Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The king of the Cool & Bebop pianists returns
rash67 | USA | 10/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Al Haig played the bebop piano of choice for Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, early Stan Getz and many others in the 1945-1950 timeframe. Before he vanished for unknown reasons, he played with everybody and with good reason. Classically trained, (he used to warm up for Charlie Parker concerts by playing Chopin) he could play bebop with the fastest of them and maintain that lyrical sound at high speed. It is as if he were thinking four times as fast as everyone else was playing. Much of his better work was done as a sideman in the shadow of other greats.Here he returns, recorded in 1974, as the lead, not a sideman. This CD is not really bepop, but mainstream jazz. The effortless speed remains, in subtle bursts, in slower songs his more lyrical side shines through. Outside of the glare of some of the bigger Jazz names/egos, some tunes on the CD are Haig's and others are less well known tunes (you can't really call them standards) by other writers. He instantly accelerates, still playing those 64th note or 132nd note arpeggios and grace notes with perfect even pressure on every key while playing swing or samba rhythms. Listen to the title track as an example. Technically he is astonding, while being beautifully lyrical. Anyone who likes Bill Evans or Brad Mehldau will fall in love with the music of Al Haig, even if there is very little of him available on disc.The recording quality, altho not state of the art, is worlds better than the spotty late forties bepop recordings. Now you can hear how good he was. Better recording and great performances."