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Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945
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Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945
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This is a live concert recording of Dizzy and Bird from Town Hall not previously known to have been recorded. With audio restoration by Ted Kendell, the sound is excellent. This is a discovered recording of Dizzy and Bird at bebop's inception - the equivalent of finding the Buddy Bolden cylinder. Also features Don Byas, Al Haig, Curley Russell and Max Roach. This 7 track CD includes the songs "Intro," "Bebop," "A Night In Tunisia," "Groovin' High," "Salt Peanuts," "Hot House" and "52nd Street Theme."
Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker first became aware of each other in 1940 when the former was playing in Cab Calloway's band and the latter with Jay McShann. Two years later they were both living in New York City and a real friendship developed. By 1945 they were recording and gigging together, culminating in this Town Hall concert on June 22, 1945. These recordings languished for sixty years as acetates that weren't even known to exist in their entirety. That this set captures these two formidable players in their ascendancy and with such clarity is a staggering find. Here, with host Symphony Sid announcing the songs (this would have been for his radio show, but apparently never ended up in his possessions), an important chapter in American music is now restored. By the end of the summer of '45 Gillespie and Parker went their separate ways, both emerging with their own bands and reaching new heights of commercial success. --David GreenbergerSee all Editorial Reviews
Top customer reviews
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All the musicians play great, not just Parker and Gillespie. Al Haig on piano and Max Roach and Sid Catlett on drums are wonderful. Most live recordings from the 1940s/50s capture the sax or trumpet, but the drums become a soupy mess. The drums and cymbals are loud and clear here.
This contains the best version of "Salt Peanuts" you'll ever hear. Nearly all the songs are played *twice* as long as the 3-minute records, or longer, so we can hear exactly how night club audiences experienced them at the time.
Like all Uptown releases, this comes with a fine supplemental book with rare photos, info, and contemporary ads and reviews of the concert.
The sound was raw, unpolished and even undisciplined. Elvis would go on to sound arguably better
and more grounded as he became a mega-star. That he never again sounded like this, though, was
a cryin' in the chapel shame. There is nothing like the sound of unharnessed genius, and this Town Hall
recording of Bird and Diz, both in their formative jazz phase, is exactly that. Aside from Bird's 1950 Birdland
set with Bud Powell and Fats Navarro, this might be his most exiting playing on record. Diz, too, is exploding
with youthful abandon. These guys were still finding their way, and while some might argue they got better
with time, these rare sides catch them when they were just discovering their own brilliance. I dare say I
find this concert more exciting than the revered Massey Hall gig, made 8 years later when the players knew
their stuff - maybe too well. Bird, Diz and Max Roach at Town Hall, NYC, 1945. That's the ticket.
Groovin' High and Salt Peanuts are my favorites here, but all the songs are winners.
Symphony Sid gets on my nerves a bit, but luckily his time is very limited. Yes, he did much to promote jazz, but he's just not my cup of tea. All the musicians really "bring it" and are on fire. I had never even heard of pianist Al Haig until getting this CD (learn something new every day I guess) but he got the job done. Realistically, my focus was on Dizzy and Charlie anyway. bottom line: buy it now!