CD Duke & Bird (CD 4374158),
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Duke & Bird

  • 1. Prelude To A Kiss
    2. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
    3. Sophisticated Lady
    4. In A Sentimental Mood
    5. Yardbird Suite
    6. Lover Man
    7. I Remember You
    8. Embraceable You
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 19

  • Credits
    ProducerKlyoahl Itoh; Yasobachi Itoh
    EngineerDavid Baker; Yoshihiro Suzuki

    Personnel: Al Haig (piano).
    Al Haig tends to be overlooked by critics, though he was one of the best bop pianists in the 1950s. But personal troubles, including a murder trial for killing his third wife (he was acquitted) took him out of the spotlight for a time, though this 1976 session from late in his career finds him at the peak of his powers. The unusual setting of a medley for each side of the original LP makes it seem like this may have been a direct-to-disc session, especially due to the rather stingy playing time of 31 minutes. But Haig delivers with a lush arrangement of four of Duke Ellington's best known ballads, followed by a four-song medley dedicated to his former boss Charlie Parker. The latter opens with a relaxed setting of the late alto saxophonist's "Yardbird Suite," continuing into a dreamy takes of "Lover Man," "I Remember You," and "Embraceable You." While Haig's bop chops are in evidence, the pianist never tries to dominate the material with his considerable technique. ~ Ken Dryden

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