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Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949 Live

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Audio CD, Live, October 12, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

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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


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: #76,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dee jay mush one on January 12, 2010
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LaMetrius Jackson on June 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I remember about 5 years ago in my Music Appreciation class we were learning about Jazz in the 40's and 50's. I knew nothing about the man they called Charlie Parker back then. But what I remember is the way my instructor bobbed his head when Charlie Parker began to play. Initially I became attracted to what I was hearing, but I didn't have a desire to get any of this man's brilliant music. But I am now on a quest for what I heard several years ago. I am a newcomer to the great Charlie Parker and I have heard several of his Cd's and so far JATP 1949 is thebest because of it's sound quality. Charlie Parker is outstanding and so is Lester Young. I would've given this cd 5 stars only if it had more Charlie Parker. But there certainly is enough of him, I'm just greedy. I recommend this cd for everyone and don't believe the negative that you here about "this cd". He did a wonderful job bringing Charlie Parker to this type of setting. I would like to know what Charlie Parker cd's have the best sound quality. Thank you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Sanity Inspector on April 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Unlike the great mural jointly painted by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, unlike the great novel collectively written by Hemingway, Dreiser, Steinbeck, and Dos Passos, unlike the classical masterpiece composed in conference by Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann, this disc actually exists. Nobody on this date is less than terrific, but it is a revelation to hear Charlie Parker and Lester Young together. Flip Phillips gets the crowd fired up with his conventional hot licks; Roy Eldridge does the same with his stage-chewing trumpet, as does Tommy Turk with his trombone; the rhythm section of bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and pianist Hank Jones keeps things hopping.
But apart from all the very real and very welcome fun is the intriguing contrast between Bird and Prez. Lester Young's flowing lines were a marked departure from the more muscular sax of his great predecessors like Coleman Hawkins. (Although Young could honk too, as he does here on "The Closer".) Young is still too advanced for the crowd, who do not cheer him as lustily as they do Phillips. Yet his style has already been comprehended and surpassed by Parker, as evidenced by his darting, upper-register, bop lines. He's so brilliant the record is filed under his name.
The JATP traded in manufactured thrills? Hey, at least it's thrilling, compared to the if-you-want-melody-you're-a-fascist attitude of jazz that would come in subsequent decades. A great souvenir from an age when geniuses weren't ashamed to show their audiences a good time.
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