Recorded at three separate session, two in 1949 and the other in 1950, this was originally released in a 78rpm album of four records and then on a 10″ album by Clef Records. in 1957, following Parker’s death, it was reissued by Verve in the Genius Of Charlie Parker series as No. 4 without “Passport” and “Mohawk”; instead it had some alternate takes of other tracks.
This was the final collaborative recording by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and it is the session from 6 June 1950. The six tracks they recorded together are ‘Bloomdido’, ‘My Melancholy Baby’, ‘Relaxin’ With Lee’,’Leap Frog’, ‘An Oscar For Treadwell’ and ‘Mohawk’. At this session, besides Bird and Dizzy it’s Thelonious Monk on piano, Curley Russell (bass) and drummer Buddy Rich. ‘Passport’ is Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Al Haig (piano) Tommy Potter (bass) Max Roach (drums) and just Bird. For ‘Visa’, Carlos Vidal (bongo) and trombonist Tommy Turk are added to the musicians on ‘Passport.’
These sides hark back to recordings made by Bird and Diz for the Savoy and Dial labels, only here the recording quality allows the music to shine through, helping to make this an exhilarating listening experience. On the sides recorded by Parker and Gillespie, it’s like music in two layers. The sax and trumpet spar with one another, Monk, Russell and Rich creating a base across which the two giants stride across like gladiators. Add to this Monk’s vignette on ‘Bloomdido’ and what have you got? A be-bop bonanza!
‘I think all the guys like Bird and Dizzy contributed so much to making the steps of progress of modern music. Those guys had wonderful minds.’ – Count Basie
Hear it here… at least, the reissued version without Visa and Passport, but with many alternate takes
Original Clef issue
Reissue on Verve in The Genius of Charlie Parker series