Bob Dorough: Yardbird Suite / Charles Yardbird Parker was his Name


Yardbird Suite / Charles Yardbird Parker was his Name


Bob Dorough (piano, vocals)


Devil May Care (Bethlehem Archives/Avenue Jazz 75994)

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Bob Dorough (piano, vocals),

Warren Fitzgerald (trumpet), Jack Hitchcock (vibes), Bill Takas (bass), Jerry Segal (drums)


Composed by Charlie Parker; lyrics by Bob Dorough


Recorded: New York, October 1956


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

After spending six formative months performing in Paris, Bob Dorough returned to New York in 1955 just weeks before the death of his idol and friend Charlie Parker. Inspired by the vocalese of Annie Ross, King Pleasure, and Eddie Jefferson, Dorough wrote lyrics for Parker's classic "Yardbird Suite" and recorded this knowing tribute, which has remained prominent in his wide repertoire to this day.

Dorough enthusiastically vocalizes the well-known theme, and also sings breezy lyrics to Bird's solo, a sort of encapsulated telling of the ups and downs of the great bop innovator, both a summation and a shout out to the uninitiated. Imagine a multi-noted phrase like "His improvisation was miraculous" set to a boppish rhythmic pattern. Trumpeter Fitzgerald then offers a searching solo, followed in order by Hitchcock's intricate vibes, Dorough in a percussive piano style similar to Eddie Costa's, and Takas's bass, absorbingly expressive as usual.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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