Music: Miles Davis
Original Artist: Charlie Parker
Historian: Ellis Godard (lemuria)
"Donna Lee" is a light and airy piece, which Phish often placed as a melodic pause between rock frenzies, such as before or after “AC/DC Bag,” “Tweezer,” or “Possum.” In most performances between 10/29/88 and 7/12/91, Trey played Charlie Parker’s alto saxophone lead with his guitar. However, some versions included important variations, such as Trey encouraging the audience to sing along (6/30/89) and the Giant Country Horns bringing an alto sax to Phish’s rendition (7/12/91, their last to date).
Phish, "Donna Lee" – 6/23/89, Boston, MA
Other important renditions include those by Chet Baker (1952), live and with Parker; the Wardell Gray Quartet (1952), with a strong presence by Art Farmer; Eric Dolphy (1962), an extended exploration; Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1968), a speedy rumble; Bobby McFerrin (1984), as part of an a cappella medley; and Jaco Pastorius (1976), a bass solo.