THE COMPLETE CHARLIE PARKER Vol 2

NOW'S THE TIME - 1945-1946

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A lot of people didn't understand his music and when they started to do so, they still wondered how he did it. Charlie Parker remained a mystery.
Clint Eastwood


THE COMPLETE CHARLIE PARKER vol 2


A genuine “complete” set of the recordings left by Charlie Parker is impossible today and will remain so for a long time to come. Few musicians aroused so much passion during their own lifetimes and today, more than half a century after his disappearance, previously-unreleased music is published, and other titles – duly listed – will also come to light. A good many contain only solos by Bird, as they were recorded – privately – by musicians wanting to dissect his style. Regarding their sound-quality, most of them are at the limit: barely audible, sometimes almost intolerable, but in fact understandable: those who captured these sounds used portable recorders that wrote direct-to-disc, or wire-recorders, “tapes” (acetate or paper) and other machines now obsolete. Obviously they all produced sound-carriers that were fragile.  Of course, no solo ever played by Charlie Parker is to be disregarded. But a chronological compilation of almost everything he recorded – either inside a studio or on radio for broadcast purposes – does make it possible to provide an exhaustive panorama of the evolution of his style (Parker was, after all, one of the greatest geniuses in jazz), and to do so under acceptable listening-conditions. However, since we refer to style, the occasional presence here of some private recordings is indispensable, whatever the quality of the sound.  

THE COMPLETE CHARLIE PARKER
STUDIO & RADIO VOLUME 2
 
«Bird and Diz were dirty words for musicians of my generation. A lot of people were putting him (Parker) down. I didn’t think that was right. He came with something that should have been heard.»1 Red Norvo was both an old-school xylophone/vibraphone player and a man with a pronounced taste for off-the-beaten-track innovations. In this particular instance he’d invited the Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker duo along to a record-session he was doing. In the world of New York jazz, they were moderns. The session was booked for 9am one June 6th, the only moment when the other musicians due to take part in the fun would all be in New York: Teddy Wilson and Slam Stewart – both on tour with Benny Goodman – Flip Phillips from Woody Herman’s orchestra, and drummer J.C. Heard. Two «classics» were put in the can – Hallelujah, Get Happy – and two blues tunes, one with a quick tempo and another, slower, piece. Parker was in top form, and in Slam Slam Blues and each of the five versions of Congo Blues – his chorus in Take 4 is a genuine masterpiece – he shows himself to be an excellent blues-player. Even better, the unusual format adopted by the Comet label – 12» 78s – leaves him much more room to express himself.  These extremely attractive performances – naturally less radical than the Guild sides (cf. Vol.1) – were also well-distributed commercially, and they did much to en­hance Bird’s reputation. Pianist Jimmie Rowles heard Charlie Parker for the first time in Salt Lake City: Congo Blues was playing in a record-store when he walked in. Norvo’s musicians weren’t pure boppers although the fact did little to bridle the imaginations of Bird & Diz. When the pair came to do a New Jazz Foundation concert on June 22nd at Town Hall, however, their companions were all from their own musical universe – Al Haig, Curley Russell, Max Roach – or else fellow-travellers, such as Don Byas and Sidney Catlett.2 Even so, that didn’t stop Bird taking up an invitation from pianist Sir Charles Thompson: «Charlie Parker was one of the best friends I ever had. He was one of my predominant inspirations in writing and playing music, along with Art Tatum and several others who were also geniuses. It was by this experience of being closely related with Charlie Parker that I think my life was more or less moulded into whatever I’m doing in music. He was also a very, very talented and kind gentleman. I made my first recording for the Apollo Record Company with Charlie Parker as my first choice as a sideman.»3 After playing his first gig at the Spotlite with a trio where he was joined by Joe Albany and Stan Levey, Bird gracefully teamed up with Buck Clayton and Dexter Gordon; he might not have been putting as much into it as when he was playing with Gillespie, but The Street Beat still shows his consummate accomplishments in the art of seduction.   

On November 26th 1945 Charlie Parker finally did his first session for Savoy as a bandleader: he summoned Curley Russell, Max Roach, pianist Argonne Thornton a.k.a. Sadik Hakim (a last-minute replacement for Bud Powell), and Miles Davis. Despite the latter’s shortcomings, Bird had been quick to take him on as his partner for a booking at the Three Deuces. To Miles, a beginner, it was a dream come true: he’d wanted to play with Parker again ever since he’d first confronted Bird in St. Louis (a chance encounter when Billy Eckstine needed a stand-in); in fact, he’d been thinking of nothing else.  Still lacking in experience, and feeling awkward in front of a microphone, Miles had trouble getting onto Bird’s wavelength: two false starts and three takes were needed to get to the end of Billie’s Bounce, a tune that was typical of Parker’s compositional style. The clarity of his ideas, however, was vaunted by Franck Bergerot, who wrote that, «[...] in our opinion, the session’s masterpiece – where Miles is concerned – is the trumpet solo on the third take of ’Billie’s Bounce’»4 Take 5 was chosen for the original 78rpm version; it was less gratifying for Miles, but Parker’s contributions were better. In the first article ever devoted to the trumpeter in a French journal, Boris Vian singled out the exceptional qualities present during the trumpeter’s chorus in Now’s the Time:  «I believe it’s impossible to play more loosely than Miles does. [His] release and easy abandon carry a real calm [...] Then there’s that astounding phrasing, sinuous lines with rests that cut in as surprises, only to unwind you (physically) and stimulate you (intellectually) at the same time [...] Third, the sound is curious; uncluttered and bare, almost without vibrato, absolutely calm. It’s a Dominican’s sound: the guy can stay inside his own century and still take it all in serenely. Finally, a feel for rhythmical construction that’s rather sensational, and as for that ear of his, it’s very nicely tuned, thank you.»5 This was the Miles chorus that converted Boris Vian to the bebop revolution once and for all. After he’d finished putting Billie’s Bounce in the can alongside this Thrivin’ On a Riff (an extrapolation of I Got Rhythm) which later became Anthropology, Bird chose to go off and repair his saxophone. When he returned he warmed up with two impromptu pieces, Meandering, a variation on Embraceable You, and Warmin’ Up a Riff on which Parker plays quote after quote, from High Society to Cocktails for Two and including Irish Washerwoman. Dizzy Gillespie loved it when he dropped in unexpectedly: under the pseudonym Hen Gates, Diz takes over from Argonne Thornton on piano and saves the session’s highlight, Koko. On this piece, a paraphrase of Cherokee, Diz steps in both for the pianist, by now quite out of his depth, and for Miles, paralyzed by the tune’s intricacies. Abrupt, vertiginous, stripped of all facile attractiveness, and carrying sumptuous linear improvisa­tions of rare melody, Koko reveals the full dimension of Parker’s language. Navigating between keys at an extremely quick tempo throughout the one hundred and twenty-eight bars in his two choruses, Bird invents a whole series of unusually-shaped phrases where the logic in the way they link together borders on pure genius. Let there be no mistake: Koko is one of the greatest masterpieces ever recorded in jazz history. 

The December 1st 1945 issue of Down Beat carried this announcement: «Gillespie set for L. A. Date. Los Angeles Nitery impresario Billy Berg has scored another scoop by signing Dizzy Gillespie and his band to follow Heywood at Berg’s Supper Club for Dec. 10 opening.» A fortnight later readers learned that Dizzy was bringing Charlie Parker with him, together with Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Al Haig on piano, bassist Ray Brown, and Stan Levey on drums. On his arrival, Gillespie cautiously added tenor-player Lucky Thompson to the group in case Bird suffered yet another chronic absence... For the band’s first appearance, every young musician in Los Angeles turned up, natives and visitors alike: the crowd included Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers, Red Rodney, Dodo Marmarosa and Russ Freeman to name only five. Was the band’s lack of success in California as dramatic as Dizzy said it was? Well, not really; at least, not according to Sonny Criss: «If you want to think of it as being a total flop you would be mistaken. I don’t recall it that way, because the club was packed every night. Naturally there were a lot of people in the audience who didn’t understand what was going on, but at the same time there were many who enjoyed the music. Contrary to what was being said, Bird and Dizzy never played for ten or twelve people. Billy Berg’s was the first club to break the line, a really fantastic place.»6 Featured on the same bill as the quintet was multi-instrumentalist and joker Slim Gaillard, who started by having a squabble with Gillespie before inviting Diz and Parker to join him in the studio by way of reconciliation. Bird and Dizzy found themselves alongside a prophet of New Orleans percussion, Zutty Singleton, the indefinable Dodo Marmarosa on piano, a «classic» tenor-player, Jack McVea and, of course, Slim, together with his bass-playing crony Bam Brown, whose name rhymes with clown rather than «unquestionable instru­mentalist». Naturally, they hadn’t planned on any rehearsal... Once again, despite the foreign music-context, the bop-star duettists prove they are still capable of outshining anyone, although Gillespie does seem a little perturbed by the invasive accompaniment of Slim’s piano during the first take of Dizzy Boogie. Jack McVea declared, «The whole session was easy and relaxed. We all had fun.» Just before their final instrumental pirouettes on Slim Jam, Dizzy announced that he and Bird would have to hurry because they were expected elsewhere. Indeed, they were due to meet up with their usual partners and do one of the «live» sessions that produced records for the U.S. Army (known as AFRS Jubilee recordings). Groovin’ High, Shaw ’Nuff, Dizzy Atmosphere and this Salt Peanuts, played during the Rudy Vallee Show, all testify to the maturity reached by the «Bird & Diz» pairing. Trumpeter Melvin Broiles declared in an interview, «Their pyro­technics and so on would just come spinning out of their instruments, and I don’t think I’d ever witnessed anyone quite as much at home on their instruments as these two.»7 Impresario Norman Granz once said that he didn’t like bebop, but he revised his prejudice somewhat when he decided to have Gillespie and Parker play in one of his Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. Bird turned up late, naturally. Beneath the applause greeting his arrival onstage during Sweet Georgia Brown, you can hear a worried voice asking him where he’s been... Parker takes two choruses on Oh! Lady Be Good and John Lewis later said that it was «one of those rare pieces of music where each note falls into its rightful place and everything in it is perfect.» During I Can’t Get Started, Parker picks up after a sublime contribution from Lester Young, revealing something of the underlying affiliation between the two of them. 

Ross Russell owned the Tempo Music Shop in Los Angeles, and decided to take advantage of the appearance in California of the most qualified practitioners of this new jazz: he set up his own label, Dial. Sparing no expense for his inaugural session, he hired arranger George Handy as its music director, inviting Lester Young in the process. Lester didn’t turn up, but an unruly bunch of fans came down to the studio: as a result, only one title was recorded, Diggin’ Diz, a totally chaotic take with Charlie Parker a mere shadow of his normal self. After deliberately boycotting the second session planned for February 7th – the day the group was due to return to New York – Bird disappeared without trace. With Parker’s ticket in his pocket, Stan Levey scoured the city in a taxi to no avail: «Charlie Parker never thought for a moment that I’d abandoned him, and we stayed very close right up until he died. When we were due back in New York, he just preferred to stay on the West Coast. So I left him his plane-ticket and his money. What he did with them, I don’t know.»7 Was Parker’s desertion deliberate or just thoughtless behaviour? There seems to be no lack of argument on either side; however, given his (legitimate) pride, it’s quite possible that remaining simply a member – albeit a prestigious one – of a band led by someone else was a situation that couldn’t go on forever in his opinion. Especially after Miles Davis came down to California with Benny Carter, which permitted the two musicians to hook up again. So it was Miles who accompanied Bird to the Finale Club, and this time Parker was running the band. To complete his Quintet, he’d chosen his old sideman Joe Albany to play piano, plus two newcomers: Addison Farmer, Art’s brother, on bass, and drummer Chuck Thompson. The radio transcriptions recorded at the Finale show a tightly-knit unit, and Miles Davis has a new-found confidence. He brings off the acrobatic unison passages in Blue ’N’ Boogie without batting an eyelid, extricates himself honourably during All the Things You Are and Anthropology, and holds  his own admirably in the alto/trumpet exchanges you can hear in Ornithology. Parker is at the peak of his form, and everything seems to be going fine in the best of all possible worlds. In fact, there’s not the slightest indication of what was to come four months later. 
Adapted by Martin DAVIS from the french text of Alain Tercinet
© 2011 Frémeaux & Associés – Groupe Frémeaux Colombini   

(1) Ira Gitler, Swing to Bop, Oxford Paperbacks, 1985.
(2) This concert was long considered to have disappeared without a trace, but the acetates miraculously resurfaced and the recordings were reissued in 2005 on the Uptown label.
(3) Jazz Journal International, February 1990.
(4) In the sleeve notes for the album Young Miles 1945-46, Masters of Jazz CD 131.
(5) Boris Vian, Miles Davis, in Jazz News N°5, May 1949.
(6) In Sonny Criss talks to Bob Porter and Mark Gardner, Jazz Monthly, April/May 1968.
(7) In Melvin Broiles to Mark Gardner, Jazz and Blues, February 1972. 
(8) Dizzy Gillespie & Al Fraser, To be, or not... to Bop, University of Minnesota Press, 2009. 

discographie
CD 1
RED NORVO AND HIS SELECTED SEXTET
Dizzy Gillespie (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Flip Phillips (ts) ; Teddy Wilson (p) ; Red Norvo (vib) ; Slam Stewart (b) ; J. C. Heard (dm). WOR Studios, NYC, 6/6/1945
1. HALLELUJAH! (V. Youmans, L. Robbins, C. Grey) (Dial LP903/mx. T8-A) 3’59
2. HALLELUJAH! (V. Youmans, L. Robbins, C. Grey) (Dial 1045/mx. T8-B) 4’05
3. HALLELUJAH! (V. Youmans, L. Robbins, C. Grey) (master) (Comet T6/mx.T8-F) 4’10
4. GET HAPPY (H. Arlen, T. Koehler) (Dial 1035/mx. T9-B) 4’04
5. GET HAPPY (H. Arlen, T. Koehler) (master) (Comet T7/mx. T9-D) 3’48
6. SLAM SLAM BLUES (R. Norvo) (Dial 1045/mx. T10-A) 5’04
7. SLAM SLAM BLUES (R. Norvo) (master) (Comet T6/mx. T10-B) 4’29
8. CONGO BLUES (R. Norvo) (Dial LP903/mx. T11-AA) 1’05
9. CONGO BLUES (R. Norvo) (Dial LP903/mx. T11-BB) 1’14
10. CONGO BLUES (R. Norvo) (Dial LP903/mx. T11-A) 3’59
11. CONGO BLUES (R. Norvo) (Dial 1035/mx. T11-B) 3’52
12. CONGO BLUES (R. Norvo) (master) (Comet T7/mx. T11-C) 3’53 

SIR CHARLES AND HIS ALL STARS
Buck Clayton (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Dexter Gordon (ts) ; Sir Charles Thompson (p, ldr) ; Danny Barker (g) ; Jimmy Butts (b) ; J.C. Heard (dm).  NYC, 4/9/1945
13. TAKIN’ OFF (C. Thompson) (Apollo 757/mx. R1030) 3’09
14. IF I HAD YOU (no CP solo)  (Apollo 757/mx. R1031) 3’00
15. 20th CENTURY BLUES (C. Thompson)  (Apollo 739/mx. R1032) 2’53
16. THE STREET BEAT (C. Thompson) (Apollo 739/mx. R1033) 2’32 

CHARLIE PARKER’S REE BOPPERS
Miles Davis (tp-1), Dizzy Gillespie (tp-2, p-3) ; Sadik Hakim (Argonne Thornton) (p-4) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Curley Russell (b) ; Max Roach (dm). WOR Studios, NYC, 26/11/1945
17. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5850-1) 2’41
18. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5850-2) 1’43
19. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5850-3) 3’06
20. WARMING UP A RIFF (-4) (C. Parker) (master) (Savoy 915/mx. S5859-1) 2’34
TOTAL = 66’14  

CD 2 
CHARLIE PARKER'S REE BOPPERS
Miles Davis (tp-1), Dizzy Gillespie (tp-2, p-3) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Sadik Hakim (Argonne Thornton) (p-4) ; Curley Russell (b) ; Max Roach (dm). WOR Studios, NYC, 26/11/1945  
1. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5850-4) 1’39  
2. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (master) (Savoy 918/mx. S5850-5) 3’08  
3. NOW’S THE TIME (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5851-1) 0’20  
4. NOW’S THE TIME (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5851-2) 0’37  
5. NOW’S THE TIME (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. S5851-3) 3’07  
6. NOW’S THE TIME (-1, -3) (C. Parker) (master) (Savoy 918/mx. S5851-4) 3’15  
7. THRIVING ON A RIFF (-4) (C. Parker, D. Gillespie) (Savoy LP MG 12079/S5852-1) 2’58  
8. THRIVING ON A RIFF (-4) (C. Parker, D. Gillespie) (Savoy LP MG 12079/S5852-2) 0’24  
9. THRIVING ON A RIFF (-4) (C. Parker, D. Gillespie) (master) (Savoy 945/mx. S5852-3 2’53
10. MEANDERING (-4) (C. Parker) (master) (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. unumbered) 3’13
11. KOKO (-2, -3, -4) (C. Parker)  (Savoy LP MG 12079/mx. 4S5853-1) 0’38
12. KOKO (-2, -3, -4) (C. Parker) (master) (Savoy 916/mx. S5853-2) 2’52
N.B. On original issues, Hen Gates (p). 

DIZZY GILLESPIE AND HIS REBOP SIX
Dizzy Gillespie (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Al Haig (p) ; Milt Jackson (vib) ; Ray Brown (b) ; Stan Levey (dm), Ernie Williams (mc). Billy Berg’sSupper Club, Hollywood, 17/12/1945
13. HOW HIGH THE MOON (M. Lewis, N. Hamilton) (Radio/Broadcast) 3’53
14. 52nd STREET THEME (T. Monk) (Radio/Broadcast) 1’51 

SLIM GAILLARD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
John Birks (Dizzy Gillespie) (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Jack McVea (ts) ; Dodo Marmarosa (p) ; Slim Gaillard (g, voc, p-1) ; Bam Brown (b, voc) ; Zutty Singleton (dm). Hollywood, 29/12/1945
15. DIZZY BOOGIE (-1)(S. Gaillard) (master) (Bel-Tone 753/mx. BTJ38-2) 3’06
16. DIZZY BOOGIE (-1) (S. Gaillard) (Polydor 545 107/mx. BTJ38-?) 3’15
17. FLAT FOOT FLOOGIE (S. Gaillard, B. Green, S. Stewart) (Halo 50273/mx. BTJ39-?) 2’33
18. FLAT FOOT FLOOGIE (S. Gaillard, B. Green, S. Stewart) (master)  (Bel-Tone 758/mx. BTJ39-2) 2’48
19. POPITY POP (S. Gaillard) (master) (Bel-Tone 753/mx. BTJ40-2) 2’58
20. SLIM’S JAM (S. Gaillard) (master) (Bel-Tone 761/mx. BTJ41-RE) 3’16 

DIZZY GILLESPIE AND HIS REBOP SIX
Dizzy Gillespie (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Al Haig (p) ; Milt Jackson (vib-1) ; Ray Brown (b) ; Stan Levey (dm), Ernie Williams (mc). AFRS Jubilee, NBC Studios, Hollywood, 29/12/1945
21. DIZZY ATMOSPHERE-1 (D. Gillespie)  (Radio/Broadcast/JUB163, 209) 4’35
22. GROOVIN’HIGH (D. Gillespie) (Radio/Broadcast/JUB161) 6’03
23. SHAW ‘NUFF (D. Gillespie) (Radio/Broadcast)/JUB162) 4’45
Idem, Lucky Thompson (ts) added. Rudy Vallée Show, LA 24 janvier 1946 
24. SALT PEANUTS (D. Gillespie, K. Clarke) (Radio/Broadcast) 2’05
TOTAL = 67’07   

CD 3
JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC
John Birks (Dizzy Gillespie), Al Killian (tp) ; Charlie Parker, Willie Smith (as) ; Lester Young, Charlie Ventura (ts) ; Mel Powell (p) ; Billy Hadnott (b) ; Lee Young (dm).  Philarmonic Auditorium, LA, 28/1/1946
1. SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (B. Bernie, M. Pinkard, K. Casey) (Disc 2004/mx. 413/414) 9’35 Howard McGhee, Al Killian (tp) ; Charlie Parker, Willie Smith (as) ; Lester Young, (ts) ; Arnold Ross (p) ; Billy Hadnott (b) ; Lee Young (dm).  Same date and place
2. BLUES FOR NORMAN (Shrdlu) (Disc 2001/mx. D241/2) 8’36
3. I CAN’T GET STARTED (V. Duke, I. Gershwin) (master) (Disc 2002/mx. D243/4) 9’13
4. OH! LADY BE GOOD (G. & I. Gershwin) (Disc 2005/mx. D245/6) 11’10
5. AFTER YOU’VE GONE (H. Creamer, J. Turner Layton) (Disc 5100/mx. D247/8) 7’36 

DIZZY GILLESPIE QUINTET
Dizzy Gillespie (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; unknown (p) ; Red Callender (b) ; poss. Doc West (dm).  Freddy James Home, Hollywood, 3/2/1946
6. LOVER, COME BACK TO ME (S. Romberg, O. Hammerstein II) (Private Recording) 3’31 

TEMPO JAZZMEN
Gabriel (Dizzy Gillespie) (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Lucky Thompson (ts) ; George Handy (p) ; Arvin Garrison (g) ; Ray Brown (b) ; Stan Levey (dm).   
Electro Broadcasting Studios, Glendale, Calif., 5/2/1946
7. DIGGIN’ DIZ (G. Handy) (master) (Dial 1004/mx. D1000) 2’53 

CHARLIE PARKER QUINTET
Miles Davis (tp) ; Charlie Parker (as) ; Joe Albany (p) ; Addison Farmer (b) ; Chuck Thompson (dm). Finale Club, LA, march 1946  
8. BILLIE’S BOUNCE (C. Parker) (Radio/Broadcast) 3’49  
9. ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE (J. Kern, O. Hammerstein II) (Radio/Broadcast) 5’15
10. BLUE ‘N’ BOOGIE (D. Gillespie, F. Paparelli) (Radio/Broadcast) 5’16
11. ANTHROPOLOGY (C. Parker, D. Gillespie) (Radio/Broadcast) 2’49
12. ORNITHOLOGY (C. Parker, B. Harris) (Radio/Broadcast) 5’06
TOTAL = 75’23  

CD THE COMPLETE Charlie Parker Volume 2 © Frémeaux & Associés (frémeaux, frémaux, frémau, frémaud, frémault, frémo, frémont, fermeaux, fremeaux, fremaux, fremau, fremaud, fremault, fremo, fremont, CD audio, 78 tours, disques anciens, CD à acheter, écouter des vieux enregistrements, albums, rééditions, anthologies ou intégrales sont disponibles sous forme de CD et par téléchargement.)


The aim of 'The Complete Charlie Parker', compiled for Frémeaux & Associés by Alain Tercinet, is to present (as far as possible) every studio-recording by Parker, together with titles featured in radio-broadcasts. Private recordings have been deliberately omitted from this selection to preserve a consistency of sound and aesthetic quality equal to the genius of this artist.

Audio  rights : Frémeaux & Associés

 

Charlie Parker VOL 2




ExtractTrackAuthorDuration
CD 1
01 Hallelujah04'01
02 Hallelujah04'07
03 Hallelujah04'12
04 Get Happy04'06
05 Get Happy03'50
06 Slam Slam Blues05'06
07 Slam Slam Blues04'31
08 Congo Blues01'07
09 Congo Blues01'16
10 Congo Blues04'01
11 Congo Blues03'54
12 Congo Blues03'57
13 Takin Off03'11
14 If I Had You03'02
15 20Th Century Blues02'55
16 The Street Beat02'36
17 Billie's Bounce02'43
18 Billie's Bounce01'45
19 Billie's Bounce03'08
20 Warming Up a Riff02'34
CD 2
01 Billie's Bounce01'41
02 Billie's Bounce03'10
03 Now's the Time00'21
04 Now's the Time00'38
05 Now's the Time03'09
06 Now's the Time03'17
07 Thriving On a Riff03'00
08 Thriving On a Riff00'25
09 Thriving On a Riff02'55
10 Meandering03'15
11 Koko00'39
12 Koko02'56
13 How High the Moon03'55
14 52Nd Street Theme01'53
15 Dizzy Boogie03'10
16 Dizzy Boogie03'17
17 Flat Floot Floogie02'35
18 Flat Floot Floogie02'50
19 Popity Pop03'00
20 Slim's Jam03'20
21 Dizzy Atmosphere-104'35
22 Groovin High06'03
23 Shaw Nuff04'46
24 Salt Peanuts02'05
CD 3
01 Sweet Georgia Brown09'37
02 Blues for Norman08'38
03 I Can't Get Started09'15
04 Oh Lady Be Good11'12
05 After You've Gone07'40
06 Lover Come Back to Me03'34
07 Diggin Diz02'56
08 Billie's Bounce03'51
09 All the Things You Are05'17
10 Blue'n Boogie05'18
11 Anthropology02'51
12 Ornithology05'06
« La richesse et la complexité d’une période » par Jazz Magazine

Ce volume retrace les premières heures glorieuses de Parker, de sa première séance en leader, le 26 novembre 1945, à la première partie de son séjour sur la Côte Ouest. Le mérite de ces trois disques est au moins double : la présence de nombreux enregistrements réalisée avec des musiciens n’appartenant pas au cénacle des boppers fait apparaître la richesse et la complexité d’une période qui ne peut se réduire à une opposition stylistique binaire. Charlie et Dizzy s’amusent avec Slim Gaillard, le même jour (29 décembre 1945), se livrent pour la radio à une séance bop échevelée. Rupture avec le passé donc, mais un mois après, « I can’t get started » met en évidence la filiation Lester Young-Parker. Autre objet d’intérêt, la présence des alternate takes et des faux départs nous montre Parker au travail, et brise le mythe d’une spontanéité totale. Son chorus s’engage-t-il mal ? Un sideman commet-il une erreur ? La prise est interrompue. Parker n’aime pas les erreurs. Le texte d’Alain Tercinet où l’on reconnaît l’auteur de « Parker’s Mood » relie avec élégance les dix différentes séances rassemblées dans ce volume.
Martin GUERPIN – JAZZ MAGAZINE




« Saga soignée intelligemment documentée » par Classica

Le premier volume de cette intégrale essentielle s’était conclu sur le concert de Philadelphie du 5 juin 1945, celui-ci s’enchaîne naturellement avec les légendaires sessions Dial organisées le lendemain à New York autour du vibraphoniste Red Norvo, où figure Slam Slam Blues, chef-d’œuvre qui entre autres illuminait le disque-catalogue de la défunte Guilde du Jazz. Suivent la séance Apollo sous la houlette du pianiste Sir Charles Thompson, celle pour Savoy avec le jeune Miles Davis, et la célébrissime journée du 25 novembre 1945 où, aux côtés de Miles Davis et Dizzy Gillespie, Parker grave Billie’s Bounce, Now’s The Time et surtour le ravageur Koko. Et les faces légendaires suivent : concerts avec Dizzy Gillespie à Hollywood, dont un Jazz At The Philarmonic auquel se joint en outre Lester Young, séance californienne pour Dial avec Dizzy et Lucky Thompson, et enfin concert au Finale Club de Los Angeles avec Miles Davis en mars 1946. Si l’on y réfléchit, il est assurément providentiel et même prodigieux que cette musique qui se confond avec l’histoire ait été fixée et nous soit restituée dans des conditions aussi somptueuses tant d’années plus tard. Tant d’autres se sont évanouies à jamais.
C’est que les phrases vertigineuses, les audaces harmoniques, l’incroyable autorité mélodique et rythmique de Charlie Parker demeurent aujourd’hui l’inspiration de milliers de musiciens, qui ne se limitent pas à l’imiter mais assimilent son langage et ses fortunes pour trouver leur voie propre. A ce titre mais aussi pour le bonheur qu’elle suscite, cette saga soignée et intelligemment documentée mérite tous les éloges.
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