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1949 Jazz At The Philharmonic Best of, Live

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of, Live
  • Label: Verve - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B0000046R1
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,102 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Opener
2. Lester Leaps In
3. Embraceable You
4. The Closer
5. Ow
6. Flying Home
7. How High The Moon?
8. Perdido

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Rarely do I feel the urge to play another one of the records by Norman Granz' traveling circus--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. 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.
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Format: Audio CD
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". 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.
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Format: Audio CD
Unlike the great mural jointly painted by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, unlike the great novel collectively written by Hemingway, Dreiser, Steinbeck, and Dos Passos, unlike the classical masterpiece composed in conference by Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann, this disc actually exists. Nobody on this date is less than terrific, but it is a revelation to hear Charlie Parker and Lester Young together. Flip Phillips gets the crowd fired up with his conventional hot licks; Roy Eldridge does the same with his stage-chewing trumpet, as does Tommy Turk with his trombone; the rhythm section of bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and pianist Hank Jones keeps things hopping.
But apart from all the very real and very welcome fun is the intriguing contrast between Bird and Prez. Lester Young's flowing lines were a marked departure from the more muscular sax of his great predecessors like Coleman Hawkins. (Although Young could honk too, as he does here on "The Closer".) Young is still too advanced for the crowd, who do not cheer him as lustily as they do Phillips. Yet his style has already been comprehended and surpassed by Parker, as evidenced by his darting, upper-register, bop lines. He's so brilliant the record is filed under his name.
The JATP traded in manufactured thrills? Hey, at least it's thrilling, compared to the if-you-want-melody-you're-a-fascist attitude of jazz that would come in subsequent decades. A great souvenir from an age when geniuses weren't ashamed to show their audiences a good time.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording captures an evening of rare beauty. As much as one may have criticized Norman Granz for occasionally manufacturing ensembles, he can easily be forgiven in light of the beauty that was manifest on this particular evening. Charlie Parker's solo on Embraceable You easily counts as one of the most beautiful and poignant ever captured in his recording career -- bar none.
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