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Bird & Diz

Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie ParkerAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000472E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,513 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bird and Diz ... and MONK! May 24, 2010
Format:Audio CD
The original 78s released after this 1950 recording-studio session read "CHARLIE PARKER and His Orchestra", clearly a slight to Dizzie Gillespie, which was corrected when the music was re-released on LP in 1956. "Orchestra" might be an odd designation for the quintet heard on the recording -- sax, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums -- but the real oversight was the omission of Thelonius Monk from the title and the cover art. Bird and Diz played each other's socks off in this session, but their performances were less an 'epiphany', to my ears at least, than the expressive originality of Thelonius Monk on piano, both while he's coming the trumpet/sax solo choruses and while he's laying down his own unpredictable chromatically daring riffs. Monk was at the nadir of his career around 1950; there are no other recordings of him from 1949 to 1952. It was Parker who recognized Monk's genius and brought him into this studio session.

It is STUDIO jazz. All the tracks are under four minutes, just long enough for one side on a 78. It's not a club session, not a jam session, not a hyper-energized improv session. Rather it's the 'rehearsed' concentrated classical result of innumerable jam sessions. You can hear just how much of Bebop was 'composed' rather than 'free' by comparing the two "takes" of the Parker pieces here -- two tracks each of "An Oscar for Treadwell", "Mohawk", "My Melancholy Baby", and "Relaxin with Lee", and four (4) tracks of "Leap Frog".

Being studio jazz is not a bad thing, however. The playing by Bird and Diz is taut and clean; if you've ever doubted the sheer physical virtuosity of Gillespie as a trumpeter, or the precise harmonic/melodic genius of Parker as a musician, this CD will set you straight. The sound quality is another very big plus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Triumvirate Summit April 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This session had real possibilities, but, as Max Harrison, Ira Gitler, Martin Williams, and recently Carl Woideck all point out, the presence of Buddy Rich, and his rim-shot/heavy-on-the-bass drum swing approach in the company of Parker, Gillespie and Monk, puts a drag on the proceedings. But this is not a diatribe on Rich. No doubt his inclusion was Norman Granz's idea, since he used Rich a lot in the JATP sessions in more appropriate musical contexts. What saves things are the many new intricate bop pieces that one finds only here, the teaming up of Monk with Bird and Diz, and some wonderfully inspired playing. One is hard-pressed, beyond Dean Benedetti's brief snippets, to find a Parker-Monk combination, and a Diz-Monk match-up is probably non-existent. It is especially interesting to hear Monk play behind Gillespie: all sorts of fascinating harmonic ideas emerge. All three are in fine form, and had Max Roach, or Kenny Clarke, or Roy Haynes been chosen to form a quadrumvirate, this would have been an even more unique session than it is, for they had given modern jazz drumming an independent voice, beyond just rhythmic accompaniment. Even so, the union of the triumvirate means that this is a five-star recording. It has been reissued on Polygram with alternate takes, though none of "Bloomdido" or "Mohawk," two of the real stand-outs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it February 25, 2014
Format:Audio CD
My technical knowledge cannot match that of other reviewers. And I can't begin to know if Buddy Rich was a good or bad choice. All is can tell you is this is an amazing piece of music. Quit reading and just listen.
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