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Washington D.C. 1948

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the spring of 1948, Charlie Parker appeared in Washington D.C. at a promoted afternoon jam session billed as 'Dixieland vs. Bebop'. Previously unreleased, this recording chronicles the entire event that featured the equally legendary Buddy Rich, as well as a cast of Washington's best local musicians. Dixieland veterans Wild Bill Davison, Tony Parenti and Benny Morton also appear in a final open jam. Part of the Uptown Jazz 'Flashback Series'. Comes with an exhaustively researched 52 page booklet, with notes by Ross Firestone, Ira Gitler, and Ron Fritts. The booklet also contains photos and illustrations from the concert and the era.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Uptown Jazz
  • ASIN: B00177YVPA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By H. Lim on August 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The guys at Uptown Records have done it again, somehow retrieving a complete Charlie Parker concert from the 1940s recorded on lacquer acetate discs.

Or rather, it is a concert in which Parker appears. This unreleased concert from 1948 comes from the height of Parker's skill. You will hear a lot of brilliant soloing here. But the concert is not a Charlie Parker concert.

Billed as a "battle" between Bebop and Dixieland, the concert mostly features unknown and obscure musicians, such as Earl Swope on trombone (not very competent) and Charles Walp on trumpet (a lot better).

Further, although I understand the sound on this release has been considerably upgraded, it still stinks. The rhythm section is only vaguely audible at times. However, Charlie Parker's solos come through loud and clear. In 1948 Parker was still at the height of his powers, and his improvisations are free from cliches and very inventive.

The concert includes a performance of "These Foolish Things" on which Bird is very impressive, and a fine performance of "Koko" where Bird actually quotes "Cherokee", unlike the studio version!

The presentation of this album is not very good. There are copious liner notes, but they are dry in the extreme and only of interest to the most avid Bird-watcher. There is no discussion of how these discs were discovered, nor is there any warning of the poor sound quality. Oh well.

Overall, unlike the recently discovered Town Hall Concert, this album is not for beginners. Even those steeped in the Bird mythology might hesitate to purchase this disc; its sound really is horrible and Parker is only one soloist amongst some mediocrities.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a rather short CD, but rewarding to all Bird's fans. Some of these tracks have been already on a Bird's Eyes CD but less complete and in much worst sound. This CD is culled from the masters, which are not high fidelity, but are OK. Bird is superb on "These Foolish Things" and on the rest. The other players are less known and less interesting. But Bird makes this worth. The edition is OK, coupled with a booklet full of interesting information about the concert (certainly a minor event in Bird's life) and the lesser participants.

M.
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By Ron on December 20, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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