Jazz at Massey Hall is a live jazz album featuring a performance by "The Quintet" given on 15 May 1953 at Massey Hall in Toronto. The quintet was composed of several leading 'modern' players of the day: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. It was the only time that the five men recorded together as a unit, and it was the last recorded meeting of Parker and Gillespie.
Parker played a Grafton saxophone on this date; he could not be listed on the original album cover for contractual reasons, so was billed as "Charlie Chan" (an allusion to the fictional detective and to Parker's wife Chan). The record was originally issued on Mingus's label Debut, from a recording made by the Toronto New Jazz Society (Dick Wattam, Alan Scharf, Roger Feather, Boyd Raeburn and Arthur Granatstein ). Mingus took the recording to New York where he and Max Roach dubbed in the bass lines, which were under-recorded on most of the tunes, and exchanged Mingus soloing on "All the Things You Are."
The original plan was for the Jazz Society and the musicians to share the profits from the recording. However, owing to a boxing prize fight between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott taking place simultaneouly, the audience was so small that the Society was unable to pay the musicians' fees. The musicians were all given NSF checks, and only Parker was able to actually cash his; Gillespie complained that he did not receive his fee "for years and years".
Jazz at Massey Hall was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995. It is included in National Public Radio's "Basic Jazz Library". The concert was issued in some territories under the tag "the greatest jazz concert ever".
Famous quotes containing the words hall and/or jazz:
“While there we heard the Indian fire his gun twice.... This sudden, loud, crashing noise in the still aisles of the forest, affected me like an insult to nature, or ill manners at any rate, as if you were to fire a gun in a hall or temple.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons.”
—Imamu Amiri Baraka (b. 1934)