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.
Seven Days - March 27, 1:16 PM
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What the Fork - March 24, 10:21 AM
Seven Days - March 22, 5:57 PM