JSngry

NEW, NEVER HEARD, DIZZY & BIRD FROM UPTOWN

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When Chuck came to visit, he brought some tapes. They were all SERIOUSLY deep, but one is going to be issued on Uptown, and it's the kind of thing that defies adequate description, and believe me - no matter how hard I hype it, I'm understating the case. Believe me.

What we're going to be getting is a just-discovered recording of a 1945 Town Hall performance of The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet with Charlie Parker, Al Haig, Curley Russell, & Max Roach (his VERY first recording with Bird!). Symphoiny Sid emcees. The recording was apparently done in-house at Town Hall, and the acetates were just recently stumbled across in one of those stories that is too damn wierd to be true, but nevertheless is.

This is a document of many things, very early, fully-formed bebop finally and totally stripped of all residual Swing flavor being one of the most significant. Al Haig's comping throughout blew me away - some quite interesting chord choices he makes, and Bird & Dizz are on them like white on rice. Can't say that I've ever Haig accompany so boldly ever before. You get guest atars too - Don Byas (more about tthat later), and a rvelatory extended solo by Sid Catlett, who sits in on "Hot House" and offers final proof that yes, he IS Max Roach's daddy. Sid kicks the band off and accompanies the soloists in a thoughroughly boppish manner, but the real story here for me was his solo. I don't know if Catlett's been captured on record doing a long solo like this, but if he was, I'm unaware of it. This is one of the deepest drum solos I've ever heard - it goes through so many changes and is so perfectly MUSICAL, and in it I can hear Max, Chico, Blackwell, Sunny, Rashied, in short, EVERY drummer who came after who approached the drums as a wholistic musical instrument and not just a set of metronomes. This is truly a stunning performance.

And then there's Bird. Of course :g . Part of jazz legend is how Bird would always be late for a gig and come in the door playing, much to the collectively rising rapture of those present. But for most of us, legend is all it is - we've never heard that on record.

Until now.

As the recording begins, we hear Symphony Sid rapping with the clearly restless crowd. The show appears to have be late starting, but it's now going to begin, and with Don Byas playing. Bird is not there, and you get the feeling that at least a few folks came to hear Bird, if yu get my drift. So anyway, they open with "Bebop", and Byas is fluffing the head pretty badly, but gets off a good solo. All of a sudden, you hear a ruckus coming from the crowd, a rumble that grows in intensity to a bit of a roar, and you know what happened - Bird just walked in, presumably right off the street. I say that because he begins to blow almost immediately, and his horn sounds just a little cold. But JUST a little, and he warms it up REAL quickly. By the time of the third tune, he's FULLY warmed up and blowing as good as anything I've everh heard by him, and better than most of it. Byas, mysteriously, vanishes, and doesn't even play the head out. The crowd goes wild, and frankly, it would have been impossible not to.

So how's Diz? Well, put yourself in his shoes - he's the leader of a band playing what is still a new, basically underground music, he's got a booking at Town Hall, and his star soloist is late to the gig. How do you THINK he is? :g He's fired up and playing at that level that it seems like he hardly ever played at except when Bird was next to him. Diz in his youth had probably the most amazing chops inthe history of jazz trumpet, and most importantly, an imagination to go with it. He's at the VERY top of his game, and sparks DO fly. Jesus Christ God Almighty do they fly.

I've made iit a point to track down and absorb all the Bird/Diz pairings I can find, live or otherwise, and I kid you not - this onehas a vibe to it that is unlike ANY of the others, even Carnegie Hall 1947, which for my money is at times some of the most frightening music ever captured on record, especially "Dizzy Atmopsphere". Massey Hall has always been a Sacred text for me, but that's a "mature" record. THIS shit is fire-eating, flame throwing early bebop in it's purest form and live, dammit, LIVE, not on a 3 minute 78.

I only heard it once. If I'd have had even a lick of sense, zero integrety, and a shot or two less of Jack, I''d have had the sense to have surreptitously run a recorder of some typ to have someth9ing to tide me over until the real deal gets issued. But that's not me. Once, one time through, was enough to tell me that this is going to be one of those historic issues that becomes an instant histroical landmark and a reference point for generations to come. I almost wish I HADN'T heard it, because now I gotta wait, and I don't WANT to have to wait! :g

I'll be blunt - if you dig bebop or beyond, have the money, and DON'T buy this when it comes out, you gotta be kidding me. Seriously. No shit. I kid you not - this is the REAL shit in a way of REAL that only gets caught on record, like, almost NEVER. You can cut my nuts off if I'm wrong.

Get ready. It's coming.

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Wow wow wow. :P:P

Where on earth did Uptown find this stuff, it seems extraordinary that material of this apparent importance could be overlooked. Did Chuck give any indication of release date?

Not to divert or anything but all we can hope for now is some undiscovered Dick Twardzik to add to his meagre discography. As it stands Uptown have already substantially increased what's available by this guy.

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I almost wish I HADN'T heard it, because now I gotta wait, and I don't WANT to have to wait! 

In absolutely the best possible way, I almost wish I hadn't read that post which has started me drooling over this one! Thanks for the review, and bring it on!!!

Undiscovered Charlie Parker is not unlike undiscovered Michelangelo/Shakespeare/Beethoven...It's just not supposed to happen. This is brilliant news!

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So how long do we have to wait.......for the recording a man is willing to bet his nuts on? :D

Edited by mgraham333

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Thanks for the public heads up Jim! My appetite is WHETTED!

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............... :excited: ............... icon13.gif

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made my day!

How long we have to wait, Chuck? Taking pre-orders?

Edited by uli

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:party::party::party:

When, when, WHENis this baby coming out?

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Sounds great. I'll admit to being a bit behind on Bird. Lately I've been catching up with some of the Spotlite lp reissues of the Dial material.

Edited by shrugs

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I'll leave the details about how and when to Chuck, but the story of how the acetates were found has to be heard to be believed.

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can't wait for this one.

any idea as to the length of the recording?

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...but the story of how the acetates were found has to be heard to be believed.

and???......

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Chuck can tell it better than me, for obvious reasons.

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NICE!

corkpop.gifclap.gifbreakdancer.gifdrooling.gifhappybounce.gif

My ears will be waiting! :tup

Edited by catesta

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Now this sounds like some cool shit!

Jim, thanks for that exhilarating review! Still holding my breath!

ubu

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I'm afraid it will be at least 6 months before it is on the market.

Here's the story. A country music collector found a stack of acetates at a "flea market" and bought them on principle. They had labels showing the source as "Town Hall Recording Service" and were dated May, 1945. He figured this material would be of interest to someone in the jazz community, contacted a member of the IAJRC and was directed to Uptown.

The discs contained the first half of the concert. The balance of the first half include the Erroll Garner trio with guests Don Byas and Buck Clayton. The second half of the concert was Ella Fitzgerald. As far as we know, Ella wasn't recorded or the discs are undiscovered.

The Gillespie quintet portion was cleared with Lorraine Gillespie (with help from Dave Usher). The Garner estate refused to even talk about it, so that material will remain in the can.

The Diz/Bird material is only a little over 40 minutes, but we have decided adding material from other sources would detract from the importance of this concert. A very famous collector has another 6 (or so) minutes by the same band, but his price included letting him do the remastering and we don't want to let him do that.

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band.gif

Okay Jim, what devil has made you tell us all this ?!?

devil-wink.gif

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Chuck, that's a bummer about the Garner stuff, but the Gillespie/Parker sounds great.

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full wood

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Jim, now it is time to explain your new avatar!

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band.gif

Okay Jim, what devil has made you tell us all this ?!?

devil-wink.gif

No Devil whatsomever.

LONG ANSWER:

This is a profoundly important jazz document, and if I can do anything to stir interest, maybe even help create a little pre-release buzz, then I'll gladly and willingly do it, and of my own volition.

Here we are in 2003, the 21st century, and although most jazz fans know who Charlie Parker was, they really don't appreciate him for the true genius he was. They feel warmer towards Dizzy because he lived a long time and became a charming elder statesman, but most don't realize just what a powerfully dangerous force he was.

For that matter, very few of us can have a grasp of just how intense the earliest bebop was, because we weren't there. I know I wasn't. Sure, there's plenty of 78s that HINT at it, and there's airshots from a little later on in the game that are waaaay cool, but they're also sorta like "we now join our program, already in progress". This is 1945!!!! This is MAX'S FIRST RECORDING WITH BIRD!!!!

And, this is live. No studio constraints or vibes, no broadcast sensibilities, this is the underground beginning to peep up into the sunshine, and boy, are they shooting to kill. And their aim is true. After 60 years of imitation, re-creation, and all the other -ations that serve to blur the reality of history, this document is like a slap in the face and a 50,000 watt shock at the same time as to what bebop was REALLY about in it's early days.

Look, in a just world (never mind a simply sane one), the release of this music would be given the high profile that it deserves - numerous articles would flood all the media outlets and every musically aware fan would get a copy ASAP. But this ain't that kind of world. I was blessed with the opportunity to hear this music pre-release, and I feel an obligation to pass that blessing on in the form of alerting anybody and everybody I know that this thing is coming and that it is essential - not "essential", but essential, TRULY essential music.

If there's any justice in the world, this release will win a Grammy or two for best historical issue or whatever the categories are, sales will far exceed anything else in the Uptown catalogue, acclaim will be worldwide, and the item will turn a more than handsome profit for years to come. But who knows? I think it's that big of a deal, but I'm nobody, not really, dig? But fukkit, life is short, and when the chance comes along to steer folks in the right direction, I'm gonna do it. Y'all are invited to do the same - talk it up amongst your peers, alert whatever media might have an interest in so genuine American musical history coming to light after being discovered in a flea market nearly 60 years after the fact, tell your local jazz DJ(s) what's in store for them. In other words, DON'T LET THIS MUSIC LANGUISH AND EVENTUALLY DIE LIKE SO MANY THINGS DO!!!!

I've been called "enthusiastic" (and worse!) before, and, yeah, I am. I love the music and I'm not ashamed of it. But this goes beyond my personal love and excitement. This really is a release of historical import. Folks need to know. Spread the word.

SHORT ANSWER:

Because it's THAT good!

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Brilliant posting, JS. Thanks for the news and good on ya, Chuck!

:rlol

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Jim, now it is time to explain your new avatar!

Chuck also brought along tapes of the Cherry/Grimes/Blackwell & Lacy/Brown/Higgins trio sessions for Atlantic. the ones that are unreleased. The ones they won't lease him because it's not a big enough deal for them to bother with. The ones that are going to be the cause of some stupid dipshits spending eternity in the fiery torments of HELLLLLL-LA if they never, ever get a chance to be heard by the public, in even a limited release. The music is everything Chuck has said it is. At least everything, maybe even more.

Life is a crapshoot, and jazz perhaps even moreso. This great music, this beautiful music cannot be heard even though it is owned by a mega-corporation and even though there is a man willing to pay them real American dollars, the kind that spends(!), for the right to do so. God knows if the music will EVER be released.

Then out of nowhere, a stack of acetates show up in a flea market and we've suddenly got a window on one of the key musical developments of the 20th century ready to be released in a few months. Go figure.

The point is - make noise when and where it can do some good. The new Uptown release can either cause a sensation or remain one of those "duh, I almost bought it but it seemed kinda, uh..., OLD, and I wasn't sure what the SOWND KWALITY would be like so I passed on it, but now that Blue Moon is offering it for $1.75 I guess I'll take a chance on it, besides, I've got the Verve Parker studio masters and that's all the Bird I think I really need" kinda things that make it nothing short of miraculous that some of us haven't just walked around killing everything with two legs that moves by now. You think I'm kidding, don't you....

We all have choices in this life.

Get ready for the Uptown.

And

FREE THE ATLANTIC TRIOS!!!!

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