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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 5

Donald Macleod and Geoffrey Smith focus on the 'yin and yang' of bebop, Charlie Parker, and the man he called 'the other half of my heartbeat', Dizzy Gillespie.

Bebop! It's a rather silly word for a crucial chapter in jazz history. It didn't just come out of nowhere but evolved, fizzed and bubbled into existence in the USA in the early 1940s, as a result of a gloriously rich and complex musical chemistry involving different combinations of musicians, styles and places. All week, Donald Macleod and his special guest, the writer and broadcaster Geoffrey Smith, have some serious fun investigating this amazing musical phenomenon.

In Tuesday's programme, they focus on the 'yin and yang' of Bebop, Charlie Parker and the man he once referred to as 'the other half of my heartbeat', Dizzy Gillespie, starting with three studio recordings - 'Dizzy Atmosphere', 'Now's the Time' and 'Koko' - that galvanized the jazz world, both with the freshness and inventiveness of the musical language and the sheer virtuosity of the playing. Next we follow Parker and Gillespie on a trip to Los Angeles - an occasion notable both for the thrilling live concert they played there and for Parker's ensuing breakdown and stay in Camarillo State Hospital, where, after years of drug abuse, he underwent six months' psychiatric treatment; it would be several years before the two men collaborated again. In the meantime, Gillespie formed a big band and made a string of dazzlingly extrovert recordings; Parker's more reflective, introspective work from this time stands in stark contrast. Finally, we hear them together again in their last studio outing, from June 1950. Parker, always sailing close to the wind, would be dead within five years; Gillespie carried on playing Bebop for another 40, even becoming a cultural ambassador for the US State Department along the way.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 15 Nov 2011 18:30

Music Played

  • Charlie Parker

    'Leap Frog' (incomplete take) [rec. 6 Jun 1950, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Thelonious Monk (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Buddy Rich (drums)

    • Verve 521 436-2, track 20.
    • 20.
  • Dizzy Gillespie

    'Dizzy Atmosphere' [rec. 28 Feb 1945, NYC]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie Sextet Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Clyde Hart (pno) Performer: Remo Palmieri (gtr) Performer: Slam Stewart (bas) Performer: Cozy Cole (drums)

    • Definitive Records DRCD 11382.
    • 5.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Now's the Time' [rec. 26 Nov 1945, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker Reboppers Performer: Miles Davis (tpt) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Max Roach (drums)

    • Savoy ZD70737.
    • 5.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Koko' [rec. 26 Nov 1945, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker Reboppers Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt and pno) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Sadik Hakim (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Max Roach (drums)

    • Savoy ZD70737.
  • Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, Kenneth Casey

    'Sweet Georgia Brown' [rec. 28 Jan 1946, Philharmonic Auditorium, LA]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie Performer: Al Killian (tpt) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Lester Young (t sax) Performer: Mel Powell (pno), Performer: Billy Hadnott (bas) Performer: Lee Young (drums)

    • Verve 837 142-2.
    • 1.
  • R Ramirez/J Davis/J Sherman

    'Lover Man' [rec. 29 Jul 1946]

    Performer: Charlie Parker Quintet Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Howard McGhee (tpt) Performer: Jimmy Bunn (pno) Performer: Bob Kesterson (bas) Performer: Roy Porter (drums)

    • Verve 314 549 084-2.
    • 9.
  • Gil Fuller/Gillespie

    'Things to Come'[rec. 9 Jul 1946]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra

    • Verve 314 549 086-2.
    • 8.
  • Wilson/Basie

    'Katy (Dizzier and Dizzier)' [rec. 6 May 1949, NYC]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra

    • Proper Records Properbox 30.
  • Gillespie/ Gil Fuller/Pozo

    'Manteca' [rec. 30 Dec 1947]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra Performer: Kenny Clark (drums)

    • Verve 314 549 086-2.
    • 10.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Parker's Mood' [rec. 18 Sep 1948, NYC]

    Performer: Miles Davis (tpt) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: John Lewis (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Max Roach (drums)

    • Savoy ZD70737.
    • 21.
  • George & Ira Gershwin - 'Embraceable You' [rec. 28 Oct 1947, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker Quintet Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Miles Davis (tpt) Performer: Duke Jordan (pno) Performer: Tommy Potter (bas) Performer: Max Roach (drums)

  • Charlie Parker

    Confirmation' [30 Jul 1953, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker Quartet Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Al Haig (pno) Performer: Percy Heath (bas) Performer: Max Roach (drums)

    • Verve 837 152-2.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Bloomdido' [rec. 6 June 1950, NYC]

    Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Thelonious Monk (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Buddy Rich (drums)

    • Verve 521 436-2.
    • 1.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Leap Frog' (take 9)

    Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Thelonious Monk (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Buddy Rich (drums)

    • Verve 521 436-2.
    • 11.

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