Friday, April 10, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charlie Parker

Artist:Charlie Parker f/Lester Young
Song:Embraceable You
Album:Jazz Round Midnight

When Charlie Parker signed with Verve Records in 1949, he was roundly criticized for recording with an orchestra. But that was the main reason Parker signed with Verve. He wanted to record with strings. Verve owner Norman Granz was also hopeful that Parker would be a regular part of his Jazz At The Philharmonic concert series. Of course with Parker's heroin addiction, that was going to be problematic at best. Parker had previously appeared on a JATP concert in 1946. But for this 1949 Carnegie Hall concert, Granz put together a stacked band including another sax legend Lester Young. I believe this is the only time they worked together. Young is more laid back than Parker so it's quite a contrast. Other musicians include Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Flip Phillips on tenor sax, Tommy Turk on trombone, Hank Jones on piano, Ray Brown on bass and Buddy Rich on drums. Ella Fitzgerald is a guest vocalist on a couple of songs. Parker first recorded the Gershwin classic Embraceable You in 1947. Unfortunately the complete concert is not available on CD right now. But you can get Embraceable You on this 1991 comp that is a good intro to Parker's Verve recordings. Parker was always at his best live so this 1949 concert is worth seeking out. Here's a video of Embraceable You by Charlie Parker featuring Lester Young.

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