[Dixielandjazz] Fwd: [ Bird and strings

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Sat Jan 1 15:42:21 PST 2005

No, no, not a fantasy at all but a wonderful reality. Buddy Rich was on 
drums, Ray Brown, bass, and Stan Freeman piano, with Mitch on oboe and 
English Horn plus a string section, French horn, & harp. Norman Granz 
supervised the session (Clef LP MG C 675, surely now on CD). Miller was 
later wildly popular when he became the smarmy, smiling TV host and 
conductor of "Sing Along with Mitch" but before that was known as a 
fine musician and literate, witty radio show host. He had earlier 
severely criticized the banality of popular music, so his vanilla 
packaging of pop-concert material and worse--e.g., "Feet Up, Pat Him on 
the Po Po" (don't ask)-- didn't sit well with musicians. You couldn't 
blame him for going for the money, but the hypocrisy was something 

But the Parker LP is brilliant, with Bird sounding inventive and 
beautiful throughout. For a while, he took a string ensemble with him 
as his backup group. By the way, I don't think the LP wasn't a 
breakthrough in integrating strings with big band jazz. The 
arrangements are stylized, suited to be a tasteful musical background 
for Bird's improvisations. They were a model, maybe, for "with stings" 
LPs that followed but not for finding a voice for the string section in 
a big band setting.

Charlie Suhor

On Jan 1, 2005, at 2:38 PM, ALSINGERPRESENTS at aol.com wrote:

> Charlie Parker in about 1950 did "BIRD AND STRINGS" with Mitch 
> Miller.....the
> album is universally regarded as some of the best jazz ever!!     al 
> singer
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