Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Rickie Lee Jones: "There's lots of music and not so much celebrity. I guess I'll stay here [New Orleans] for a while if it doesn't get washed away in the flood." - (The Observer 18.04.21)

Archive quotes.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Postage

13,107 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 526 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (April 16).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Charlie Parker – The Golden Era Bebop Five.


On May 7, 1949, Charlie Parker and his Quintet flew to France to take part in that year’s Paris International Jazz Festival together with a star-studded line-up of American jazz stars of the era including Sidney Bechet, Hot Lips Page, Miles Davis, Big Chief Russell Moore, Pete Johnson, and Tadd Dameron among others. On May 5, Bird and his group were in the studio taping tracks for Norman Granz’ Mercury label.

A musically successful session, but the results were never released in any logical format until decades later. As a result, the tracks have been overlooked by many reviewers, discographers and commentators down the years owing to the chaotic, error-strewn, piece-meal naming and releasing of the songs and by the incompetence of the various music organisations, mainly Granz, involved.


However, thanks to Phil Schaap (a Parker ‘authority’ who has spent his life researching all aspects of  Bird’s music in minute detail), all the material recorded on that day has been correctly released “warts-and-all” on Unheard Bird: Charlie Parker The Unissued Takes on Verve 00602547846587. The three tracks are now known as Tune X (Segment/Diverse) Tune Y (Blues) and Tune Z (Passport) and throughout, Charlie’s playing is amazing. He is confident, unbelievably imaginative, playful, daring and fully in control of the situation. One can tell that the whole group were also looking forward to this prestigious event in Paris.

Al Haig, in my opinion, Bird’s best accompanist – his comping was so musical, apposite and supportive that it would inspire the front line players. Max Roach, equally impressive, prompting, cajoling, guiding and thoughtfully kicking the whole session along.

Trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s playing was somewhat uneven, however, it must be remembered that he was a young man learning his trade in the shadows of Gillespie and Navarro in the crucible of the Parker Quintet and who, later in his career, became a fluent first-rate player with a lovely burnished tone.

Tommy Potter on bass was Bird’s ‘Mr Dependable’ providing accurate, bouncy, bebop bass-lines completing the ideal rhythm section. There is a photograph taken at the Salle Pleyel where Tommy is playing at the front of the group and Bird and Kenny are standing behind – it looks as though Bird wanted the bass lines to be picked up by the house sound system (there were no amps for the bass in those days).

From the numerous alternate takes provided by Phil Schaap it’s possible to hear Charlie trying out ideas, improving or discarding them. There are several examples of him using a favourite device where he begins his phrase a bar or two before the conventional sequence leaving the listener (and possibly the rhythm section) disconcerted – this was groundbreaking in 1949! He also gets himself into musical tight corners in his solos but always seems ‘to get away with it’ naturally. The aural fidelity of the session is surprisingly high for the time and Charlie’s own tone was captured fully ranging from gentle, warm, beguiling and sensuous to harsh, electrifying and demanding.

Bird, vous etes formidable, Bravo!
Dave B.                                                                   

No comments :

Blog archive