Monday, May 04, 2020

COVID-19 Level 3: Day 4

Bebop Third StreamI forgot to publish this on Friday so I have combined Day 4 and Day 7 (sometimes the days just blend together) – plus what I was working on today didn't lend itself to listening to music.

When I put Perceptions back on the shelf last night I grabbed The Modern Jazz Society Presents A Concert of Contemporary Music. Like Perceptions, is an album purchased during a somewhat brief look at the third stream offerings of the 1950s and 60s – a curious sidebar in jazz. I’ve never been much of a fan of John Lewis. I’m not sure why, but his music has never really grabbed me and as a result I never really explored what he had to offer. I’m open to recommendations though.

I was feeling the need for something a little more high energy – Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker: Town Hall, NYC June 22 1945 – provided just that. Bird sounds so great on this gig, as does Dizzy, and it sounds like they’re having fun. It’s a great archival find, recorded not long after the Guild sessions. And aside from the opening track, “Bebop” (where they’re sorting out the levels), the sound is really good too. The M.C work of Symphony Sid is pretty corny and cringe worthy but it’s great they left him in as it adds to the vibe of the evening. It’s funny how dated the announcements sound but the music remains vital. If you ever needed an example of a drummer dropping bombs, Max Roach’s bass here is loud and clear. It’s also interesting hearing Max and then having Sid Catlett sit in with the same band. Anyway, this is such a great find and we’re lucky to have it so it got another run on Monday morning too.

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