Charlie Parker session details

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April 21, 1951 (29 items; TT = 78:01)
Symphony Ballroom, Boston MA
Private recording (Tape) (B-)
Charlie Parker Quintet
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Charlie Parker (as); Benny Harris (tpt); Walter Bishop, Jr. (p); Teddy Kotick (b); Roy Haynes (d)

1 52nd Street Theme (T. Monk) 2:24
2 Wahoo [Perdido] (T. Dameron) 3:44
3 Out of Nowhere (E. Heyman-J.W. Green) 3:22

"Country Gardens" closing tag, with prolonged trill
4 Ornithology (C. Parker-B. Harris) 3:41
5 Lady Bird (T. Dameron) 3:19

For the closing chorus (2:37-3:19) Parker switches to the melody of "Half Nelson"
6 I Can't Get Started (fragment) (V. Duke-I. Gershwin) 0:49
7 Little Willie Leaps (M. Davis) 2:49
8 Star Eyes (D. Raye-G. DePaul-P. Johnston) 3:30
9 The Way You Look Tonight (J. Kern-D. Fields) 6:05
10 52nd Street Theme (T. Monk) 3:35
11 Band warming up (noodling) 0:10
12 Groovin' High (D. Gillespie-F. Paparelli) 3:41
13 Don't Blame Me (D. Fields-J. McHugh) 3:25

"Country Gardens" closing tag, with prolonged trill
14 Cheers (H. McGhee) 3:42
15 Band warming up 0:13
16 Cheryl (C. Parker) 2:59
17 Embraceable You (G. Gershwin-I. Gershwin) 2:37
18 Chasin' the Bird (C. Parker) 3:27
19 All the Things You Are (J. Kern-O. Hammerstein) 5:07
20 Bloomdido (C. Parker) 3:00
21 Stardust (H. Carmichael-M. Parish) 2:36

"Country Gardens" closing tag, with prolonged trill
22 52nd Street Theme (T. Monk) 0:30
23 Band warming up (noodling) 0:16
24 Buzzy (C. Parker) 3:13
25 Confirmation (C. Parker) 3:04
26 Now's the Time (C. Parker) 3:35
27 Crazeology (B. Harris) 1:41
28 52nd Street Theme (T. Monk) 1:10

"Country Gardens" tag cut off after a few notes
29 Closing announcement 0:17


1 52nd Street Theme
CD: Philology Volume 16 (W 846)

2 Wahoo
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80)

3 Out of Nowhere
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80)

4 Ornithology
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80), Volume 58 (W 889)

5 Lady Bird
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80)

6 I Can't Get Started (fragment)
CD: Philology Volume 16 (W 846)

7 Little Willie Leaps
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80)

8 Star Eyes
CD: Philology Volume 8 (W 80)


These items are limited to Parker choruses, solos, and exchanges only on most numbers. Fidelity is pretty poor -- the recorder is very close to drums, and the trumpet is often barely audible.

Philology Vol. 16 includes two versions of "52nd Street Theme" (tracks 10 and 11) and places them at Christy's Restaurant in Framingham. The longer one is from a June 23, 1951 performance at the Eastern Parkway Ballroom, Brooklyn (it includes a brief and undecipherable announcement by Parker); the second is an off-speed version of the first item listed above. The titles included on Philology Vol. 8 are about a quarter-tone flat.

All of these items are included on tapes made by Chan Parker, dated April 21, 1951. On that date, however, Charlie Parker and Strings were at Uline's Arena in Washington DC, playing opposite a Johnny Hodges All-Star band with Billy Strayhorn, Emmett Berry, Sonny Greer and others. The most likely explanation is that this performance began on April 20th and concluded on the 21st. Thanks to John Burton, Leif Bo Petersen, and Chieo Yamada for help with this session.

The notes to Uptown CD 27.42 suggest that these items are from an early 1951 jam session with local (Boston-area) musicians: Don Stratton (tpt); Nat Pierce (p); Roy Shane (b); Bob Shurtleff (d). But the selection of tunes and the playing sound more like a regular group than a jam session.

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