Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie: Bird and Diz (1950) 2007

Bird and Diz

Track List:

01. Bloomdido
02. My Melancholy Baby
03. Relaxin’ With Lee
04. Leap Frog
05. An Oscar for Treadwell
06. Mohawk
07. My Melancholy Baby (alt tk)
08. Relaxin ‘With Lee (tk 04 -alt tk)
09. Leap Frog (tk 11 -alt tk)
10. Leap Frog (tk 08 -alt tk)
11. Leap Frog (tk 09 -alt tk)
12. An Oscar for Treadwell (tk 04 -alt tk)
13. Mohawk (tk 03 -alt tk)
14. Relaxin’ With Lee (tk 01 -breakdown tk)
15. Relaxin’ With Lee (tk 02 -breakdown tk)
16. Relaxin’ With Lee (tk 03 -false start)
17. Relaxin’ With Lee (tk 05 -breakdown tk)
18. Leap Frog (tk 01 -breakdown tk)
19. Leap Frog (tk 07 -breakdown tk)
20. Leap Frog (tk 10 -breakdown tk)
21. Leap Frog (tk 02 -breakdown tk)
22. Leap Frog (tk 06 -breakdown tk)
23. Leap Frog (tk 04 -breakdown tk)
24. Leap Frog (tk 03 -breakdown tk)


Charlie Parker – alto sax;
Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet;
Thelonious Monk – piano;
Dillon ‘Curley’ Russell – bass;
Buddy Rich – drums;

Recorded: New York City; June 6, 1950
Released: 1952/56
Label: Clef/Verve
MG C-512

Producer: Norman Granz

Cover design: David Stone Martin

liner notes[2007]: James Patrick

Included on the original LP, “Passport” and “Visa” were omitted from the re-issue because they were not recorded during the 1950 Bird and Diz session.

“Passport”: recorded in New York City; May 5, 1949
Personnel: Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Tommy Turk (trombone); Charlie Parker (alto sax); Al Haig (piano); Tommy Potter (bass); Max Roach (drums)

“Visa”: recorded in New York City; February-March 1949
Personnel: Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Tommy Turk (trombone); Charlie Parker (alto sax); Al Haig (piano); Tommy Potter (bass); Max Roach (drums); Carlos Vidal (bongos)

This collection of 78 rpm singles, all recorded on June 6, 1950, was originally issued in album format in 1956.

Several things distinguish this from numerous other quintet recordings featuring these two bebop pioneers.

It was recorded during the period that Parker was working under the aegis of producer Norman Granz, whose preference for large and unusual ensembles was notorious.

The end result in this case is a date that sounds very much like those that Parker and Gillespie recorded for Savoy and Dial, except with top-of-the-line production quality.

Even more interesting, though, is Parker’s choice of Thelonious Monk as pianist.

Unfortunately, Monk is buried in the mix and gets very little solo space, so his highly idiosyncratic genius doesn’t get much exposure here.

Still, this is an outstanding album — there are fine versions of Parker standards like “Leap Frog,” “Mohawk,” and “Relaxin’ with Lee,” as well as a burning performance of “Bloomdido” and an interesting (if not entirely thrilling) rendition of the chestnut “My Melancholy Baby.”

[The CD reissue adds three alternate takes to make what was originally a very skimpy program slightly more generous.]
~Rick Anderson[]


Kill two birds with one stone and I share an album from two musicians that are a must in the collection of any lover of jazz, two guys who wrote part of the great history of this genre in the USA: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, to this Finally I have appointed tireless times in different blog entries, but still had not given him his little place.

What’s more for good measure let you know that on this record (last studio they recorded together these two monsters) also involved the great Thelonious Monk on piano, who at the time was taking its first steps in the atmosphere of Jazz and was gaining attention, always hobnobbing with the ardous.

While Gillespie is recognized as a pioneer of Latin jazz, in these times also stood out as a precursor of bebop, like Parker, one of the main responsible for the development of this variant of jazz characterized by fast rhythms with complex combinations harmonic and melodic, to this huge used his technical virtuosity and improvisation (could not be otherwise).

Yet in this study there is also room for some compositions with a more melodic imprint Jazz and swing.

The album had several re-releases, which were appearing in several shots that were not included on the original disk, which is why the end of the disc is practically a trial was recorded.

It is good as a record of an intimate moment, as is the recording, a recording that says it was a bit chaotic because Parker was going through a rather complicated time with his addiction to heroin, but still kept intact its ability in improvisation, something that never ceases to amaze.