In our recent video celebrating the holidays at Carnegie Hall, Gino Francesconi—director of the Carnegie Hall Archives and Rose Museum—referred to stellar jazz lineups that have graced the Hall during Christmases past. This week's Live from Carnegie Hall takes a look at one of them—when Charlie "Bird" Parker led a parade of some of the biggest names in jazz on to the stage in the "big hall."
Artist: Charlie Parker and GuestsAlbum: Carnegie Hall: X-Mas '49Label: Jass RecordsDate Recorded: December 25, 1949Fun Fact: Christmas Day 1949 was the fourth time Parker performed at Carnegie Hall that year.
Broadcast over WMCA radio as Stars of Modern Jazz, this Christmas jazz concert featured a concentration of bebop giants that was likely never repeated. Among the artist roster that night were Charlie "Bird" Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Sarah Vaughan, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, and Lennie Tristano. Can you even imagine!?
Bird was not yet 30 when he headlined this collection of jazz royalty. His final concert at Carnegie Hall—billed as “Birdland All-Stars—took place six years later in September 1954. It was another star-strewn event, boasting Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, in addition to Vaughan and Haynes. Parker died six months later at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City. He was just 34 years old.
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Related: Live from Carnegie Hall Series History of the Hall