Complete Live at Cafe Society by Charlie Parker on CD
Charlie Parker's engagement at the club took place during the last year of this famous club's existence. During these months, he was playing with his quintet featuring Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Al Haig on piano, Tommy Potter on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. The repertoire is also not typical of Parker at this stage of his career. Maybe because of the style or the surroundings of the club, he doesn't play his usual set of live tunes. Instead, he chooses medium tempos and ballads (with the exception of the short "52nd Street Theme" performances used to open and close the sets). The Caf Society recordings also give us Bird's only known renditions of "Bewitched" and "Gone with the Wind", and the only existing version of Parker playing Gershwin's perennial "Summertime" apart from the November 30, 1949 version with strings -and his improvisation here is clearly superior to the previous attempt. RLR.