CHARLIE PARKER
                   Recording Date:
                         March 29, 1956
                         Miles Davis           TP
                         Charlie Parker       AS
                         Lucky Thompson    TS
                         Dodo Marmarosa    P
                         Arvin Garrison       G 

                         Vic McMillan           B
                         Roy Porter             D

                     LINK RETIRED

1. D1010-1 Moose The Mooche Dial LP 201
2. D1011-1 Yardbird Suite Dial LP 201

3. D1012-1 Ornithology Dial LP 208
4. D1013-4 A Night In Tunisia Dial LP 201

Review by Ted Goioa
The Dial Sessions mark Parker?s greatest legacy, and on his debut date for the label, the altoist is at top form. The lopsided melody reworks ?I Got Rhythm? changes, and Parker floats out of the starting-gate with a sinuous improvisation that makes it all look so easy. Miles tries to follow with some of his bebop licks, but he is still several years away from finding his mature voice. Don?t miss Marmarosa?s intro and 16-bar solo, and hear why many think this under-recorded musician could have been one of the great modern jazz piano masters. A landmark bebop performance.

Charlie Parker's alto break on his Dial recording of "A Night in Tunisia" lasts only seven seconds -- but it may be the most important jazz moment of the decade. The whole bebop revolution is crammed into this break: the off-the-cuff virtuosity, the rhythmic displacements, the defiance of pop music expectations, and, above all, the declaration of bebop as a progressive artistic movement in which such radical gestures possessed their own intrinsic validity. This is shock-and-awe jazz, and it sounds just as breathtaking today as it did back in 1946. The song continues after this extraordinary moment -- indeed, the solos have just started -- but everything now is anticlimactic. Bird has just shown how far ahead he is of everyone else in the studio, including Miles Davis (age 19), who has the unenviable job of following the alto solo. A remarkable performance even by the Everest-high standards set by Parker in his earlier work.

Charlie Parker's 1946 Hollywood stay was personally disastrous, culminating in arrest and six-month commitment to a state mental hospital. From the perspective of his music, however, the months before his meltdown stand out as an unforgettable period. "Ornithology" (based on the chords to "How High the Moon") is a bebop high point. Bird is in fine fettle, and a cup-muted Miles shows increasing self- confidence. Lucky Thompson is an overlooked and under-recorded musician who helped budge the tenor sax from its Swing Era complacency. As for guitarist Garrison, he plays a mere 22 notes on the entire 3-minute track. Not a bad deal: immortality for 22 notes.

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