Music fans who discovered Bird in his later years, especially those who never had a chance to hear him play in person, must sometimes wonder then if the stories told about the music he played at times aren’t at least half falsehood.
These are the ones to whom these recordings may come as a real surprise and eye-opener, for here is the Bird that was heard only when he could spread his wings in the freedom of a club or ballroom where no time was imposed on the length of the tunes played or the choruses blown.
Here were played the passages that almost defy musical analyzation because of their intricacies, their spontaneity, their humour, their tremendous depth of feeling – – – all played so glibly and matter-of-factly by this master of the alto saxophone.
Charlie Parker attracted young musicians like a magnet. Among them was trombonist Jimmy Knepper, who, at a time when tape recording was a brand-new thing, captured Bird in flight one winter night in Manhattan. He soared, and when Charles Mingus heard the music years later, he issued it as the first release on his new Jazz Workshop label. Since then, many private recordings of Parker have been made public.
This was one of the first, and remains one of the best, a precious musical document.
3. Embraceable You
5. I Cover the Waterfront
6. Scrapple From the Apple
7. Star Eyes
2. Out of Nowhere
3. Hot House
4. What’s New?
5. Now’s The Time
6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes