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The Quintet: Jazz At Massey Hall [Original Jazz Classics Remasters]

May 15, 2012 | Format: MP3

Song Title
Digital Booklet: The Quintet: Jazz At Massey Hall [Original Jazz Classics Remasters]
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • Copyright: (C) 2012 Concord Music Group, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 46:38
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,700 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, but not "essential" recording of perhaps the five greatest jazz instrumentalists of the bop era. The legendary players include Charlie "Bird" Parker on sax, John B. "Dizzie" Gillespie on trumpet, Bud Powell on piano, Charles Mingus on bass, and Max Roach on drums. It would be difficult to ask for a better all-star lineup; it is, indeed, a historic meeting.
However, while the meeting is stratospheric, the results are mixed. Of course, each plays superbly, but the ensemble playing--the empathic groove between the musicians-- is sometimes uneven. This is not to take away any superlatives from individual performances or those cuts where the band is tight and simpatico, but, in reviewing the performance, one must (somehow) suspend knowledge of each performer's individual excellence.
The biggest culprit is the very uneven sound quality obtained from Mingus' backstage recorder (!). Mingus, in fact, had to dub in most of his performance later because he was recorded so poorly. Unfortunately, no one else redubbed their parts, and this, at times, dampens the performances of Powell, Parker, and Roach. The second overall problem is the apparent lack of direction in some of the music. Finally, the band's ensemble playing seldom wanders far from the familiar bebop grooves. (When it does extend itself, however, the band's creative impulse will jolt you.) Here, then, are the cuts:
"Perdido" (7:53): Dizzy Gillespie provides the only fireworks here. His dramatic dynamics (volume changes) are well-recorded, his rapport with Roach is unusually good, and he throws in a trademark whimsical musical "quotation." Powell has a long searching solo that features an excellent fluid-yet-choppy solo.
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Format: Audio CD
Other than excerpts available here on Amazon, I haven't actually heard either this CD or the 20-bit remastered version of it. Based solely on the description, however, I instead ordered The Jazz Factory's 2003 CD "Complete Jazz at Massey Hall" (JFCD 22856) (referred to hereafter in this review as "CJMH"), and I am very glad I did. Here's why:
1. In addition to the 6 quintet tracks on the present CD, CJMH includes 8 other tracks from the concert, including a 4-and-a-half-minute self-contained drum solo by Max Roach, and 6 great tracks by a trio of Powell, Mingus, and Roach (Cherokee, Embraceable You, Halleluja, Sure Thing, Lullaby of Birdland, and I've Got You Under My Skin). Also, according to the liner notes, all 14 tracks are in the order in which they were performed at the concert.
2. NONE OF MINGUS' OVERDUBBED BASS is included on CJMH. You can still hear him, though, but much more naturally than he sounds on the overdubbed excerpts I've heard here on Amazon.
3. According to the notes on the CJMH case, the "original analogue masters have been digitally transferred at 24 bit resolution, processed using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16 bit for CD using prism SNS Noise Shaping." Whatever that means, the sound for the most part is great. Some of the tracks start a bit abruptly, and the sound on the 6 trio tracks is variable, but the sound quality of the 6 quintet tracks is phenomenal. Again, there is no Mingus overdubbing present, and--especially when Bird and Diz are playing--the sound has great clarity and presence. There is no real audible tape hiss except when only the rhythm section is playing and the levels are raised a bit.
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Format: Audio CD
This concert was a reunion for Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In spite of his name, Dizzy was actually a pretty stable guy, who was fed up with Bird's shennanigans. It was a shame, because they were two virtuosos, and Parker replaced Diz with a young Miles Davis, who was just not up to the task, not playing at a level to meet and challenge Bird.

To give you an idea of what Dizzy had been putting up with, Parker played the gig on a white plastic saxophone, because his horn was in the pawn shop. That was a common tactic of Charlie Parker, drug addict, pawning his horn before a gig, in order to get money for heroin. In spite of the plastic horn (that actually became kind of a collector's item because Bird had used the horn on this notorious recording) he played fantastic, and the alto break on Night in Tunisia, where the band stops just after playing the head, and then the alto carries it, and the band rejoins him for the first solo chorus, is classic, and is now referred to as THE "alto break." In addition to his pawn shop situation, Parker also had to record under the name of Charlie Chan, due to other contractual obligations. It is just amazing, that in spite of the situation, they had assembled the greatest band of all eternity, who were able to perform the Greatest Jazz Concert of All Time.

Charles Mingus was quite a bass player, but a volatile personality as well. One time when a trumpeter announced he was quitting, Mingus punched him in the mouth, breaking several teeth. This is even more serious for a musician, especially a trumpet man, than it is for the average citizen. What a prick. But what a bass player he was.

Bud Powell suffered from mental illness.
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