Friday, October 2, 2009

After Hours

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie. Hot House

Here's a fun little thing from 1952. The tune is "Hot House" by Tadd Dameron, which is written over the changes to Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love." They did a lot of what I call "reclaiming" during the bebop era, where they took the chord changes from one song and applied them to another. In addition to using "Rhythm" changes in such tunes as "Anthropology" and "Moose the Mooche," "Bird Gets the Worm" is "Lover Come Back to Me" and "Donna Lee" is "Indiana." And on and on it goes. Anyhow, I like this tune quite a bit, but it's devilishly tough to play on tenor saxophone. My fingers always get tangled up. It's much easier to play on alto, but it's still tough. I mean, listen to it; it's a weird, angular tune. Sometimes there are places where you can't breathe even though you really, really want to.

I don't recognize anybody else in the band. The pianist is pretty efficient, but he doesn't have a strong feeling for bebop. That doesn't really matter, because we're only there for Bird and Diz.

1 comment:

triptrumpet said...

This is why Bebop is timeless - Hot House still sounds fresh. I love ragtime, the blues, and swing, too, but for all the cool things they do, they also sound dated. Dizzy and Bird will always be hip, and that's just the way it is.