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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
44
Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$18.89+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on March 1, 2016
Fantastic!
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on December 20, 2015
đź‘Ťđź’•
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on November 4, 2015
A classic.
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on September 9, 2005
The unevenness of the recording attests to the authenticity of the live concert that captures these two jazz giants early in their careers. Their playing shines through the fog that obscures the clarity in the opening strains of the concert, but the patient listener will be rewarded, as the engineer adjusts the recording levels and mikes, with an exciting live performance by the young Parker and Gillespie. Especially scintillating are the solo breaks: a capella runs, leaps and flourishes that never falter.
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on October 5, 2005
Having had the privilege of performing with "Birks" in 1980 throughout Europe, it was marvelous listening to him at the top of his game, along with Charlie Parker, another marvel for the ages. Dizzy's brilliance as a performer/composer was only matched by his humility and flair for pedagogy. Though we shared stages, and hung out evenings, he had a way of imparting knowledge that was second to none. Even as we were playing, it was as if he was saying to us on the stand, and those in the audience, "This is where music is going. This is where we and you are taking it." He was a giant on and off the bandstand. This is a must for any lover of the only real American art form, Jazz.
Tony Horowitz
[...]
(...)
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on January 21, 2015
Very, very authentic. Good time capsule recording. I enjoy listening to it.
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on April 18, 2017
One of best live jazz CDs available. The master discs for this concert were only discovered in 2004. This would be significant enough if it was of poor quality, but the concert was, unbelievably, professionally recorded in high fidelity. The problem with recording to disc (or later tape) was that the song would continue but the disc side would end, leaving most live recordings from this era with incomplete songs. Not this one! The sound engineer used two turntables and started recording on the second disc when the first one was ending. This allowed the digital engineer of this reissue to synchronize everything perfectly.

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.
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on January 11, 2018
Astonishingly good sound quality for a live recording from this epoch, far better than any serious listener to early bebop would expect.

These pieces are standard repertoire for Bird and Dizzy at this time.

Dizzy and Roach play at a consistently high level here. Haig is good, not quite up to his game yet. Bird is late to the stage as often but apparently sober. His playing is a bit odd, but interesting as always. There are certain imperfections in the ensemble, now and again, but not enough to bother any listener who's aware of what real music sounds like when played by real musicians.

A minor note: poor Symphony "Big Mouth" Sid Torin. This recording will make you understand why Miles Davis couldn't stand him. Imagine being there and having to listen to him. (Plus you'd probably be dead now. Hard to know which is worse.)
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on August 31, 2016
In 1954&55 Elvis Presley sauntered into Sun Studios and recorded his legendary "Sun Sessions".
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.
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on February 2, 2016
There are some problems with this recording, but it is still undoubtedly deserving of 5 stars. This, in fact, may be peak bebop. 1945, when the idiom was at its freshest and most vital, this record captures an incredible moment in time. I have not heard Bird play better in a live setting on any recording. This is The Edge. Bird's solo on Hot House is mind blowing. An absolute Tour de Force. He was 25 years old. Diz and Max Roach are excellent as well. The AllMusic review by Michael G Nastos says "Haig may be the most impressive musician." Did he write that just to see if anyone would catch it? Well I did. Haig is not even in the same league as the hornmen and drummer.

This music is punk. It is protest music. It is art of the highest order. It is paradigm shifting.

If you are new to bebop, this is absolutely the place to start. If you are a veteran listener, its hard for me to imagine that this would not top your list.
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