Charlie Parker's "White Christmas"

I’m a little late with this, but if you’re still in holiday spirits, can’t stand to hear Paul McCartney’s ditty or Mel Torme’s jingle one more time, and cringe, thoroughly bummed out, at Bob Dylan’s piss-brew of raspy cheer, take a listen to Charlie Parker’s take of “White Christmas.”

He played it spontaneously, at a customer’s request, on Christmas Day, 1948, at the Royal Roost in New York City—with Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Max Roach on drums, Al Haig on piano, Tommy Porter on bass—and it is nothing short of astonishing.

The band lays out the melody in the hippest syncopation you can imagine. Bird comes in with his solo, as cool, speedy, exhilarating, smooth, and witty as anything he ever did. It’s four minutes of sheer delight.

It’s on a wonderful 4-CD boxed set, from Savoy Jazz, called The Complete Live Performances on Savoy, but you can also hear it by clicking the External Link below.

A merry wiggy Christmas!

Tom's picture

I love what I've heard of Carla Bley's christmas album, playful and beautiful like her usual great music.