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Bird & Diz [LP]
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This 1952 collection is one of bebop's key artefacts and also represents two milestones: the only and only time that pianist Thelonious Monk recorded with the dynamic duo, and the last time Gillespie and Parker appeared together in the studio. It also features the red-hot rhythm section of bassist Curly Stewart and drummer Buddy Rich.
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It's hard for me to describe how and why I like this album. I think the main reason that I like it is that it's so strange and so normal at the same time. The tunes exemplify this...two catchy blues (Bloomdido and Mohawk), a laid-back song to the same chord changes as "Stompin at the Savoy" (Relaxin' with Lee), a slowish and rather bizarre rhythm-changes tune (An Oscar for Treadwell), leap frog which is just ridiculously fast, and rather cheerful...and then...my melancholy baby.
And of course...bizarre stuff happens to the harmonies and rhythms when you put these musicians together. One moment it sounds so old-fashioned, the next moment totally modern. I love it all the way!
You get two takes of each most songs, four of leap frog, and some outtakes for kicks.
This is not the CD to buy as your "introduction to jazz" or for someone whose tastes you are uncertain of. But if you *really love* jazz, this is a MUST-BUY.
As far as sound quality goes, you will not do better for this time frame. Some have complained about the addition of the false starts etc. of songs; nonsense! They are rare glimpses of the creative processes that went into the recording of these milestones. What would such people advocate? Less music?!? The more the better. If they present a problem, use your skip remote for goodness sakes.
Now for the plug! I cannot emphasize this enough: these recordings are the high water mark of the early bop era, equaled but rarely surpassed. They are absolutely essential to anyone who is a fan of Diz and Bird. They help define, elaborate, ground, establish the well deserved reputation of these two giants and their contribution to music. Yes, one can argue that the Savoy and Dial sessions are more polished, innovative etc., but that is all besides the point. If you are reading this review, you are not the casual music or jazz fan. You simply cannot go wrong with this album and I guarantee you that it will be on your playlist for years. If you are a newcomer, buy the disc and use it as an inspiration and launching pad to further Diz and Byrd. Enjoy!
Top international reviews
All the band are at the top of their game - Parker and Gillespie seem to be engaged in continual and relentless dualling...Monk and Rich and Russell provide their own unique styles ...it all fits..
The 1st six tracks are from the original 10" vinyl, released in 1952 on Verve , two years after it was recorded. Many of the critics at the time viewed it as a missed opportunity.....also much criticism on the decision to employ the services of big band drummer Buddy Rich, whose drumming style was intrusive and out of step....apparently..... not an opinion i share at all..
All the tracks are up there with the best work of Parker and Gillespie. i won't go into each one, but would like to single out 'leap frog' which is a must hear track....its a frenetic parker composition that doesn't let up for 2.29 mins. not that long admittedly, but at the end of it you need to take a breath.. its a perfect example of sparring between Parker and Gillespie, who try to outdo each other and sound like they are fighting for their lives....incredible music by these masters of improvisation..
in addition to the first 6 tracks there are 18 bonus tracks, 10 of these being complete and incomplete takes of Leap frog, for those who didnt get enough the first time round...all the bonus tracks are excellent and pefectly flesh out the original 10" album release, which only ran for around 20 mins...im normally not a fan of bonus tracks but here i make an exception... there is also some studio chatter......
the cd sleeve is a gatefold card design...the booklet is very detailed and informative..there is an essay by journalist James Patrick....
for fans of all the musicians, especially Parker and Gillespie, this album is an essential purchase..
Si tratta di incisioni che rappresentano classici del bee bop di indubbio valore artistico di cui si e' detto tutto. Registrazioni ovviamente che risentono dell'epoca, comunque sufficienti nella qualita' audio.