Charlie Parker

At Birdland, Vol. 1

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The people behind the Ember record label appear to have as their mission a comprehensive reissue series making available to the public every known live recording made by Charlie Parker. At Birdland, Vol. 1 contains 29 tracks dating from May 15 and 16, 1950. That's 12 more titles than appear in the online Charlie Parker Discography Project listing for those nights. These recordings come from live radio broadcasts, some of which only came to light years after the Columbia LP issues. Bird is heard with trumpeter Fats Navarro, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Curly Russell and drummer Art Blakey. Hearing these musicians improvising at length before live audiences is a real treat. Extended jams include a seven minute "Dizzy Atmosphere," a nearly eight-minute "Ornithology" and about nine minutes' worth of "I'll Remember April." "Wahoo" was a bop codeword for "Perdido" and should not be confused with "Wahoo" as performed by Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers.

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