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iTunes Review

This album is Mastered for iTunes. A landmark recording, this 1953 document of a less-than-packed Toronto concert features the only time these five greats—Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus, and Max Roach—all recorded together. Things start off with “Perdido,” the classic 1941 composition by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol. The song was written right around the time bebop was born, and the piece is a great vehicle for the players’ deep sense of swing and improvisatory genius. Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts,” with its famous hiccupping riff, easily combines humor with intense, high-speed virtuosity. Kern and Hammerstein’s “All the Things You Are” displays the band’s lyrical side, although the song is played at a somewhat brisk tempo. The band is blazing on “Wee (A.K.A. Allen’s Alley),” where Parker, Gillespie, Powell, and Roach light up the hall with their solos. “Hot House,” one of Tadd Dameron’s many fine compositions, finds the group operating at a cooler temperature. The album closes with Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia,” and it’s a delight to hear Parker artfully take the classic melody apart.

Customer Reviews

Who cares?

Who cares about Mingus dubbing his lines later and that the performance itself wasn't up to the level of others from this group and/or that some of the guys were preoccupied with the manly art of fisticuffs? Smoking hot!


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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