Cannonball Adderley Performing Round Midnight on His Alto Saxophone

In this video clip you can watch alto sax player Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley perform the tasty jazz ballad Round Midnight written by Thelonious Monk, another significant jazz piano player of the bop era. In fact, this video is part of an educational television series about jazz (The Subject Is Jazz) where the present clip focusses on bop. The music comes with some comments about Charlie Parker and the way he played the horn (and how it influenced Julian Cannonball Adderley, which you might clearly hear when the band performs Jeannie, a composition of Cannonball Adderly that includes some phrasing that strongly remembers Charlie Parker).

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Sarah Vaughan Performs the Bebop Classic Perdido

This video clip shows Sarah Vaughn or Sassy, as she was called by frriends and fans, performing Perdido which has become a jazz standard to play for jazz musicians. The video is a scene taken from Rhythm and Blues Revenue, a movie made in 1955 which you can download without copyright infringement.
Sarah Vaughan was a very important singer in the jazz scene and has influenced the female jazz singer Anita Baker and many others. After she appeared at age 18 on an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in New York and won first prize with her performance of Body and soul, another jazz standard, some jazz critics considered her as the most important singer of the bebop era.
In her beginning days as a jazz singer she formed part of Billy Eckstine’s big band where other jazz giants like Charlie Parker or Dizzy Gillespie played in the brass section. Short time after singing in the big bands, Sarah Vaughan decided to form her own band and had almost inmediate success when in 1947 she became number one of the charts with ther performance of the song Tenderly. From thereon Sarah Vaughan also included some pop songs in her singing enlarging her audience and gaining more popularity. However, at the end of the 60s, Sarah Vaughan dropped the pop singing and returned to pure jazz music singing with jazz legends as Louie Bellson, Don Cherry, J.J Johnson, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock, to mention just a few.
Among the best known songs associated with Sarah Vaughan are the tastefull ballad Misty and several songs by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. She did not loose her singing talent until her sixties when she was still performing for large audiences until her passing away in 1990 at the age of sixty-six.

Charlie Parker – Summertime

Watch this video of Charlie Parker playing the famous George Gershwin song ‘Summertime’ while a slide show of a few Charlie Parker photos is passing. This blues is well known in the jazz world and many of the jazz players have recorded their version. The video we are showing you here is one of the best versions we think. Listen to Charlie Parker’s sensual alto saxophone sound which is dropping out of his horn sweet as honey. Like John Coltrane for the tenor saxophone, Charlie Parker has become an idol of jazz alto saxophone playing. All younger alto sax players want to play like Charlie Parker.
The song here belongs to Porgy and Bess, work of the composer George Gershwin who in his work has combined classical symphony orchestra sections with jazz combo parts. Other famous musicians who have recorded this song are Stephane Grappelli, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, among others.
Charlie Parker is best known for his interpretations of fast bebop themes. He usually shows up on stage playing in a virtuoso style, but always with his very personal saxophone tone. In this video clip we can listen to him playing a ballad and we are surprised that Charlie Parker played this slow melody in a very convincing manner.
We think this comment from one of the people who watched this video of the great alto player Charlie Parker performing Summertime by George Gershwin: “if this doesn’t make yo feel warm inside then you should not listen to music for you have no soul”.