Aside from the historical significance of the recording, there is great playing and inspired music making by the sacrosanct members of the pantheon of Bebop. In addition to the torrid tempos, and elongated presentations of musical pyrotechnics by Charlie Parker, Sonny Criss, Flip Phillips, Tommy Turk and others, there are also sensitive ballad interpretations of Duke Ellington’s "Sophisticated Lady," by Coleman Hawkins and Fats Navarro performing solo on "The Things We Did Last Summer."
The recording quality of the CD is quite good considering the status of recording technology of the late 1940’s and that it is a live recording. Once the listener gets past Granz’ almost unintelligible introductions on the first track, over one hour of music shines through clearly likely a beacon from the past. Crowd noise never seems to overly interfere except perhaps with occasional cheers of exhortation from the audience during solos. These sounds however, are not entirely unwelcome as they enhance the aural illusion of vicariously transcending time to witness this concert.
Without any doubt, the CD, Norman Granz’ Jazz At The Philharmonic Carnegie Hall, 1949 would be a valuable addition to the collection of any serious jazz aficionado. It contains not only important documentation of a bygone era, but great musicianship as well.