The Quintet: Jazz At Massey Hall (Live) [1953]

The Quintet: Jazz At Massey Hall (Live) [1953]

This album is Mastered for iTunes. A landmark recording, this 1953 document of a less-than-packed Toronto concert features the only time these five greats—Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus, and Max Roach—all recorded together. Things start off with “Perdido,” the classic 1941 composition by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol. The song was written right around the time bebop was born, and the piece is a great vehicle for the players’ deep sense of swing and improvisatory genius. Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts,” with its famous hiccupping riff, easily combines humor with intense, high-speed virtuosity. Kern and Hammerstein’s “All the Things You Are” displays the band’s lyrical side, although the song is played at a somewhat brisk tempo. The band is blazing on “Wee (A.K.A. Allen’s Alley),” where Parker, Gillespie, Powell, and Roach light up the hall with their solos. “Hot House,” one of Tadd Dameron’s many fine compositions, finds the group operating at a cooler temperature. The album closes with Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia,” and it’s a delight to hear Parker artfully take the classic melody apart.


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