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Bird and Diz is a studio album by jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, recorded primarily

on June 6, 1950 in
New York City.[7] Two tracks featured on the original pressing, "Passport" and "Visa", were recorded by Parker, without Gillespie and with a
different personnel than that of the other tracks, in March and May 1949.[8] The album was originally issued in 1952 in 10" format as a
collection of 78 rpm singles on the Verve subsidiary label Clef Records.[9][10]
While it was produced by Norman Granz, who was known for his preference of large ensembles at the time,[11] the album contains
compositions performed with the standard bebop instrumentation of saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums.[12] In a 1952 four-star
review of Bird and Diz, a Down Beat magazine columnist wrote of Granz's contribution to the album's sound, stating "Though there is no
mention of bop in Norman Granz'[s] notes, we owe him a salvo for reminding us through this LP that this music is still very much alive." [3] It
serves as the final collaborative studio recording by Parker and Gillespie.[7] The album has been reissued several times by Verve and
PolyGram Records.[12]
Side one[edit]



Song Number

Song Title





C 410-4


Charlie Parker




C 413-2

My Melancholy Baby

Ernie M. Burnett and George A. Norton




C 415-4

Relaxin' with Lee

Charlie Parker




C 295-2


Charlie Parker


Side two[edit]



Song Number

Song Title





C 414-11

Leap Frog

Benny Harris and Charlie Parker




C 411-4

An Oscar for Treadwell

Charlie Parker




C 412-6


Charlie Parker




C 293-4


Charlie Parker



Charlie Parker - saxophone

Curley Russell - bass (except on tracks A4 & B4)

Buddy Rich - drums (except tracks A4 & B4)

Thelonious Monk - piano (except tracks A4 & B4)

Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet (except tracks A4 & B4)

Tommy Potter - bass (on tracks A4 & B4)

Carlos Vidal - bongo (on track B4)

Max Roach - drums (tracks A4 & B4)

Al Haig - piano (tracks 4 & 8)

Tommy Turk - trombone (track B4)

Kenny Dorham - trumpet (tracks 4 & 8)


Norman Granz - producer

Dennis Drake - mastering

David Stone Martin - cover design

Studio album by Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie



FebruaryMay 5, 1949

and June 6, 1950

New York City, New York


Jazz, bebop

24:58 (Original LP)

44:52 (Remaster)

MG C-512


Norman Granz

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie chronology

Diz 'N' Bird In Concert

Bird and Diz

Jazz at Massey Hall




AllMusic: This collection of 78 rpm singles, all recorded on June 6, 1950, was originally issued in album format in
1956. Several things distinguish this from numerous other quintet recordings featuring these two bebop
pioneers. It was recorded during the period that Parker was working under the aegis of producer Norman Granz,
whose preference for large and unusual ensembles was notorious. The end result in this case is a date that
sounds very much like those that Parker and Gillespie recorded for Savoy and Dial, except with top-of-the-line
production quality. Even more interesting, though, is Parker's choice of Thelonious Monk as pianist.
Unfortunately, Monk is buried in the mix and gets very little solo space, so his highly idiosyncratic genius
doesn't get much exposure here. Still, this is an outstanding album -- there are fine versions of Parker standards
like "Leap Frog," "Mohawk," and "Relaxin' with Lee," as well as a burning performance of "Bloomdido" and an
interesting (if not entirely thrilling) rendition of the chestnut "My Melancholy Baby." [The CD reissue adds three
alternate takes to make what was originally a very skimpy program slightly more generous.]

Alto Saxophone Charlie Parker

Bass Curly Russell

Design [Designed For Compact Disc By] Ellie Hughes, HughesGroup, Tom Hughes (3)

Drums Buddy Rich

Liner Notes, Research [Previously Unreleased Material Researched By] Phil Schaap

Piano Thelonious Monk

Producer [Original Sessions] Norman Granz

Remastered By Dennis Drake

Research [Previously Unreleased Material Researched By] Bob Porter

Technician [Prepared For Compact Disc By] Donald Elfman, Richard Seidel

Trumpet Dizzy Gillespie

Written-By Charlie Parker (tracks: 1 to 5, 8 to 13), Ernie Burnett (tracks: 6, 7), George Norton* (tracks:
6, 7)
A 1950 recording released on a 10" LP in 1952, this session was conceived by Norman Granz as an opportunity
to win for Charlie Parker a larger audience by showcasing him in the company of jazz stars playing "pretty tunes
written by good songwriters. But with the exception of "Melancholy Baby" these are exactly the same kinds of

bebop heads based on blues and "Rhythm" chord changes that Bird had recorded at Dial and Savoy. What
distinguishes the albumapart from the singularly aggressive and competitive playing of Parker and Dizzy
Gillespie on their last studio sessionis the presence of Thelonious Monk and Buddy Rich.
In the liner notes, James Patrick laments the neglect this session has received, then observes that though
Parker, Gillespie, Monk, and bassist Curley Russell "play beautifully," Buddy Rich is "intrusive" and should have
been replaced by a "Max Roach, Roy Haynes, or Kenny Clarke. Fine, then we have another recording practically
indistinguishable from the earlier Dials and Savoys.
Rich may be less flowing and propulsive than the aforementioned bebop drummers, but he's definitely not
intrusive. In fact, his swing-era symmetry and unfailing metronomic pulse bring a different dimension to the
music and complement, above all, Monk's clockwork. It begs credulity that a musician like Monk would have
hung around the studio if he didn't appreciate Rich's time. (In the early '70s at Chicago's Plugged Nickel I saw
Monk fire a drummer in the middle of the second tune of the first set!) In fact, the "world's greatest drummer
convincingly retains his title on Rich Versus Roach (Mercury, 1959), unless you fault him for machine-like
Which is not to say a case can't be made against him. After 1942 Sinatra never recorded with him and brought
along his own drummer, Irv Cottler, even when performing with the Rich band. Rich didn't have the big backbeat, the "deep stroke," that Sinatra derived his energy and swing from. And Rich could be so symmetrical and
metronomic, so unforgiving, that much of the expressive fire generated by a soloist working with an Art Blakey
or Elvin Jones would fail to ignite in a small Rich ensemble.
But just when you start to question the eminence of Rich, you rediscover all of those Verve recordings he made,
not just with Diz and Bird but with Lester Young, Nat Cole, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Lionel Hampton, Louis
Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. All of it so tasteful, supportive, swinging and even elegant. The man
encompasses as much of the tradition as Miles Davis, though he rarely gets his due.
Whether Parker and Gillespie succeed because of or in spite of Rich matters less than the evidence on the
record. Listen to all eleven takes of "Leap Frog." Even though seven are false starts, Bird and Diz are going after
one another with such ferocity it's quite a challenge to determine what caused Bird to abort seven of the
attempts so quickly, providing a fascinating glimpse of the creative process as practiced by two of the
indisputable musical geniuses of the 20th century.
Track Listing: Bloomdido; My Melancholy Baby; Relaxin' With Lee; Leap Frog; An Oscar For Treadwell; Mohawk;
My Melancholy Baby (alternative take); Relaxin' With Lee (alternative take); Leap Frog (3 alternative takes); An
Oscar For Treadwell (alternative take); Mohawk (alternative take); Relaxin' With Lee (4 breakdown takes); Leap
Frog (7 breakdown takes).
Personnel: Charlie Parker: alto saxophone; Dizzy Gillespie: trumpet; Thelonious Monk: piano; Curly Russell: bass;
Buddy Rich: drums.
Charlie Parker played in some strange settings during his careerwith a cowboy band in Hollywood, a "Gypsy"
string trio in a Manhattan restaurant, the street busker Moondog, and several klezmer bandsbut such liaisons
tended to be random, unrecorded encounters in clubs and restaurants. Aside from a 1945 session which
included the novelty hipster, vocalist and guitarist Slim Gaillard and the New Orleans drummer Zutty Singleton,
which was issued under Gaillard's name, bop's pre-eminent saxophonist preferred to record with carefully
chosen, like-minded A-listers.
Which makes this 1950 session for producer Norman Granz a strange one, particularly as it came so late in
Parker's career. For the date, a world class bop line-up of Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Thelonious
Monk and bassist Curly Russell was completed by the barn-storming big band drummer Buddy Rich. A fine
technician and swing auteur, Rich was so massively unsuited to bop's rhythmic subtleties it's a wonder the
other guys didn't laugh him out of the studio. That instead, they treated the encounter seriously and Rich
himself politely, we know from the scraps of studio chatter heard on some of the breakdown takes included on
Bird And Diz, a new, warts and all, completist reissue of the session.
Maybe Granz was aiming to broaden Parker's appeal, as he intended with the Parker-with-strings sessions later
the same year. But from a rhythm section perspective, the experiment was a failure. Rich's explosive, take-noprisoners style, exciting and propulsive as it was in a big band context, here sounds lumpen and bombastic. If
you can filter Rich out howeverand that's easier to do than it sounds, for there's so much else going on worth
listening tothe music survives. In the company of three of his chief constituents, Parker plays blistering and
coherent, mostly up-tempo, primetime bop, rising above a little local difficulty just as he did with the string
There are two blues ("Bloomdido" and "Mohawk"), two "I Got Rhythm" chord change derivations ("An Oscar For
Treadwell" and "Leap Frog"), another using the changes from "Stompin' At The Savoy" ("Relaxin' With Lee"), and
the delightfully cheesy 1912 ballad, "My Melancholy Baby," played with gusto by Parker (and belly up for one of
Monk's semi-parodic Tin Pan Alley deconstructions, had playing time permitted it). The eighteen alternative and
breakdown takes, lasting between four seconds and three minutes, forty-eight seconds, all of them previously
released, make for an interesting extended coda to the six master takes which start the disc.
Archivists won't need to be told that this was the last time Parker and Gillespie recorded together in the studio,
or that it was the only time they recorded with Monk. Gillespie, like Parker, is strong throughout, perfectly in
sync with Parker on the theme statements and a consistently stimulating soloist; comping was never Monk's

forte, but he delivers some quirky, if brief, solos. Bird And Diz is often dismissed out of hand because of Rich's
presence. It shouldn't be.

Musicweb-international.com: When the 1950 recording Bird and Diz was originally released, some critics
baulked at the idea of Buddy Rich playing the drums for beboppers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. This
prejudice was based on the fact that Buddy was best known as a swing drummer, not a bebopper like Max
Roach. Yet, if they had listened, the critics might have recognised that Buddy Rich fitted in perfectly well. Maybe
he didn't use the fragmented style of the bebop drummers but he provided the engine power necessary to
propel the front line (assisted by the steady bass of Curley Russell). And he inserts some appropriate breaks, as
in the introduction to the first cut of Leap Frog and his boppish eight-bar break in the first take of An Oscar For
Treadwell. And compare his smooth breaks with Max Roach's faltering solo on the second take of Au Privave.
This reissue includes all the complete alternate takes which were not included on the original LP, plus the only
two breakdown attempts with complete Parker solos. The last eleven tracks are bonuses featuring Parker with
quartets or quintets in 1950 and 1951.
This was the only studio recording that Charlie Parker made with Thelonious Monk. Unfortunately, Monk is not
very audible on most tracks, except when he solos. Parker and Gillespie are as adept and serpentine as they
have ever been. For much of the time, it sounds as if they are competing with one another in a fierce but
friendly cutting contest. They introduce some unexpected humour at the end of My Melancholy Baby. And it is
educative to hear how they tackle the different takes of each tune.
Apart from the under-recorded piano, the sound quality of this album is better than on many Parker releases,
although some of the final tracks are rather foggy. Some listeners may be frustrated by the repetition of tunes
several times over, but it can afford a useful exercise in comparing how the musicians vary their approach to
certain numbers.

Sputnikmusic.com: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Two of the finest names in jazz music collaborating on an
album together. They recorded a few times before, but this was their last album together and there only album
with jazz piano master Thelonious Monk.
Here Parker and Gillespie play some of the finest bebop styled jazz you will ever hear. The melodies are
exquisite. There is a blues influence throughout the album that really shows within the first track, Bloomdido
with its uptempo groove and sweet, sweet improvisation. The improvised solo sections between Parker,
Gillespie and Monk are incredible. You can never really guess what theyre going to play next and the soloing is
so fluid and melodic. These performers were truly masters of their instruments. This album is almost completely
up tempo styled playing except for My Melancholy Baby which is , as the title implies, a slow melancholic track
that really stands out on the album. Leap Frog is also an interesting track as Charlie And Dizzy switch back forth
every 4 bars, Therefore expanding further upon the ideas of two frogs leaping back and forth from each other.
The reissue also comes with a handy booklet on the history of this album as well as breakdowns of tracks and
playing styles. Its very informative to someone who doesnt listen to jazz. Bird And Diz also comes with 16
bonus tracks of shorter arrangements of tracks, and mess-ups of tracks made during the recording sessions.
Theres even some dialogue between the musicians. There really is nothing wrong with this album. It is
essentially the perfect jazz album played by a few famous jazz musicians. IF there are any problems, its that
the drumming is a bit off-kilter and the bass isnt very audible. Overall a jazz master piece.

Twenty Years of the Journal of Historical Sociology: Volume 2 The Survivors; my last sixty-six long-playuing
records pg 193-194

Bird gave some good advice:
Dont reach the bandstand babe
With quarrels on your mind
As a pulpit treat the stand
As for your differences
Eave them in the crowd
Until youre at the end
Resume your differences
Only on coming down.
Bird said to Sonny Cross
Dont think. Quit thinking now.
Rely on intuition
To play is more than mind.
When Criss heard Bird and Prez
Conversing each to each
Through their instruments
His observation was
Man, it was outa sight.
Together Bird and Diz
Decided what to do
Evoking with their horns
A double-headed man
One guy when they played
One guy with two heads
And not two horns but one

Blues for Bird James Martin Gray