Thursday, January 28, 2016

Charlie Parker Plays Cole Porter

The "Songbook" concept in jazz has become a well known approach that has produced many classic albums of the genre. A cohesive theme is established troughout an LP by including a number of songs (or sometimes comprehensive anthologies) by one specific composer (or team of composers), such as George Gershwin, Lorenz & Hart, and Cole Porter. Jazz entrepreneur Norman Granz was one of the very first to put this concept on the market, and was certainly the one who made it popular and even a standard practice to be followed by other producers and musicians. His numerous Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald LPs devoted to songwriters are now justly considered classics
However, in 1954, Granz had attempted to make Charlie Parker record a songbook devoted to Cole Porter. Despite what the original liner notes state, it was almost certainly Granz's idea and not Parker's. Two sessions took place on March 31, 1954 and December 10, 1954. Why two sessions connected with the same project were recorded so far apart from one another can only be attributed to Bird's troubled life during the last year of his life (his health rapidly declined due to drug and alcohol abuse, and his fragile stability crumbled when his daughter Pree suddenly died, leading him to attempt suicide). It is likely that at least one more session had been planned by Granz to complete the normal length of the still novel 12" long plays. However, it would never take place as Bird died on March 12, 1955 at the age of 34. With the remaining recordings (the December 10 session was in fact Bird's final recording date ever, either live or in the studio), Granz released the LP presented here.
Anton Grover, 2012, from the booklet

Charlie Parker
Cole Porter


1 I Get a Kick Out of You  3:34
2 I Get a Kick Out of You [alt.take]  4:56
3 Just one of Those Things  2:45
4 My Heart Belongs to Daddy  3:20
5 I've Got You Under My Skin  3:39
6 Love for Sale  5:35
7 Love for Sale [alt.take]  5:32
8 I Love Paris  5:07
9 I Love Paris [alt.take]  5:06
10 Easy to Love  3:29
11 Begin the Beguine  3:13
12 Night and Day  2:50
13 What is This Thing Called Love ?  2:36
14 In the Still of the Night  3:22
15 What is This Thing Called Love ? [Jam Session]  15:51
16 Love for Sale [alt. take # 2]  5:47

All Compositions by Cole Porter


[# 1-5]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Jerome Darr - g
Teddy Kotick - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 31, 1954
[# 6-9 & 16]
Same as above, except
Billy Bauer - g, replaces Darr
Art Taylor - dr, replaces Haynes
Recorded in New York ; December 10, 1954
[# 10]
Charlie Parker - as
Joseph Singer - flghr
Edwin C. Brown - ob
Bernie Leighton - p
Sam Caplan, Howard Kay, Harry Melnikoff, Sam Rand, Ziggy Smirnoff - vl
Isadore Zir - vla
Maurice Brown - cll
Verney Mills - hrp
Ray Brown - b
Buddy Rich - dr
Recorded in New York ; July 5, 1950
[# 11]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Teddy Kotick - b
Max Roach - dr
Luis Miranda - cng
Joe Mangual - bng
Recorded in New York ; January 23, 1952
[#12 & 13]
Charlie Parker - as
Jimmy Maxwell, Carl Poole, Al Porcino, Bernie Privin - tp
Bill Harris, Lou McGarity, Bart Varsalona - tb
Harry Terrill, Murray Williams - as
Flip Phillips, Hank Ross - ts
Danny Bank - bs
Oscar Peterson - p
Freddie Green - g
Ray Brown - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 25, 1952
[# 14]
Charlie Parker - as
Junior Collins - flghrn
Al Block - fl
Hal McKusick - cl
Tom Mace - ob
Mannie Thaler - bssn
Tony Aless - p
Charles Mingus - b
Max Roach - dr
Dave Lambert Singers - vcl, including
Annie Ross
Gil Evans - arr & cond.
Recorded in New York ; May 25, 1953
[# 15]
Charlie Parker - as
Charlie Shavers - tp
Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter - as
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster - ts
Oscar Peterson- p
Barney Kessel- g
Ray Brown - b
J.C. Heard - dr
Recorded in Hollywood, California ; June 17, 1952


lucky5 said...

Great post, Mel!

Ананасий Непитин said...

really royal gift.
thanks a lot, Mel.

david said...

thank you very much for this beautiful album !

Greeny said...

Love it, Mel, thanks very much.

coline said...

Top-quality compilation again !

Thank you very much, Mel,once more.

deGallo said...

Thank you. Looks marvelous!

musician3 said...


rowland said...

Thanks very much for sharing this.

Unknown said...

Thank you thank you.

sandor essedy said...

a very good one; thanks a lot.

The Jackal said...

Muchas gracias always Mel

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You so much

Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks

francisco santos said...

this one desrves to be alive, re post please...
THX !....

Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Very nice album with so fine melodies, so thanks again for this share, very much appreciated!

Otis Foster said...

Thnx melanchthon. Someone said that bebop was pure melody, just played too fast for a lot of people to detect it. This album proves the point.

francisco santos said...


AmyBRAINS said...

Thank you very much for this fantastic album.

daniel genovese said...


kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Anonymous said...

I pass your educational work on to my kids, MM. This is historical recording. Thank you.