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Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949
Charlie Parker
Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

This edition of Norman Granz's star-studded Jazz at the Philharmonic comes from a September 1949 concert at Carnegie Hall. The format is the usual loose jam session mixing bop and swing musicians, but it's an extraordinary...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Charlie Parker
Title: Jazz at the Philharmonic 1949
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1949
Re-Release Date: 10/12/1993
Album Type: Live
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Swing Jazz, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731451980329

This edition of Norman Granz's star-studded Jazz at the Philharmonic comes from a September 1949 concert at Carnegie Hall. The format is the usual loose jam session mixing bop and swing musicians, but it's an extraordinary lineup, joining Parker with two of his biggest influences, trumpeter Roy Eldridge and tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Young swings mightily, particularly on his signature "Lester Leaps in," while Eldridge is sparkling throughout, his opening statement of "Embraceable You" a lustrous delight. Parker's mercurial genius is apparent every time he solos, while the other horn players--tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips and trombonist Tommy Turk--add some meaty, hard-driving work. The rhythm section is something of a mixed blessing, combining the consummate skills of pianist Hank Jones and bassist Ray Brown with Buddy Rich's obstreperous drumming, but it all works in the vigorous JATP fashion, giants and journeymen alike generating the wailing force of a big band. Ella Fitzgerald's vocals add much to the excitement of "Flying Home" and "How High the Moon." --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

After you've heard one--(But on the other hand...)
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rarely do I feel the urge to play another one of the records by Norman Granz' traveling production--the same tunes, same chord changes, same format, same musicians, same sub-par audio reproduction. But this one is the exception (the Stan Getz-J.J. Johnson edition is also pretty good) for a couple of simple, but singular, reasons: Bird and Ella. To the experienced ear, Bird flies way above the growling tenors, the screeching trumpets, the raucous crowd, and demonstrates why he's the best improvisor in the history of jazz. Moreover, the audio on this session, while admittedly "lo fi," is a notch above similar outings, including the one of Bird traveling with the group in 1946. Not only does the session provide an opportunity to hear Bird play in a live, extended format, but it's unique in including him with Ella on a couple of the tunes.

This is not one of Bird's legendary, "perfect" solos on "Embraceable You," but it's a simply dazzling improvisation by him on "Lester Leaps In," light years ahead of the other musicians and in the league of Tatum's harmonies at their most complex and sophisticated. (Lest there be any misunderstanding, Bird's is the third horn to solo on "Lester Leaps In," after Lester himself and trombonist Tommy Turk and before trumpeter Roy Eldridge, who goes 4th, and Flip Phillips, who serves as the 5th and final horn. All of the soloists, including Lester, acquit themselves well.) The other highlight is to hear Ella come back for the encore ("Perdido") and join it mid-stream. She's "just" another one of the jamming musicians.

After a lifetime of collecting records, an acquisition like this prevents me from stopping.

[I agree with other reviewers that all of the soloists are in fine form and deserve commendation. Trombonist Tommy Turk is especially impressive, all the more so because he's so obscure that I'm left to wonder if the name is not a pseudonym for someone like Bill Harris, adopted for the occasion to avoid contractual conflicts. It's a shame the audio doesn't pick up the bass and that the horns don't have more "presence," but at least the sound hasn't been messed with by some modern engineer to the point where it sounds artificial and phony.] [Later: See the invaluable recent review--January, 2010--about TOMMY TURK. One of the most interesting things I've read about a musician in a long time.]"
Great Music
L. Jackson | Oak Park,MI | 06/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I remember about 5 years ago in my Music Appreciation class we were learning about Jazz in the 40's and 50's. I knew nothing about the man they called Charlie Parker back then. But what I remember is the way my instructor bobbed his head when Charlie Parker began to play. Initially I became attracted to what I was hearing, but I didn't have a desire to get any of this man's brilliant music. But I am now on a quest for what I heard several years ago. I am a newcomer to the great Charlie Parker and I have heard several of his Cd's and so far JATP 1949 is thebest because of it's sound quality. Charlie Parker is outstanding and so is Lester Young. I would've given this cd 5 stars only if it had more Charlie Parker. But there certainly is enough of him, I'm just greedy. I recommend this cd for everyone and don't believe the negative that you here about "this cd&quot. He did a wonderful job bringing Charlie Parker to this type of setting. I would like to know what Charlie Parker cd's have the best sound quality. Thank you."
Amazing music
Milan | Europe, FR Yugoslavia, Belgrade | 05/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's simply outstanding music, with great solo works by Prez and Bird. Prez's solo on "Embraceable You" is the high point of his career, and the great moment in recorded history of jazz!"