[light] [dark]

Charlie Parker session details

[Return to main page]

June 1950 (4 items; TT = 15:42)
William Henry Apartments, New York NY
Private recording (Wire) (B-)

Charlie Parker (as); Jon Nielson (tpt); Jimmy Knepper (tb); Joe Maini (as); Don Lanphere (ts); Al Haig (p); Buddy Jones (b); Frank Isola (d)

1 Half Nelson (incomplete) (M. Davis) 2:48

Cut at 2:00 after Parker solo, then closing theme (inc)
2 Cherokee (incomplete) (R. Noble) 2:09

Begins at the bridge; the trumpet obbligatos behind Parker are very tentative
3 Scrapple from the Apple (incomplete) (C. Parker) 6:09

Gap at 2:22 in mid-Parker solo; cut at 3:45 as trumpet solo begins; Parker solo and closing theme
4 Star Eyes (incomplete) (D. Raye-G. DePaul-P. Johnston) 4:36

Gap at 3:41 in mid-Parker solo; cut at 3:52 as trumpet solo begins; closing theme

1 Half Nelson (incomplete)
12" LP: Zim ZL 1006, Spotlite SPJ 146
CD: Philology Volume 12 (W 842)

2 Cherokee (incomplete)
12" LP: Zim ZL 1006, Spotlite SPJ 146, Philology Volume 1 (W 5)
CD: Philology Volume 12 (W 842), Philology Volume 43 (W 874)

3 Scrapple from the Apple (incomplete)
12" LP: Zim ZL 1006, Spotlite SPJ 146
CD: Philology Volume 12 (W 842)

4 Star Eyes (incomplete)
12" LP: Zim ZL 1006, Spotlite SPJ 146
CD: Philology Volume 12 (W 842)

From a jam session in the basement of the William Henry Apartments at 136th and Broadway. Recorded by Jimmy Knepper or Don Lanphere, edited to include Parker solos and exchanges for the most part. Despite the editing there are some excellent examples of Parker's playing in a relaxed jam-session context. His playing on "Scrapple for the Apple" is particularly inspired.

This session is usually dated sometime in June 1950, and it has been suggested that it is from January 7, 1951. John Williams, who participated in another jam session at the William Henry Apartments, confirms that his session took place on May 28. On that date he wrote in a postcard to his parents, "My dear Mom and Dad, I just got home from a session at which I blew three hours with Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker! What's more I have the whole thing on wire recorder so I can prove it to my grandchildren. I am just fine now. Too completely exultant to explain fully now. Lots of love, John." He adds "I've consistently heard over the years that the sessions at the William Henry Apartments were recorded on reel-to-reel tape. I've always know that they were in fact done on Jimmy Knepper's wire recorder. I played at so many sessions and we were all intrigued by Jimmy's recorder. Also, in 1950 reel-to-reel had barely emerged, if indeed it had, and certainly none of us would have had the bread to be able to afford one." These quotations are taken from Jazz Journal International, May 2007, p. 15. What this says about the date of this session is unclear, but late May-early June 1950 seems to be about right. Thanks to Jay Becker for bringing this article to my attention.

All original content on this website is licensed by Peter Losin under a Creative Commons License