A rare and historic summit meeting.

Charlie Parker With Woody Herman And His Third Herd – Kansas City, July 22, 1951 – Past Daily Downbeat

A rare and historic summit meeting.
A rare and historic summit meeting.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – Charlie Parker w/Woody Herman’s Third Herd – Kansas City – July 22, 1951 – Main-Man Records

A historic rarity this week, recorded under less-than-ideal conditions, but grateful it exists at all. Woody Herman‘s Third Herd featuring a rare appearance by Charlie Parker, in a broadcast from the Municipal Arena in Kansas City Missouri on July 22, 1951.

I have to keep reminding myself that, much the same as what’s currently going on in Europe with reference to live concerts on all the various networks and stations throughout the Continent, that’s what was going on in the U.S. with reference to live Jazz in the 1940s and 1950s. It was so prevalent that much of it was taken for granted either somebody else recorded it, or it was just another live gig, in a series of live gigs which filled the airwaves seven nights a week. The assumption was, no doubt it would never end.

How some of these performances were taken for granted is a mystery to me – but then, I wasn’t there, so I have no frame of reference.

I guess you could file this under “had I but known”, but then history is loaded with those – and that’s what makes legends and myths and mysteries grow and intensify over the years.

But this one did get recorded, albeit not really well, but well enough to get an idea of just what a genius Charlie Parker was, and how stunning this gig was.

Here’s what’s on the player:

1. (fade-in) You Go To My Head
2. Leo The Lion I
3. Cuban Holiday
4. The Nearness Of You
5. Lemon Drop
6. The Goof And I
7. Laura
8. Four Brothers
9. Leo The Lion II
Charlie Parker (as)
Woody Herman (as, cl, cond)
Roy Caton, Don Fagerquist, Johnny Macombe, Doug Mettome (tp)
Jerry Dorn, Urbie Green, Fred Lewis (tb)
Dick Hafer, Bill Perkins, Kenny Pinson (ts)
Sam Staff (bars)
Dave McKenna (p)
Lawrence “Red” Wooten (b)
Sonny Igoe (d)

Grateful to whoever recorded this in the first place. A reminder to everyone who takes live music for granted – there’s magic to be had on-the-fly, and sometimes history.

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