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Editors’ Notes

A legendary duo, Bird and Diz had played and recorded together often before convening for this one-day session to wax a series of 78s. More unusual is the appearance of pianist Thelonious Monk—another architect of bebop—and forceful swing drummer Buddy Rich, making for a fascinating study in contrasts between the players. But it’s the horn players’ show here: Both are in top form as they spar, complement, and show off on gems like the fiery “Bloomdido,” the bluesy “Mohawk,” and the spectacularly punchy “Leap Frog.”


Born: August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

One of a handful of musicians who can be said to have permanently changed jazz, Charlie Parker was arguably the greatest saxophonist of all time. He could play remarkably fast lines that, if slowed down to half speed, would reveal that every note made sense. "Bird," along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, is considered a founder of bebop; in reality he was an intuitive player who simply was expressing himself. Rather than basing his improvisations closely on the melody as was...
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