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Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949 Live

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, October 12, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

This edition of Norman Granz's star-studded Jazz at the Philharmonic comes from a September 1949 concert at Carnegie Hall. The format is the usual loose jam session mixing bop and swing musicians, but it's an extraordinary lineup, joining Parker with two of his biggest influences, trumpeter Roy Eldridge and tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Young swings mightily, particularly on his signature "Lester Leaps in," while Eldridge is sparkling throughout, his opening statement of "Embraceable You" a lustrous delight. Parker's mercurial genius is apparent every time he solos, while the other horn players--tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips and trombonist Tommy Turk--add some meaty, hard-driving work. The rhythm section is something of a mixed blessing, combining the consummate skills of pianist Hank Jones and bassist Ray Brown with Buddy Rich's obstreperous drumming, but it all works in the vigorous JATP fashion, giants and journeymen alike generating the wailing force of a big band. Ella Fitzgerald's vocals add much to the excitement of "Flying Home" and "How High the Moon." --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000046R1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
[Recently the "doctored" recording of Bird playing a marathon solo of "Lester Leaps In" in the Clint Eastwood film "Bird" (played by Forest Whittaker) raised numerous questions since Bird recorded the tune only twice according to my research, and he rarely chose to play more than one or two choruses, whether on stage or in the studio. Yet he improvises for a full nine 32-bar choruses on the movie soundtrack. The mystery was finally solved. The original "Lester" was from a 1952 amateur recording on which Lennie Niehaus had removed the rhythm section, replacing them with a new one led by pianist Monty Alexander. Others may disagree, but I would have to recommend Bird's solo on the 1949 JATP date ahead of either the original 9-chorus solo or the doctored 9-chorus solo of the late 1980s' Eastwood movie. On the present solo, it's admittedly a challenge but the listener need no be overwhelmed by the solo. It's 4 instead of 9 choruses (Lester, Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones also need solo time), and the tempo is slightly slower--just enough to make it possible to follow Bird's intricate patterns and phrasings as well as the structural development of the solo.]

What follows is my original review:

Rarely do I feel the urge to play another one of the records by Norman Granz' traveling production--the same tunes, same chord changes, same format, same musicians, same sub-par audio reproduction. But this one is the exception (the Stan Getz-J.J. Johnson edition is also pretty good) for a couple of simple, but singular, reasons: Bird and Ella. To the experienced ear, Bird flies way above the growling tenors, the screeching trumpets, the raucous crowd, and demonstrates why he's the best improvisor in the history of jazz.
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Format: Audio CD
I neither agree nor disagree with the other reviews above. Bird, Ella, Roy, Prez - they didn't make any bad albums. However, everyone is sleeping on the unsung star on this recording - the great trombonist Tommy Turk. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Tommy possessed a MONSTER sound + chops, and could rip it on both the swing and beebop selections. Under-recorded and underpromoted, very little has been written about him. However, he was most likely one of the top ten best trombone players of the 40's/50's, along with Frank Rosolino, Slide Hampton, and JJ. His sound and style were rough, wild, and seemingly more "on the edge than some of these other, "cleaner" virtuosos." Tommy was reportedly a very friendly and peaceful person. He also suffered from being severely overweight, and most likely was also diabetic. He was murdered during a bank hold up circa 1980 in Las Vegas; when the gunmen ordered everyone to lay face down on the floor, his weight prevented him from doing this comfortably, and sat up to try and breathe, he was shot and killed. He can also be heard on a Verve JATP album with Billie Holiday, as well as some sides with Flip Philips. However, in my opinion, these sidemen and rhythm section inspire him to greater heights than any of his other scant recordings. There are no known performance photographs of him. Remember this gentle giant through this dope album!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THERE is not a bad song on this masterpiece.THE song EMBRACEABLE YOU is taken to new heights by LESTER YOUNG and CHARLIE PARKERS completely different style of playing.THE contrast between the styles of PARKER and YOUNG is stunning.THE stark spare haunting playing and the flowing sensual playing of PARKER show that great musicians rise to the challenge.CHECK out YOUTUBE the playing of PARKER AND YOUNG are isolated and can be compared by themselves.
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Format: MP3 Music
What can be best-described as his follow-up to Jazz At The Philharmonic--1946, his
highly praised debut for Verve (also released in1946), Bird would give another standout
concert date in Norman Granz' Jazz At The Philharmonic revue with this one from 1949
where he teams with an all-star cast including Lester Young (whom he share a top duet
billing with), Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones, Buddy Rich and Ella Fitzgerald, which makes it
one of the best and most beloved classic live albums to come from the J.A.T.P. legacy.
Showcase by a dazzling set of long extended preppy versions of compositions like The
Opener and The Closer, as well as on standards--notably on How High The Moon and
Embraceable You, Jazz At The Philharmonic--1949 is one of those live masterworks to
come directly from The Jazz At The Philharmonic Series. Even if Bird trades solos with
Young (Parker's foremost influence who was nicknamed Pres') on Lester Leaps In, the
passionate powerful alto attack blows off a good deal of velocity, which adds up to the
success of Jazz At The Philharmonic--1949. What can be best described as where The
Swing Era Meets The Bebop Era, these giants of jazz wail on these stunning tracks set
that produced these exciting performances as it makes this one a another breathtaking
example live jazz at it's most transcendent and another fun-filled timeless live record to
come out of the 1940's.
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