Frank Morgan / Rodney / Phil Woods

A Tribute to Charlie Parker: Birdmen & Birdsongs, Vol. 3

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This rather brief (only 38 minutes) video features excerpts of a 1991 concert in Cannes in tribute to Charlie Parker. The first set has an all-star quintet co-led by trumpeter and fluegelhornist Red Rodney and alto saxophonist Frank Morgan, backed by the strong rhythm section of Monty Alexander, Rufus Reid, and Roy Haynes (who, like Rodney, played with Parker in the 1950s). "Chasin' the Bird" is a highlight with a potent sax solo by Morgan and a memorable fluegelhorn playing by Rodney; however, both horns exit as Reid takes the spotlight during a trio rendition of Parker's quirky "Quasimodo." The second set is also all too brief, featuring alto saxophonist Phil Woods with his regular quartet of the period (Hal Galper, Steve Gilmore, and Bill Goodwin). "Steeplechase" centers around Gilmore's long but effective bass solo, while "All Bird's Children," an original by Woods, give a better picture of the overall talent within the group. The sound throughout the video is very good and the editing from the multiple cameras is nicely constructed, though a sort of MTV concert effect is occasionally achieved when the colored lights from the side stages wash out the soloist being featured. This is a worthwhile investment, especially if found reasonably discounted from its rather lofty original list price.