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Jazz at Massey Hall is a jazz album featuring a live performance by "The Quintet" on 15 May 1953 at Massey Hallmarker in Torontomarker. The musicians were five of the biggest names in jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. It was the only time that the five men recorded together as a unit, and it was the last recorded meeting of Parker and Gillespie. Parker played a Grafton saxophone on this date; he could not be listed on the original album cover for contractual reasons, so was billed as "Charlie Chan" (an allusion to the fictional detective and to Parker's wife Chan). The record was originally issued on Mingus's label Debut, from a recording made by the Toronto New Jazz Society. Mingus took the recording to New York where he and Max Roach dubbed in the bass lines, which were under-recorded on most of the tunes, and exchanged Mingus soloing on "All the Things You Are."

The original plan was for the Jazz Society and the musicians to share the profits from the recording. However the audience was so small that the Society was unable to pay the musicians' fees. The musicians were all given NSF checks, and only Parker was able to actually cash his; Gillespie complained that he did not receive his fee "for years and years".

A 2004 re-issue contains the full concert, without the over-dubbing which was added by Charles Mingus on the original recording. The new version was titled "Complete Jazz at Massey Hall".

Jazz at Massey Hall was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995. It is included in National Public Radio's "Basic Jazz Library". The concert was issued in some territories under the tag "the greatest jazz concert ever".

Track listing

(Originally issued as two 10" LPs:)

Vol. 1 (Debut DLP-2)
  1. "Perdido" (Juan Tizol, Hans Lengfelder, Ervin M. Drake)
  2. "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke)
  3. "All the Things You Are" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)
  4. "52nd Street Theme" (Thelonious Monk)


Vol. 3 (Debut DLP-4)
  1. "Wee (Allen's Alley)" (Denzil Best)
  2. "Hot House" (Tadd Dameron)
  3. "A Night in Tunisia" (Gillespie, Frank Paparelli)


(Vol. 2 consists of the trio recordings of Powell, Mingus and Roach from the same date - all but "I've Got You Under My Skin", and one track by Billy Taylor with Mingus and Roach from a later date.)

(Issued as 12" LP:)

(Debut DEB-124)
  1. "Perdido" (Juan Tizol, Hans Lengfelder, Ervin M. Drake)
  2. "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke)
  3. "All the Things You Are" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)
  4. "52nd Street Theme" (Thelonious Monk)
  5. "Wee (Allen's Alley)" (Denzil Best)
  6. "Hot House" (Tadd Dameron)
  7. "A Night in Tunisia" (Gillespie, Frank Paparelli)


(The 2004 reissue contains fourteen tracks, of which nos. 5 through 11 are without Parker and Gillespie:)
  1. "Perdido" (Juan Tizol, Hans Lengfelder, Ervin M. Drake)
  2. "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke)
  3. "All the Things You Are" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)
  4. "52nd Street Theme" (Thelonious Monk)
  5. Drum Solo by Max Roach
  6. "Cherokee" (Noble)
  7. "Embraceable You" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
  8. "Hallelujah (Jubilee)" (Grey, Robin, Youmans)
  9. "Sure Thing" (Bud Powell)
  10. "Lullaby of Birdland" (Shearing, Weiss)
  11. "I've Got You Under My Skin" (Porter)
  12. "Wee (Allen's Alley)" (Denzil Best)
  13. "Hot House" (Tadd Dameron)
  14. "A Night in Tunisia" (Gillespie, Frank Paparelli)


Personnel



An album of a trio set played by Powell, Mingus and Roach at the concert was also issued (tracks 6 through 11 above).

References

Sources

  • Mark Miller. Cool Blues: Charlie Parker in Canada 1953. London, Ontario: Nightwood Editions, 1989. This is the definitive book on the concert and the events leading up to it, and much more comprehensive than any other. Mark is a consummate researcher and carried out many extensive interviews with musicians and members of the New Jazz Society.
  • Richard Cook & Brian Morton. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 6th edition. ISBN 0-14-051521-6
  • Geoffrey Haydon "Quintet of the Year", Aurum Press, London, 2002.



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