Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie - Bird And Diz (1950)

After a week of hell, I've returned to invoke (or attempt) my bombastic blather in the disguise of a review with Bird And Diz. Hopefully, my appreciation for jazz won't supersede my musical knowledge of it, but ah well. This collection of songs features a fairly estimable lineup of Charlie Parker on sax, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Thelonious Monk on piano, Buddy Rich on drums and Curly Russell on bass. This is not the Monk everyone knows and loves, though; his playing is rather subdued and uneventful, as is the drumming and bass. Meanwhile, back in the bat cave, Bird and Diz seem to be strangling each other for the whole of the record (possibly the reason for Thelonious' relegation to the background) with mid-tempo caustic soloing and wild melodies in a constant battle for your attention. Occasionally, they do converge ("Mohawk"), but mostly numbers such as the frenetic "Leap Frog" or equally tense "Bloomdido" share an affinity for the joys of musical flight. "An Oscar For Treadwell" is quite nice, too -- in point of fact, of the six songs here, clocking in at a brief 20 minutos, there isn't a bad bit of music at all, but since I'm obviously a rock guy, that doesn't translate as well in terms of my grading pedagogy, either. All in all, you'll dig the piss out of it. Oh, and ho-hum, I'd give Bird the nod in terms of a victor. B

1 comment:

Mighty High said...

Bird's Verver records are a mixed bag. Most jazz scholars say this session would have been better served with Max Roach or Art Taylor on drums. I still love this record.

The Savoy and Dial recordings have some of his best playing but fidelity is not the best.