Night Lights Classic Jazz

At the Birth of Bop

BirdDizSeveral years ago an amazing audio find came to light–a June 1945 Town Hall concert in New York City featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach–the rising stars of the then-revolutionary new music bebop–accompanied by Al Haig on piano and Curley Russell on bass. The performance, captured in sound that’s stellar by the era’s standards, has recently been issued by Uptown Records, and in it we hear the raw vitality of bebop’s emerging canon. Chronologically, this is the first live and/or studio recording to feature a group made up solely of young musicians fluent in the musical language of bop. Parker and Gillespie blaze through seminal titles such as “Groovin’ High,” “Hot House,” and “A Night in Tunisia.” We’ll also hear two Parker/Gillespie studio sides from earlier that year.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

Notes: Opening theme music.

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Interview
Charlie Parker — Bird's Eyes V. 8 (Philogy, 1954)
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Dizzy Atmosphere
Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker — Odyssey (Savoy, 1945)
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Bebop
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)

Notes: Don Byas on tenor at the beginning.

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A Night in Tunisia
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)
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Shaw Nuff
Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker — Odyssey (Savoy, 1945)

Notes: Rec. May 1945 w/Big Sid Catlett on drums, Al Haig on piano, Curley Russell on bass.

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Dewey Square
Charlie Parker — Legendary Dial Masters V. 1 (Stash, 1947)
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Groovin' High
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)
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Salt Peanuts
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)
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Hot House
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)

Notes: Big Sid Catlett replaces Max Roach on drums.

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Fifty-Second St. Theme
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie — Town Hall 1945 (Uptown, 1945)
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Night Lights
Gerry Mulligan — Night Lights (Philips, 1963)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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