Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie: Perdido
Jazz at Massey Hall (Debut DCD-124-2)
Composed by Juan Tizol.
Recorded: Live at Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada, May 15, 1953
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
After taping himself in concert with an all-star quintet, Charles Mingus listened to playbacks. The group was fabulous, with Diz & Bird in top form. His own bass, however, had been woefully under-recorded. Solution? Overdub a new bassline. Result? Calamitous. Given mid-1950s technology, Mingus #2 easily overpowered but could neither eliminate nor be precisely synchronized with Mingus #1. Consequently, his disconcerting duel with himself maddeningly muddles both tempo and harmony. Fantasy’s 12-CD Complete Debut Recordings (1992) reproduces the undoctored tape, but all other releases use the corrupted version, making its revisionist history definitive for most listeners. Mingus should’ve left bad enough alone.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz