Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker – Town Hall NYC, June 22, 1945 (2005)

FrontCover1The historic live Town Hall sessions by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker from 1945 have been discovered on an acetate pressing, and are transferred with digital enhancement to CD. Why this concert was not issued initially is understandable, but Ira Gitler’s informative and insightful liner notes suggest they likely were misplaced. What Gitler’s essential writing also reveals is that these dates were approximate by only weeks to the original studio recordings of these classics, and there was no small amount of controversy surrounding this revolutionary bebop. Clearly bop was a vehicle for intricate melodic invention followed by lengthy soloing, aspects of which Parker with Gillespie were perfectly suited for. Fact is, the situation surrounding the sonic capture and extended neglected shelf life of this performance was far from optimal.

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Symphony Sid Torin is the M.C., rambling as always, making repeated references to Dizzy “Jillespie” and misidentifying Max Roach as Sid Catlett on “Salt Peanuts.” (Catlett does sit in on “Hot House” in a more supportive than demonstrative role.) The tracks with the brilliant Roach are on fire, particularly the super-hot “Salt Peanuts,” with pianist Al Haig flying beside him. Haig is perhaps the most impressive musician. The rhythm section, especially Haig, is more present in the mix and up front, while the trumpet and alto sax are buried. As the concert progresses, it gets better, with Gillespie’s muted trumpet clearer. Parker lays back on the mike, but not in spirit or bravado for “Interlude,” which is now known as “A Night in Tunisia,” and better balanced during “Groovin’ High,” which was originally titled “Whispering.”

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There seems to be an unplanned slight key chance in the bridge of “Groovin’ High.” A late-arriving Parker was in part replaced by tenor saxophonist Don Byas, who sounds terrific on the opener, “Bebop,” until Parker steps on-stage and ups the ante. At under 41 minutes in length, this can be looked upon as a historical document, likely appealing only to completists. But the overriding factor of previously undiscovered Diz and Bird makes the CD something all bebop fans should readily embrace, despite its audio deficiencies. (Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Al Haig (piano)
Charlie Parker (saxophone)
Max Roach (drums)
Curley Russell (bass)
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Don Byas (saxophone on 01.)
Sidney Catlett (drums on 05. + 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.20
02-  Bebop (Gillespie) 7.11
03. A Night In Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli) 7.34
04. Groovin’ High (Gillespie) 7.16
05. Salt Peanuts (Clarke/Gillespie) 7.52
06. Hot House (Dameron) 7.14
07. Fifty Second Street Theme (Monk) 2.14

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John Coltrane & Dizzy Gillespie – Trane’s First Ride 1951 (2013)

FrontCover1Here’s another slice of jazz history.

Thanks to u014945 who uploaded the tracks; and to ShaReeF who shared them at HungerCity.

Uploader’s notes:

Typical of many jazz bootleg LPs, this one contains no dates nor any information beyond song titles and the year of 1951 (despite having a long liner essay by one “E.S.Spoe”). After a good Birdlandbit of research (and matching some of it with my recollections from countless hours of listening to the pedantic, yet informative Phil Schaap on Bird Flight here in New York City weekday mornings on WKCR), I have come up with the following probable list of dates and line-ups.

The venue is always Birldand.

Recorded live at Birdland, NY. Very good radio broadcasts. Ripped from vinyl, slight crackling noises and hiss.
Tracks 01, 02, 03 – January 6, 1951

Tracks 04, 06, 08 – February 3, 1951
Track 05 – January 13, 1951
Track 07 – March 17, 1951

Personnel:
Art Blakey (drums)
John Coltrane (saxophone)
Carl “Kansas” Fields (drums on 07.)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Percey Heath (bass)
Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
JJ Johnson (trombone on 04., 06. + 08.)
John Lewis (piano on 07.)
Billy Taylor (piano)

TwoGiantsJohn Coltrane & Dizzy Gillespie

Tracklist:
01. Congo Blues (Norvo) 3.06
02. Night in Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli) 6.24
03. Yesterdays (Harbach/Kern) 3.06
04. Birk’s Works (Gillespie) 4.50
05. Good Bait (Dameron) 3.33
06. I Can’t Get Started (Gillespie) 2.53
07. Birk’s Works (Air Check 2) (Gillespie) 5.16
08. Jumping With Symphony Sid (Young) 302

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