Rolling Stone - 7/9/70, p.39
"...This is Charlie Parker relaxed and mellow, telling his story over a dozen or more choruses, displaying a sense of humor broader than the (generally) more cerebral and cosmic humor that came out of the strict studio environment..."
Personnel includes: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Miles Davis (trumpet); Duke Jordan (piano); Tommy Potter (bass); Max Roach (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York in 1948.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1994, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Miles Davis (trumpet); Duke Jordan (piano); Max Roach (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Recording information: New York, NY (07/1948).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Duke Jordan; Max Roach; Miles Davis; Tommy Potter.
Like most of the bootleg recordings of Charlie Parker, made by audience members on primitive equipment, the sound quality of BIRD ON 52ND ST. is poor. Nevertheless, despite surface noise and an imbalanced "mix" (Duke Jordan's piano and Miles Davis' trumpet can hardly be heard), there are some outstanding examples of Parker's art. At the time of this recording Parker had just returned from recuperating in a mental hospital in California and was, surprisingly, playing better than ever.
Here, on tracks like "The Way You Look Tonight," "Hot House" and "Dizzy Atmosphere," Parker's soulful, dazzlingly mercurial lines animate the space they occupy like strings of fire. Especially prominent is the dialogue Parker establishes with drummer Max Roach, the two of them seeking out the hidden rhythms of each song--horn, snare and cymbal creating new shifting structures inside the standard 4/4 time signature. Sound quality issues aside, BIRD ON 52ND ST. is essential for collectors and a fine example of Bird's conceptual and technical fluency on stage.