Claude Thornhill: Yardbird Suite


Yardbird Suite



Gil Evans: The Real Birth of the Cool – Studio Recordings (Jazz Factory JFCD22801)

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Claude Thornhill (piano), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Red Rodney (trumpet), Bill Barber (tuba),

Louis Mucci, Ed Zandy (trumpet); Allan Langstaff, Tak Takvorian (trombone); Sandy Siegelstein, Walt Weschler (French horn); Danny Polo (clarinet, alto sax), Mickey Folus, Jerry Sanfino (tenor sax); Billy Bushey (baritone sax), Barry Galbraith (guitar), Joe Shulman (bass), Billy Exiner (drums)


Composed by Charlie Parker. Arranged by Gil Evans


Recorded: New York, December 17, 1947


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Once the Swing Era expired like a lapsed subscription to The Saturday Evening Post, many big-name bandleaders became bopycats. Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw and even King of Swing Benny Goodman jumped on the bebop bandwagon. For his part, pianist Claude Thornhill tinkled amiably along to Gil Evans's arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite." It's a remarkable chart, with an especially distinctive solo by Lee Konitz—seemingly oblivious to Bird's otherwise pervasive influence. Even so, there's no mistaking bop's overall impact. Within two years of its 52nd-street debut and Diz & Bird's first great recordings, bop ruled the roost.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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