top of page

Charlie Parker Trio: Alto, Piano, Phone Book :)

Lennie Tristano's apartment, NYC, August 1951

Royal Jazz (1990), "Charlie Parker - More Unissued, Vol. 1"

Charlie Parker (alto sax); Lennie Tristano (piano); Kenny Clarke (phone book)

Greg Thomas on, in reviewing the 2006 Definitive Records release of "Charlie Parker with Lennie Tristano: Complete Recordings", notes: "Jazz cognoscenti may find [these] first two cuts, recorded by Bird on a tape machine at Tristano's home in 1951, most interesting. Mainly duets, with the addition of Kenny Clarke playing brushes on a telephone book, their versions of "All of Me" and "I Can't Believe That You're In Love with Me" lend themselves to a sigh at the thought of what might have been had the two collaborated more."

From the AllMusic review of the same release: "As a thrilling bonus, the disc opens with two marvelously intimate recordings made on Parker's tape recorder at Lennie Tristano's house in New York sometime during August of 1951. Present on this pair of tracks, which add up to eight minutes of friendly cooperative improvisation, were Charlie Parker, Lennie Tristano and Kenny Clarke, who provided percussive accompaniment using brushes on a phone book. Here is the only known recording that Charlie Parker ever made of "I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me," and what is said to be his only complete version of "All of Me." Note that these precious recordings were used by Clint Eastwood in Bird, his 1988 cinematic portrait of Charlie Parker, but with Parker's solo digitally isolated, Tristano's portion excised, and a new rhythm section added. It's good to have Tristano back in the mix, as it were. Tristano once remarked that Parker greatly enjoyed improvising with him because he used unusual chord combinations that never occurred to most other pianists."


bottom of page