Personnel: Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Red Rodney (trumpet); Al Haig (piano); Tommy Potter (bass); Roy Haynes (drums).
Recorded at Saint Nicholas Arena, New York, New York on February 18, 1950. Originally released on Jazz Workshop (5000). Includes liner notes by Jimmy Knepper.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Jazz Workshop Records do not apologize for the low fidelity recording here; we are happy that one of [Parker's] blowing nights remains for musical posterity." So say the original liner notes by trombonist Jimmy Knepper, a contemporary of Parker's when this quintet was recorded playing a dance at the St. Nicholas Arena in New York City in 1950. Indeed, hearing the incendiary altoist stretching out in front of a live audience under casual circumstances is worth putting up with the accompanying hiss, background chatter and the occasional "yeah!" that comes through.
Parker blows through many of the staples of his repertoire, both standards he came to possess, like "Out of Nowhere" and "Embraceable You" and his own compositions (often built off the chord progressions to standards) such as "Ornithology," "Scrapple From The Apple" and "Hot House." There are no solo spots by the other musicians. The original tapes only included the moments when Parker was playing, and these fragments have been meticulously spliced together to create the generally successful illusion of whole tunes--though they feature nothing but Bird's head statements, solos, fours with his sidemen, and out-choruses.