On Two Birds, TQM Recording Co. and Detroit Bop Quintet pay tribute to the great Charlie Parker and his quintet made up of Miles Davis, Max Roach, Tommy Potter and Duke Jordan and the legendary recording they made at United Sound Systems in Detroit on December 21st 1947.
Parker was in Detroit to perform with his quintet and back Sarah Vaughan at the El Sino Club. With a recording strike looming, Savoy Records got them into the closest studio to record some sides.
As one of the world’s first independent recording studios, United Sound Systems has a wonderfully rich history, serving artists from John Lee Hooker to Jackie Wilson, Bob Seger to MC5, The Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin, Issac Hayes to Parliament-Funkadelic to Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was founded by Jimmy Siracuse in the 1930s and has been at its current location, 5840 Second Avenue since the early 1940s.
The Detroit Bop Quintet was assembled specifically for this United Sound Systems session in Detroit. The band is made up of four of Detroit's best Jazz musicians and Saxophonist Pete Mills from Columbus, Ohio that says he is proud to be called an honorary “Detroit-er”.
Here's an article written by Producer Ron Skinner about the impetus behind this project, and the recording process
A native of Toronto Canada, critics have called saxophonist Pete Mills playing “virtuosic” and “gorgeous” (David Franklin, JazzTimes) and The Columbus Dispatch writes of Mills’ compositions as being “impressive with solos that are ear opening…with a tone that is big and rich”. Mills has received Jazz Performance Grants from the Canada Council and was a recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer’s Fellowship.
Rick Roe is Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University. Roe won First Place in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 1994, was twice a Semifinalist in Thelonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, in 1993 and 1999, and has been a featured performer in the Jacksonville (Florida) Jazz, Savannah (Georgia) Onstage International Arts, Montreaux/ Detroit Jazz, Birmingham Jazz, Lansing Jazz, Flint Jazz, and Hawaii Jazz (with Frank Morgan) Festivals.
Jazz string bassist Paul Keller wears many hats: He is a well-respected master of his instrument; he is a prolific composer and an outstanding arranger of music for small and large ensembles; he is an educator, an entertainer and impresario; he is a lover of, a student of, and a proponent of The Great American Songbook; he is a successful bandleader of several different groups and he is an in-demand sideman who has performed all over the world with a myriad of jazz luminaries.
A consummate musician, Nathaniel Winn discovered his passion for the drums in church at the age of 4. Since then, the Detroit, Michigan native has never looked back. Nate has had the pleasure to work with many well-known musicians such as Danilo Perez, Robert Hurst, Pat Metheny and Joshua Redman. Nate's versatile, but unique style has earned him the opportunity appear on numerous albums.
Ron Skinner began his career as a musician in Southwest Ontario. Growing up a stone's throw from one of the world's greatest music cities, Detroit had a major impact on his musical tastes and sensibilities. After attending the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College in London, ON Skinner began working as a recording engineer and producer in Toronto. Building on this experience, Skinner opened Heading North Mastering in 1999. Since then, he has mastered projects for a wide range of musicians, including Canadian indie artists Dan Mangan, Amelia Curran, The Once and Elliott Brood. Beyond the indie world, Ron has mastered projects by the Juno nominated Dave Young, Blues great Jimmy Bowskill and the Grammy-nominated jazz artist Jane Bunnett, to name just a few.
In 2015 Skinner started his dream project and opened the Jazz label, TQM Recording Co. The mission of TQM is to record acoustic music in unique acoustic environments while telling interesting stories about the history of recorded music.
Two Birds will be oﬃcially released worldwide on Friday, April 20th 2018.