Bird’s Nest; Cool Blues; Relaxin’ At Camarillo; Dexterity; Bongo Bop; Dewey Square; The Hymn; Bird Of Paradise; Embraceable You; Bird Feathers; Klact-oveeseds-tene; Scrapple From The Apple; My Old Flame; Out Of Nowhere; Don’t Blame Me; Drifting On A Reed; Quasimodo; Charlie’s Wig; Bongo Beep; Crazeology.

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2018: The Year in Jazz

Read "2018: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2018 was a busy one for the jazz world. The genre's version of the #MeToo movement resulted in a new Code of Conduct and other efforts to make the music workplace more equitable. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to St. Petersburg, Russia. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which ran a high-profile ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

The Early Years of Sonny Stitt in Saginaw, Michigan

Read "The Early Years of Sonny Stitt in Saginaw, Michigan" reviewed by Dustin Mallory

As one of most recorded saxophonists of his generation, Sonny Stitt made more than 100 albums under his own name. He also performed as a sideman with the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Blakey. Despite the breadth of recorded work he left behind, Sonny Stitt's upbringing in Saginaw, Michigan is less well-documented. The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Detroit Bop Quintet: Two Birds

Read "Two Birds" reviewed by Mark Corroto

On December 21st 1947 Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Jordan, Tommy Potter, and Max Roach recorded four Parker compositions for Savoy at United Sound Systems recording studio in Detroit, Michigan. Parker's Quintet was in town for two weeks, performing and backing Sarah Vaughan at the El Sino Club. It appears that Parker hustled to lay down ...

NEWS: MUSIC INDUSTRY

Sonny Rollins + Thelonious Monk

Sonny Rollins + Thelonious Monk

One of jazz's big turning points came on October 25, 1954, when Sonny Rollins altered the direction of the tenor saxophone at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in his parents' Hackensack, N.J., house. The session for Prestige featured Sonny, Thelonious Monk on piano, Tommy Potter on bass and Art Taylor on drums. Up until then, Sonny's sound ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Ornette Coleman: This is Our Music

Read "Ornette Coleman: This is Our Music" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Ornette ColemanThis is Our MusicAtlantic1961 This is Our Music is the militantly expressed jumping-off point for alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman on the way to the epochal Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation (Atlantic, 1961). Coleman picks up exactly where he left off on Change of the Century and never ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!!

Read "Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!!" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Ornette ColemanSomething Else!!!!Contemporary2011 (1958) Robert Louis Stevenson noted that, “The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect." The middle-to-late 1950s in jazz were populated with several “good actions," all considered inevitable evolutionary reactions to earlier genre, specifically swing and bebop--the latter the ...


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