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Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (54 ratings)
Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 album cover
A Night In Tunisia
Groovin' High
Salt Peanuts
Hot House
Fifty Second Street Theme
Album Information

Total Tracks: 7   Total Length: 40:41

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The Source


These guys invented this music if anyone did, and they're on fire for this date. There aren't enough recordings of Diz and Bird together, and they spur each other to some amazing heights.

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Not a landmark


Diz and Bird sound as good as you'd expect, and the audio is a cut above most Bird's pre-50s work. But both players were in a hurry to make later sessions, and neither ever takes more than a chorus or 2. This was not the technological breakthrough it's been portrayed as. Listen to the very first Jazz at the Philharmonic with Nat Cole and Les Paul from 1944, or pick up the earlier Duke Ellington Fargo concert, which puts you on the bandstand with Jimmy Blanton and company. By contrast, this Town Hall Concert gets one play and a back seat to other Bird and Diz (including 4 different recordings of the Massey Hall concert, which has Powell as the clincher). The revelation was to hear Bird in hi-fi in the company of both Hodges and Benny Carter on "Charlie Parker Jam Session" on Verve.

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How could anyone have not given this 5 stars


A very important and amazing recording. Don't hesitate.

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Kick-a-- Bop at a historical moment!

mr. mark

As usual at any key career moment, Bird was out looking for some junk, and Sid waited as long as he could before looking for a substitute. When he got there, Charlie blew up the Big Apple! The then-unknown Max Roach sizzles the skins. Sounds like a primitive AM broadcast, but in its way as crucial as the famous Massey Hall concert or the first JATP jam session. (And Bird was also late for the Canadian show, for apparently the same reason.)Despite the B minus sound quality, ya gotta hear the creators of bebop at the very beginning.

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They Say All Music Guide

The historic live Town Hall sessions by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker from 1945 have been discovered on an acetate pressing, and are transferred with digital enhancement to CD. Why this concert was not issued initially is understandable, but Ira Gitler’s informative and insightful liner notes suggest they likely were misplaced. What Gitler’s essential writing also reveals is that these dates were approximate by only weeks to the original studio recordings of these classics, and there was no small amount of controversy surrounding this revolutionary bebop. Clearly bop was a vehicle for intricate melodic invention followed by lengthy soloing, aspects of which Parker with Gillespie were perfectly suited for. Fact is, the situation surrounding the sonic capture and extended neglected shelf life of this performance was far from optimal. Symphony Sid Torin is the M.C., rambling as always, making repeated references to Dizzy “Jillespie” and misidentifying Max Roach as Sid Catlett on “Salt Peanuts.” (Catlett does sit in on “Hot House” in a more supportive than demonstrative role.) The tracks with the brilliant Roach are on fire, particularly the super-hot “Salt Peanuts,” with pianist Al Haig flying beside him. Haig is perhaps the most impressive musician. The rhythm section, especially Haig, is more present in the mix and up front, while the trumpet and alto sax are buried. As the concert progresses, it gets better, with Gillespie’s muted trumpet clearer. Parker lays back on the mike, but not in spirit or bravado for “Interlude,” which is now known as “A Night in Tunisia,” and better balanced during “Groovin’ High,” which was originally titled “Whispering.” There seems to be an unplanned slight key chance in the bridge of “Groovin’ High.” A late-arriving Parker was in part replaced by tenor saxophonist Don Byas, who sounds terrific on the opener, “Bebop,” until Parker steps on-stage and ups the ante. At under 41 minutes in length, this can be looked upon as a historical document, likely appealing only to completists. But the overriding factor of previously undiscovered Diz and Bird makes the CD something all bebop fans should readily embrace, despite its audio deficiencies. – Michael G. Nastos

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