ROIO of the Week
[Recordings of Indeterminate Origin]



Click on the panels to download artwork



Herbie Hancock
50th Anniversary Concert [no label, 1CD]
Massey Hall, Toronto, May 15, 2003

On May 15, 1953, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Max Roach gathered at Toronto's Massey Hall to play. The show was recorded and is available on CD as The Quintet - Jazz At Massey Hall (Debut).

Bill Coss, editor of Jazz Today, wrote in the album's liner notes: "In Toronto the quintet performed brilliantly with asides for individual temperaments. And, fortunately, there was a tape machine present to record most that came to pass. The asides are often more felt than heard: [Charlie Parker's] unusual amount of interpolations on Perdido; [Parker's] blowing Bud off of his back on All The Things You Are; [Parker's] seemingly furious on his early choruses of Salt Peanuts as if he were scolding the clowning Gillespie, whom he had announced before the tune as 'my worthy constituent.' One can wonder if the use of that word was deliberate or not.

"Asides aside, they blew music of startling quality that night. These were no golden days of bop, this commemorates no zenith of a style, but it is eloquent music played by five exceptional musicians, something of a distinction among jazz recording circles as a general rule.

"This was a quintet that bop built, a quintet which had largely built bop..."

Fifty years to the day, in 2003, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett, Dave Holland and Roy Haynes gathered at the majestic hall to pay tribute to The Quintet. Before the show, trumpeter Hargrove told Now Toronto: "I used to listen to that Jazz At Massey Hall recording religiously. Five of the main messengers of the bebop era documented live - how incredible is that?"

"When I heard who was going to be at Massey Hall for this show," Hargrove recalled from a tour stop in Madrid, "I said, 'Put me down - please!' With these musicians involved, I'd be happy just standing off to the side of the stage and watching."

Anyone of sane mind would not attempt to equal, much less expect to exceed, the work of the elder jazzmen. Hancock and company do not.

Given the reputation that has preceded them (and not to mention with their own reputations at stake), Hancock's team seemed a tad cautious but they do play with an easy elegance.

As Kris King notes in ejazznews, "once the lights dimmed you could hear a pin drop, sense the anticipation and muted excitement warming the atmosphere as Hancock, Haynes, Holland, Hargrove and Garrett took the stage. Without speaking, The Quintet quickly jelled into a cohesive unit playing off each other with smooth, meticulous soloing while deftly applying considerable expertise and innovation to each tune, weaving past musical triumphs into their present repertoire.

"Unlike the first concert, four of the players in the modern day Quintet play together regularly in drummer Roy Haynes group, Birds Of A Feather. Familiarity brought easy dialogue between Haynes, Hargrove, Holland and Garrett giving Hancock plenty of space for improvisation. Hancock exuded confidence with his relaxed approach setting the tone for the evening as songs progressed without introductions. Signature renditions of Hot House, A Night In Tunisia, Salt Peanuts, and Now's The Time allowed the audience to step vicariously back into 1953."

This 2003 radio broadcast is crisp while serious jazz fans might wish for something slightly warmer. It's still mighty fine jazz all the same.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality, stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at mybigo@bigozine.com if you want to download these tracks at a later time.

 
Track 01 Segment Diverse* 8:40
Track 02 Night In Tunisia 12:43
Track 03 Ah Leu Cha 8:02
Track 04 April In Paris 6:12
  - Piano/Bass Duet (?) 6:40
  - The Gypsy In the Still of the Night 12:20
Track 05 Now's the Time 11:53
Track 06 Now's the Time cont'd [untitled] 6:54
Track 07 Hot House 8:38
Track 08 Salt Peanuts 6:10

* Thanks to Peter Feng for the feedback.

Lineup:
Herbie Hancock - piano
Roy Hargrove - trumpet
Kenny Garrett - sax
Dave Holland - bass
Roy Haynes - drums



Click on the link to
order The Quintet's Jazz at Massey Hall.
 


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