Charlie Parker was treated as an honored celebrity on his 1950 week-long tour of Sweden, sponsored by the Swedish jazz magazine Estrad. He avoided controversy. Asked about the conflict between traditional and modern jazz, he replied, "There is no point in talking about different kinds of jazz. The most important thing for us is to have our efforts accepted as music." When asked about race relations in America, he simply shrugged and refused to discuss the matter.
While the Storyville recording leaves much to be desired technically, it is marvelously atmospheric, documenting the last happy time of Parker's life when he was at the top of his game musically and not totally in thrall to heroin. Though during the tour, it's true, he did consume enough schnapps in which to float a battleship... or two.
"Anthropology" and "Scrapple From The Apple" are Parker's own compositions, the former sometimes known as "Thriving On A Riff." They are archetypal bebop. "Anthropology," from 1945, is loosely based on George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" and played at a ferocious tempo. Bird's solo is followed by one from Ericson. "Scrapple From The Apple," which Parker wrote two years later, is based primarily on the chord changes for "Honeysuckle Rose."
"Embraceable You" and "Star Eyes" showcase Parker at his most sumptuous, sometimes reminiscent of Johnny Hodges, who was the man on alto until Bird emerged from his woodshed to change the way the music was played.
"All The Things You Are" and "Strike Up The Band" on Side Two wind up recordings from the concert. Then comes the jam session, with a dip in sound quality but a gain in improvisational excitement and a feeling of being there, notably with Parker's take on "Body And Soul," which Coleman Hawkins had made his own in 1939. The session winds up with "How High The Moon," which he gradually converts to his own bebop classic "Ornithology."
Chris Mosey - All About Jazz