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Charlie Parker session details

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May 23, 1948 (14 items; TT = 67:54)
Washington Music Hall, Washington DC
Private recording (Tape) (B)
Show chatter

Charlie Parker (as); Charlie Walp (tpt); Earl Swope (tb); Ben Lary (ts); Sam Krupit (p); Merton Oliver (b); Joe Theimer (d); Art Phipps (b); Buddy Rich (d); Wild Bill Davison (cornet); Benny Morton (tb); Tony Parenti (cl); Jackson Lowe (ann); Willis Conover (ann)

1 Tiny's Blues (T. Dameron) 7:02

Parker out
2 Introduction (Jackson Lowe) 1:26
3 Bernie's Tune (B. Miller-J. Leiber-A. Stoller) 7:37

Fragment (1:41) on Philology
4 These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) (incomplete) (H. Marvell-J. Strachey-H. Link) 8:36

Fragment (2:32) on Philology
5 Introduction (Jackson Lowe) 0:06
6 Scrapple from the Apple (C. Parker) 10:16

Fragment (1:32) on Philology
7 Stage chatter and introduction (Rich, Willis Conover) 0:30
8 Ornithology (C. Parker-B. Harris) 4:54

Two fragments (2:22 + 0:44) on LPs and Philology; incomplete (3:13) on Media 7 and RLR
9 Introduction (Willis Conover) 1:37
10 Ko Ko (C. Parker) 6:14

Incomplete (3:39) on Philology
11 C Jam Blues (D. Ellington) 8:10

Add Parenti, Lary, Davison, Morton. Fragment (1:40) on Philology; incomplete (3:14) on Uptown
12 Unknown title 1:43
13 Unknown title 5:26

Preceded by undecipherable announcement and stage chatter (0:22) -- the musicians are discussing what to play next
14 'S Wonderful (G. Gershwin-I. Gershwin) 4:17

1 Tiny's Blues
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55

2 Introduction (Jackson Lowe)
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55

3 Bernie's Tune
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 17 (W 847)

4 These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) (incomplete)
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 17 (W 847)

5 Introduction (Jackson Lowe)
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55

6 Scrapple from the Apple
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 17 (W 847)

7 Stage chatter and introduction (Rich, Willis Conover)
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55

8 Ornithology
12" LP: Phoenix LP 17, Spotlite SPJ 123
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 18 (W 848), Volume 44 (W 875), Volume 58 (W 889), Masters of Jazz MJCD 121, Rare Live Recordings RLR 88634

9 Introduction (Willis Conover)
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55

10 Ko Ko
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 17 (W 847), Philology Volume 43 (W 874)

11 C Jam Blues
CD: Uptown UPCD 27.55, Philology Volume 17 (W 847)

The Uptown CD release (with excellent notes by Ron Fritts and Ira Gitler) clears up a number of mysteries about this music. The fragments issued on Philology consist of opening themes and the occasional Parker solo, and are poor quality throughout. (Both Philology and Masters of Jazz -- as well as the prior LP releases on Phoenix 17 and Spotlite 123 -- list this as Parker with the Nat Cole Trio.) A few of the items are still incomplete (e.g. "These Foolish Things"), but the sound is improved over the previous versions, and most of the personnel are identified from the stage. This date was booked as Willis Conover's Jam Session No. 3 - Dixieland vs. Be-Bop, and Parker is in top form.

In addition to clearing up some mysteries, the Uptown release creates one. According to the liner notes, the closing "C Jam Blues" was abruptly ended by leader Wild Bill Davison when Parker laughed loudly offstage:

According to Conover, "Parker laughed so loudly that [Davison] killed the number before it was half over, and would have killed Parker, too, except he hadn't been paid yet."

The Willis Conover archive at the University of North Texas contains an acetate recording made at this concert. It is slightly off-speed, but it contains several items not included on the Uptown CD. One of them is a longer version of "C Jam Blues," which begins where the Uptown version begins, with Parker's solo; but it continues to the end:

0:00 - 1:52 alto saxophone
2:03 - 3:39 clarinet
3:39 - 5:54 tenor saxophone
5:54 - 6:32 piano
6:32 - 7:13 cornet
7:13 - 8:10 out chorus, including applause

The Conover archive recording is available online at https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1531791/#who.

I am grateful to Chieo Yamada and Wasaburo Miura for help with this session.

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