Various Artists 

Norman Granz' JATP, Carnegie Hall, 1949

No, this isn't just another reissue of myriad recordings produced by Norman Granz under the banner of "Jazz at the Philharmonic." This is a previously-unissued set that features Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro, and Coleman Hawkins, among others. The three Parker tracks rank among his best work in this jam session format, an approach where the temptation to try and outdo other participants by indulging in crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics was often too strong to resist. Bird seems to be adjusting to the extroverted atmosphere on the opening "Leap Here," eventually producing a couple of revved-up but masterful solos -- "Lover Come Back to Me" is sensational Parker by any measure. Interestingly, Navarro, the greatest bop trumpeter -- and, after Bird and Bud, the greatest bopper, period -- isn't very convincing on "Lover." He's his elegant self elsewhere, though, hot as a pistol on the up numbers and breathtakingly understated on the ballad "The Things We Did Last Summer," one of three tracks where he and tenor giant Coleman Hawkins front a quintet. The Hawk soars and the Bird sings, but really it's the addition of a whole concert to Navarro's slim discography that makes this a must for jazz heads.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

The Queer & Trans Issue 2016

Queer and trans coverage contributed by individuals who identify as queer or trans.

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation