What a magnificent performance. This album has long been considered the greatest live jazz album of all time, for a number of reasons.
1. The Lineup: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell & Max Roach, each of whom was at their peak of mastery of their instruments.
2: It was recorded in Canada, so Parker's usual endorsement deal for a particular brand of saxophone was void, meaning he was able to play a special Grafton plastic sax that had been given him.
3. Parker had a clear head, since he was, for the time being, clean & sober.
Any track on this album could have been my selection, but I've chosen this. The band bashes it's way through Gillespie's hit, and Bird tears everything to shreds in reaction to Dizzy's goofy vocal. A thoroughly sublime recording from start to finish. If you only own one bop album, it may as well be this.
from Jazz at Massey Hall (Debut), available on CD (OJC)