Haarlem and Amsterdam November 1956 concert program
Original vintage concert program produced for the “Birdland 56” concerts at the Concertgebouw in Haarlem (evening) and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (midnight) on Saturday, 3rd November, 1956, presented by Morris Lévy in cooperation with Dutch impresario Paul Acket. Two performances on the same day, even in two different cities, weren’t unusual back then, although the time schedule must have been tight. “Birdland 56” was a package tour of jazz greats, assembled for a monthlong European tour, with performances in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and Italy. The concerts in The Netherlands were the second stop on the tour. Performing artists included the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis, Lester Young, and Bud Powell. With his monumental Prestige recordings completed in October 1956 and his fame increasing, Miles Davis had left his quintet in the US, to headline this tour, as a star soloist appearing with Lester Young, accompanied by pianist René Urtreger, bassist Pierre Michelot, and drummer Christian Garros. Though the MJQ were listed as the nominal headliners in much of the concert promotional material, it was Miles and Bud Powell who captivated the European audiences. The opening concerts in Paris established the pattern for the tour with Miles opening the show, followed by Lester Young, both backed by the Renee Urtreger Trio. The Modern Jazz Quarter closed the show and Powell, whose consistent alcoholic behavior greatly affected how he played on the tour, opened the second half of the concert playing solo; this was reportedly because the French rhythm section were reluctant to accompany Powell, his reputation for erratic behavior having preceded him.
In original black and white pictorial matte-coated wrappers, staple bound, 21.4 x 27.0 cm, 8 pp. Program notes in Dutch. The program has been folded twice with a fair amount of general wear and sporadic foxing. Additional images of the program available on request.