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The Forgotten Pianist

The jazz world has forgotten him, passed him by, like so many others. In 1944 he was playing with Parker, and Gillespie recording  with Gillespie in 44 and 46, with Parker in 48 to 50, and with Stan Getz from 49 to 51.  He was one of the Bebop pioneers.  I just came across his name while doing research and have discovered some really good music. I picked up several of his albums and he’s become one of my favorites.

Al Haig…A brief article bt Scott Yarnow: One of the finest pianists of the bop era (and one who learned from Bud Powell’s innovations quite early), Al Haig was quite busy during two periods of his career but unfortunately was pretty obscure in the years between. After serving in the Coast Guard (playing in bands during 1942-1944) and freelancing around Boston, Haig worked steadily with Dizzy Gillespie (1945-1946), Charlie Parker (1948-1950), and Stan Getz (1949-1951); and was on many recordings, mostly as a sideman (including some classic Diz and Bird sessions) but also as a leader for Spotlite, Dawn, and Prestige. However (other than little-known dates in 1954 for Esoteric, Swing, and Period), Haig did not lead any more albums until 1974. He played fairly often during the 1951-1973 period, but was generally overlooked. That changed during his last decade, when he was finally recognized as a bop giant and recorded for Spotlite, Choice, SeaBreeze, Interplay, and several Japanese and European labels. — Scott Yanow

Duke & Bird

 

Amazon

Discography

A very lyrical set, enjoyable and speaks of a deep talent, someone who was in love with the music.

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