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Charlie Parker – Bird at St. Nick’s
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow Veteran Charlie Parker collectors generally know that they should avoid all but his most famous live sessions. It is not that Parker plays badly (in fact his solo on "Confirmation" is quite miraculous) but, as is often the case with these privately recorded sets, the recording quality is horrible. Bird (with trumpeter Red Rodney, pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Roy Haynes) plays quite well but these versions only hint at what the music must have sounded like.
Helen Humes – “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-Ness If I Do
Helen Humes had not recorded as a leader in seven years when she made the first of three albums for Contemporary. Humes, 45 at the time, was at the peak of her powers, although she never really made a bad record. Accompanied by Benny Carter (on trumpet), trombonist Frank Rosolino, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, pianist Andrew Previn, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and either Shelly Manne or Mel Lewis on drums, the singer is typically enthusiastic, exuberant, and highly appealing on such numbers as "You Can Depend on Me," "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," and "''Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do." She even sings credible versions of "Bill Bailey" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" on this easily recommended LP.