Charlie Parker

Yardbird in Lotus Land

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This LP from the fine English label Spotlite contains several remarkable radio broadcasts featuring the immortal altoist Charlie Parker. First Bird is heard with trumpet great Dizzy Gillespie in a quintet (with one number adding vibraphonist Milt Jackson) from Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 1945 during their famous stint at Billy Berg's. These versions of "Shaw 'Nuff," "Groovin' High" and "Dizzy Atmosphere" are four to six minutes long and really let the soloists stretch out. A briefer "Salt Peanuts" is also heard from the same group. Bird then participates on a ballad medley with fellow altoists Willie Smith and Benny Carter, plays "Ornithology" while joined by the Nat King Cole Trio and Buddy Rich, and finally performs five numbers with trumpeter Miles Davis in a quintet; all of these performances took place in Los Angeles before Parker was hospitalized.

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