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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Bird Alive: Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker Boston 1952As the messiah of modern bop, Charlie Parker was one of the first jazz musicians to be recorded widely in live settings. On this program, in honor of the 84th anniversary of his birth, we’ll feature music from Bird’s performances with Bud Powell, Fats Navarro, Charles Mingus, Roy Haynes, and other leading lights of late-1940s and early-1950s jazz, including an impromptu “Well You Needn’t” with Thelonious Monk and a live with-strings appearance at New York City’s Rockland Palace.

Air date: August 28, 2004.

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.

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Round Midnight
Charlie Parker — One Night at Birdland (Tristar, 1950)

Notes: Band includes Bud Powell on piano and Art Blakey on drums.

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Move
Charlie Parker — One Night at Birdland (Tristar, 1950)

Notes: Written by Denzil Best, recorded by Miles Davis during the BIRTH OF THE COOL sessions. Trumpeter Fats Navarro appears on this track, recorded shortly before his death at the age of 26.

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Cool Blues
Charlie Parker — Boston 1952 (Uptown, 1952)

Notes: Featuring pianist Dick Twardzik, trumpeter Joe Gordon, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Roy Haynes. Recorded at Boston's Hi-Hat club.

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Groovin' High
Charlie Parker — Boston 1952 (Uptown, 1952)

Notes: Co-written by Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

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Don't Blame Me
Charlie Parker — Boston 1952 (Uptown, 1952)
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Lester Leaps In
Charlie Parker — Rockland Palace 1952 (Jazz Classics, 1952)

Notes: Recreated in stereo from two existing tapes of the concert.

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Rocker (#2)
Charlie Parker — Rockland Palace 1952 (Jazz Classics, 1952)

Notes: Gerry Mulligan's piece, live with strings.

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Well You Needn't
Charlie Parker — Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings (Mosaic, 1948)

Notes: With song composer Thelonious Monk on piano.

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East of the Sun
Charlie Parker — Complete Savoy Live Recordings 1947-1950 (Savoy, 1949)

Notes: Only ballad performance from the Roost recordings.

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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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