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Charlie Parker session details

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January 30, 1953 (4 items; TT = 26:01)
WOR Studio, New York NY
Commercial for Prestige

Charlie Parker (ts); Miles Davis (tpt); Sonny Rollins (ts); Walter Bishop, Jr. (p); Percy Heath (b); Philly Joe Jones (d)

1 Compulsion (M. Davis) 5:43
2 The Serpent's Tooth (take 1) (M. Davis) 6:59
3 The Serpent's Tooth (take 2) (M. Davis) 6:16
4 'Round Midnight (B. Hanighen-C. Williams-T. Monk) 7:03


1 Compulsion
12" LP: Prestige 7044
CD: Fantasy OJC 071, Victor VICJ-23605, Prestige PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-2019 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-60342 [K2 CD], Frémeaux & Associés FA 1342

2 The Serpent's Tooth (take 1)
12" LP: Prestige 7044
CD: Fantasy OJC 071, Victor VICJ-23605, Prestige PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-2019 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-60342 [K2 CD], Frémeaux & Associés FA 1342

3 The Serpent's Tooth (take 2)
12" LP: Prestige 7044
CD: Fantasy OJC 071, Victor VICJ-23605, Prestige PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-2019 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-60342 [K2 CD], Frémeaux & Associés FA 1342

4 'Round Midnight
12" LP: Prestige 7044
CD: Fantasy OJC 071, Victor VICJ-23605, Prestige PCD-012, Victor VICJ-40225/32 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-2019 [K2 CD], Victor VICJ-60342 [K2 CD], Frémeaux & Associés FA 1342


Davis, still a heroin addict but somewhat less unreliable than in previous years, had recently been offered a new Prestige contract. Parker was under exclusive contract with Mercury Records, so he is listed as "Charlie Chan" and plays tenor alongside Rollins. Parker had recently switched from heroin to alcohol -- his trumpet player, Red Rodney, had been arrested for possession of heroin and incarcerated in federal prison. According to producer Ira Gitler, Parker consumed a fifth of gin while familiarizing himself with his new horn, and promptly fell asleep. The group was able to get through only two titles as the end of the chaotic session approached, and after several unsuccessful tries at "Well, You Needn't," managed to record one take of "'Round Midnight."

Ira Gitler's liner notes suggest that Davis and Parker are the only soloists on "'Round Midnight," but this is wrong. Rollins plays the bridge (1:27-1:55) before Davis's solo; after the trumpet solo, Parker solos for two choruses (2:24-4:23), and Rollins plays the bridge after another Davis interlude (5:24-5:57). Both saxophones are audible during the out chorus.

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