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Charlie Parker session details

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January 4-10, 1954 (15 items; TT = 50:37)
Hi-Hat Club, Boston MA
WCOP radio broadcast (B)
Show chatter

Charlie Parker (as); Herbie Williams (tpt); Rollins Griffith (p); Jimmy Woode (b); Marquis Foster (d); Symphony Sid Torin (ann)

1 My Funny Valentine (incomplete) (R. Rodgers-L. Hart) 6:33

The underlying rhythm alternates between a Latin beat and straight fours. Parker plays alone in the opening chorus, and there are some trumpet obbligatos behind him during the closing chorus. Faded out during closing theme
2 Announcement (Symphony Sid Torin) 0:13
3 Ornithology (C. Parker-B. Harris) 7:43

During his solo Parker quotes "Kerry Dancers" (1:47-1:52); during his solo Williams alludes to "Cool Blues" (3:16-3:19) and "Salt Peanuts" (4:32-4:35)
4 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin) 0:29
5 My Little Suede Shoes (C. Parker) 7:09

There's a lot of commotion from the stage during and after Griffith's solo, inspired by the Latin figures played by Woode and Foster. Incomplete (final 1:26) on Philology Volume 26
6 52nd Street Theme (incomplete) (T. Monk) 1:08
7 Introduction (Charlie Parker) 0:29
8 Now's the Time (C. Parker) 6:52

During his solo Williams quotes "Cool Blues" (3:46-3:48) and "Sippin' at Bells" (4:02-4:08)
9 Announcement (Symphony Sid Torin) 0:04
10 Groovin' High (D. Gillespie-F. Paparelli) 6:01
11 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin, Parker) 0:23
12 Cheryl (C. Parker) 5:39

Parker, Williams, and Foster exchanges after Griffith's solo (4:33-4:56), after which Foster takes a short solo. The exchanges and drum solo are edited out on Blue Note 99787 (listen for the splice at 4:37)
13 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin) 0:05
14 Ornithology (C. Parker-B. Harris) 6:21

Parker plays "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" during his solo (1:16-1:20)
15 52nd Street Theme (with announcement) (T. Monk) 1:28


1 My Funny Valentine (incomplete)
CD: Stash STCD 10, STCD 582, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1007, Philology Volume 47 (W 878), ESP-Disk 4050, Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

2 Announcement (Symphony Sid Torin)
CD: Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

3 Ornithology
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Volume 59 (W 890), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

4 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin)
CD: Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

5 My Little Suede Shoes
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 26 (W 857), Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

6 52nd Street Theme (incomplete)
CD: Philology Volume 26 (W 857), Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

7 Introduction (Charlie Parker)
CD: Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

8 Now's the Time
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

9 Announcement (Symphony Sid Torin)
CD: Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

10 Groovin' High
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

11 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin, Parker)
CD: Stash ST 21, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

12 Cheryl
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Stash ST 21, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

13 Introduction (Symphony Sid Torin)
CD: Stash ST 21, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

14 Ornithology
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Stash ST 21, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Blue Note CDP 99787, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Volume 59 (W 890), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343

15 52nd Street Theme (with announcement)
12" LP: Bird Box 01-22 LP 21, Phoenix LP 10
CD: New Sound Planet JUTB 3017, Sound Hills SSCD 8033, Stash ST 21, Fresh Sounds FSCD 1006, Philology Volume 46 (W 877), Frémeaux & Associés FA 1343


The piano is badly out of tune on all tunes from this date.

Fresh Sound and Uptown both place this date as January 1954. The concluding "Cheryl" and "Ornithology" are listed on FSCD-1006 as from June 14, 1953, but this seems unlikely given Parker's allusion to "Santa Claus in Coming to Town" in his solo on the latter. According to Bob Porter's notes to Blue Note 99787, "the dates of December 19 and 20, 1953 were taken from the original tape box." I have not found ads or reviews to confirm this date, but it makes sense. Parker was also booked as a single at the Hi-Hat for a week the following month, January 18-24 (Monday-Sunday). On the basis of advertisements and reviews Leif Bo Petersen suggests that these tunes are from early January.

"My Funny Valentine" is dated June 1953 by Stash and Fresh Sounds. The Latin tinge suggests a date in early 1954, however -- the arrangement of this tune for Parker with the Stan Kenton band is quite similar, and on February 9 the Kenton band with Parker as guest soloist performed in Worcester (compare the later recorded version from Portland, February 25, 1954). In addition, the trumpet player sounds like Williams to me (not Herb Pomeroy, pace the Uptown liner notes) -- listen to the solo on "Ornithology" and compare it to the other Williams solo from a December WCOP broadcast. But this case is very circumstantial.

Philology Volume 26 contains a fragment of "My Little Suede Shoes" followed by a version of "52nd Street Theme" that isn't included on other releases. In the closing patter Symphony Sid mentions his WBMS show -- he had an afternoon-evening show on WBMS, and his late-night WCOP show began at 10:00 pm.

Parker was booked at Boston venues on the following dates during this period: April 12, 1951, Christy's Tavern, Framingham; May 28-June 3, 1951: Hi-Hat Club; March 3-9, 1952, Hi-Hat Club; December 8-14, 1952: Hi-Hat Club; March 9-15, 1953: Storyville Club; June 8-14, 1953: Hi-Hat Club; September 21-27, 1953: Storyville Club; October 25, 1953: Jordan Hall (Parker with Strings); January 18-24, 1954: Hi-Hat Club; February 9, 1954: Worcester Memorial Auditorium, Worcester (Festival of Modern American Jazz -- thanks to Jon Foley for identifying the venue); September 26, 1954: Boston Arena (Birdland Stars of 1954).

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