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Fats Navarro and Friends: “52nd Street Theme”

I started out aiming to do a post on Fats Navarro, and sort of made it.

This is “52nd Street Theme,” which Wikipedia says was written by Thelonious Monk, with Navarro on trumpet. The other players, according to the posting at YouTube, are Charlie Parker on alto sax (its his quintet), Tommy Potter on bass, Walter Bishop on piano and Roy Haynes (identified at YouTube as The GREAT) Roy Haynes on drums. I am not expert, but that sounds like an all star lineup to me. It was recorded at Birdland on June 30, 1950. The photo montage is absolutely outstanding.

Please check out an interview about Parker with jazz critic Scott Yanow. Also check out “Dexterity” and “Yardbird Suite.” The latter is one of the greatest pieces of music ever, in my opinion. Here is more on Navarro.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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