Pleyel Jazz 1948 900


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    Pleyel Jazz 1948 900 RCA Victor / BMG International
    1. Pleyel Jazz 1948 900 RCA Victor / BMG International
    2. Pleyel Jazz Concert 1953 RCA Victor / Vogue

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Review Text Dizzy Gillespie albums are sometimes criticized for being silly, never for lacking stamina. Pleyel Jazz Concert 1953 is no exception to this rule, though it would certainly be understandable if it were. The live recording, issued and repackaged at least three times since the late '90s, dates from a period when Gillespie was in Paris and as busy as God, as musicians like to say in reference to the deity, not the European noise music band. If datebooks kept by people nicknamed Dizzy are to be trusted, the bebop kingpin had during a previous 48-hour period cut albums for two different competing firms, one involving a string orchestra. About ten collections have been published involving this material. Meanwhile, his rhythm section cut an album on the same day of the Pleyel Concert Hall event, also reissued at least three times and representing the sole effort by pianist Wade Legge as a leader. This rhythm unit with Legge occupying the piano bench is one of the main reasons the Gillespie sides from 1952 through 1954 pack such a punch. Drummer Al Jones and bassist Lou Hackney are, when combined with Legge, the type of bustling, bristling rhythm section that listeners squint to hear properly on historic broadcasts and surreptitious live tapings of this genre. The increased recording clarity from the French period makes it easier to hear what is going on: the group's long openings of "The Champ" and "Good Bait," close to ten minutes each, are marvelous examples of bebop extemporization. The choruses present more variations than alibis at an interrogation, the trumpeter playing as if he were providing his own front-line foil.Quickly Gillespie gets down to entertaining, stroking the congas and freeing vocalist Joe Carroll from the chains of good taste, grinding the clutch on "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac" -- a number that sounds as if it were perceived when the leader was suffering from a fever. Despite some blues choruses tossed off as if attempting to evict freeloaders, things don't really pick up until the tempo of "Birk's Works" hits a metronome marking usually covered with black tape for reasons of public safety. Along the way the boss delivers a present to his loving French audience, a cover version of "Bon Homme." The program's balance happily tilts more toward inspired jamming than going through the motions implied by a frayed set list. Sarah Vaughan dropping by for a few vocals is hardly something to complain about, her "Embraceable You" an acceptable substitute for an out-of-body experience and apparently an inspiration for Carroll's outdoing himself on "Oh, Lady Be Good." Baritone man Bill Graham, no relation to the San Francisco concert promoter, has fun with the bottom end on "Tin Tin Deo," an expanding feeling of freedom exploding from a surprising use of space. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Oop-Pop-A-Da - 5:56
  2. 2. 'Round About Midnight - 9:51
  3. 3. Algo Bueno (Woody 'N' You) - 3:22
  4. 4. I Can't Get Started - 4:53
  5. 5. Two Bass Hit - 4:02
  6. 6. Good Bait - 5:15
  7. 7. Afro-Cuban Drum Suite - 6:09
  8. 8. Ool-Ya-Koo - 5:05
  9. 9. Things to Come - 3:15
  10. 10. Prince Albert - 6:49
  11. 11. Baby Sis - 6:31
  12. 12. Tomorrow - 6:03
  13. 13. Maximum - 3:29

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