509

Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker: Town Hall, New York City 1945

By

Sign in to view read count
Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker: Town Hall, New York City 1945 This is absolutely a find, a well-recorded (for 1945) live concert of Bird and Diz and Max Roach in peak form. The numbers were quite familiar to these artists at the time ("A Night in Tunisia," "Salt Peanuts," "Groovin' High"), but these are slashingly brilliant versions to be treasured.

Gillespie sounds unusually florid and assured, with his roots in Roy Eldridge's extroverted trumpeting brashly apparent. Bird enters the recording a little late (literally—on the first tune, "Bebop," Don Byas tries bravely to take Parker's place on the bandstand, but then Parker enters halfway through and literally blows Byas into the wings). Parker sounds impassioned, particularly on "Salt Peanuts," where you can hear Dizzy verbally egging him to greater and greater heights of harmonic creativity, with exploding shards of gospel and blues tunes hinted at fleetingly.

If all this sounds nearly too good to be true, there are a few minor glitches. While Max Roach thunderously inspires Bird and Diz on four tunes, Big Sid Cattlet, who plays drums on two tunes, just doesn't have the same flair for this music, not that his lack of flair diminishes the inventiveness of the stars. Pianist Al Haig, who, like bassist Curley Russell, is poorly served by the recording quality, sounds bewildered by the proceedings. And MC Symphony Sid Torin sounds just a little more smarmy and stupid than I've heard him before, playing the useless MC role.

These quibbles aside, I think this is one terrific reissue that cuts—here's the heresy—the Massey Hall concert, even though that hyped event had Bud Powell and Mingus backing the horn titans. Massey Hall to me sounds like Bird and Diz were at one another's throats. This one has them sounding like lovers locked in giddy embrace.


Track Listing: Intro; Bebop; A Night in Tunisia; Groovin' High; Salt Peanuts; Hot House; Fifty-Second Street Theme.

Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie: trumpet; Charlie Parker: saxophone; Don Byas: saxophone; Al Haig: piano; Curley Russell: bass; Max Roach: drums; Big Sid Catlett: drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Uptown Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Star-Spangled Voltage" CD/LP/Track Review Star-Spangled Voltage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Muddy Ditch" CD/LP/Track Review Muddy Ditch
by John Eyles
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Real Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Real Talk
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Soul Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Tree
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!