Charlie Parker session details

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February 21-22, 1953 (5 items; TT = 22:44)
Howard Theatre, Washington DC
Private recording (Tape) (B-)
Charlie Parker Quartet

Charlie Parker (as); Jack Holliday (p); Franklin Skeete (b); Max Roach (d); Miles Davis (tpt); Allen Eager (ts); Terry Swope (p); Unknown (b)

1 Ornithology (incomplete) (C. Parker-B. Harris) 4:20
2 Out of Nowhere (E. Heyman-J.W. Green) 4:36
3 Cool Blues (C. Parker) 4:13
4 Anthropology (D. Gillespie-C. Parker) 4:56
5 A Night in Tunisia (D. Gillespie-F. Paparelli) 4:39

Parker out: Davis, Eager, Swope, unknown bassist (Skeete?), Roach


1 Ornithology (incomplete)
12" LP: VGM 0009, Deep Morgan 10001
CD: Blue Note 22626, Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Volume 32 (W 863), Volume 59 (W 890)

2 Out of Nowhere
12" LP: VGM 0009, Deep Morgan 10001
CD: Blue Note 22626, Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Volume 32 (W 863)

3 Cool Blues
12" LP: VGM 0009, Deep Morgan 10001
CD: Blue Note 22626, Philology Volume 26 (W 857), Volume 32 (W 863)

4 Anthropology
12" LP: VGM 0009, Deep Morgan 10001
CD: Blue Note 22626, Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Volume 32 (W 863)

5 A Night in Tunisia
CD: Domino 891221


These tunes are usually listed as from March 8, and Bill Potts's notes to the Blue Note CD are unequivocal in stating the date as March 8, but this nevertheless seems unlikely. Parker was booked at Storyville in Boston from March 7-15 (Thursday-Sunday), and on March 10 WHDH even included 25 minutes of Parker's music as part of the "Music from Storyville" segment. And advertisements for Willis Conover's "House of Sounds" concert on March 8 at the Howard Theatre do not mention Parker.

Parker was recorded during a February 22 matinee at Washington's Club Kavakos. The previous night Willis Conover's "Jazz at Midnite No. 9" took place at the Howard Theatre, and advertisements mention Miles Davis, Allen Eager, Max Roach, Terry Swope, Joe Theimer "and many, many others -- plus -- A BIG 'SURPRISE' GUEST." That guest -- "said to be one of the big names in jazz today," according to another contemporary account -- was almost certainly Parker, and it seems pretty likely that these items were all recorded at the same midnight all-star session, not on March 8.

Philology Volume 18 does not identify the personnel. Philology Volumes 26 and 32 place this version of "Cool Blues" on October 18, 1952, but it clearly does not belong there. The version of "Cool Blues" on Philology Volumes 26 and 32 contains a few extra seconds not included on Blue Note 22626 or on Philology 32 (Revised). There are also speed differences that account for the variation in times for this track.

I'm grateful to Leif Bo Petersen for his help with this session. I have also had advice from Ron Fritts and Carlos de Rosselló, although I have not always followed it.

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