Picks and Pans Review: One Night in Washington
Charlie Parker with the Orchestra
When jazz saxophonist Parker, at the peak of his talent, walked onstage with a local Washington, D.C. band on Feb. 22, 1953, it was a little like Julius Erving showing up in a church gym and asking to play. Parker didn't know the band's arrangements and would never play with the group after this session, preserved on tape until now by producer Bill Potts. But, using a plastic alto sax he was experimenting with, he chimed in—also under, around, through and, mostly, above the other musicians. His solos and parenthetical comments on such standard tunes as Fine and Dandy, These Foolish Things, Thou Swell and Gerry Mulligan's Roundhouse are typically startling and wonderfully formed. In his too short career—he died of drug-related causes in 1955—Parker was often in better company; he was not often in better form.
On Newsstands Now
- The Little Couple: A New Mom's Fight to Live
- Remembering Nelson Mandela
- Princess Kate's Style Secret!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine