Unreleased And Rare Recordings From Charlie Parker's Fruitful Time In Los Angeles Released On New Collection, "Bird In L.A.," Exclusively For RSD Black Friday

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout his brief but influential life, Charlie "Bird" Parker made an enormous impact on popular music as one of the architects of modern jazz. The jazz titan, inarguably one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and spent much of his adult life in New York, but Los Angeles nonetheless looms large in his musical life as he spent more time in L.A. than anywhere outside of K.C. and N.Y. From 1945-1954, Parker made half a dozen trips to the City of Angels and recorded many of his greatest musical triumphs there. In December 1945, Parker and Dizzy Gillespie changed music forever by bringing the sound of bebop from the East Coast to the West Coast for a fabled two-month residency at Billy Berg'sSupper Club in Hollywood billed as "Bebop Invades the West." Entranced by the city, Parker would end up staying for an extended amount of time in which he gigged all around town, was recorded at a Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concert and made some pivotal recordings for the nascent Dial label before he was committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital for a six-month stint for his heroin addiction, following a drug-fueled physical and mental collapse at the infamous July 29, 1946 "Lover Man" session. Shortly after being released in January 1947, Bird would stick around a few more months, which included a well-documented two-week engagement at the Hi-De-Ho Club, before heading back to NYC. He would return to L.A. four more times, briefly in November 1948 with JATP, for a three-month stay during the summer of 1952, and for shorter visits in 1953 and 1954.
Unreleased And Rare Recordings From Charlie Parker's Fruitful Time In Los Angeles Released On New Collection, "Bird In L.A.," Exclusively For RSD Black Friday
For the first-time ever, Charlie Parker'sprolific and historic first three trips to Los Angeles have been collected together as Bird In L.A., a 28-track collection of mostly unreleased and incredibly rare recordings that is being released on 2CD or 4LP black vinyl via Verve/UMe, exclusively as an RSD First for Record Store Day Black Friday, November 26th. The albums will be available at participating independent record shops or available to order online from select retailers. Visit to find participating locations.Recorded between 1945 and 1952, the performances collected on Bird In L.A, and presented chronologically, are highlighted by the only known recordings from Billy Berg's on December 17, 1945, three previously unknown JATP recordings from the Shrine Auditorium on November 22, 1948 and the complete recordings of the legendary July 1952 party at Jirayr Zorthian's bohemian Altadena ranch. The collection includes comprehensive track info detailing recording dates and personnel and is rounded out with illuminating liner notes by the album's producer, John Burton, who provides an in-depth history of Bird's fruitful time in L.A. as well as the significance of these incredible recordings.Although Bird and Dizzy performed at Billy Berg's for a two month stretch, no recordings of the performances have ever surfaced until now, despite being broadcast live on local radio. These recordings, capturing a cross-section of the December 17th program, presented here for the first time in their entirety and mastered from the original discs, come from a pair of homemade 10-inch acetate discs discovered by Bird detectives extraordinaire Bob Bregman and Norman Saks, aka "Yardbird, Inc." As Burton exclaims in the liners, "What follows is, in my opinion, among the most incredible of all Parker recordings, alone worth the purchase of this set. Instead of the rapid unison line 'Ornithology,' Gillespie and Bird play the traditional 'How High the Moon' theme, but in a call and response fashion that is quite rare in their recorded collaborations. Bird begins his solo with staccato notes that are like the stomping of a foot to get attention before he unleashes a perfectly executed flurry leading into a lyrical solo blown with such strength that one hears the distortion as the home recorder red-lines. At the end of the first chorus Gillespie exhorts 'Go, go, go, go!' and Bird takes another chorus before a chorus by Jackson and then a fiery solo by Gillespie, cut short at the end of its first chorus when the cutter ran out of space."
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