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"Charlie Parker at Storyville" (Blue Note, 1953)

Herb Pomeroy (trumpet); Charlie Parker (alto sax); Sir Charles Thompson (piano); Jimmy Woode (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums); at "Storyville Club", Boston, MA, September 22, 1953

From the liner notes:

"Storyville was founded in 1950 by a 25-year-old piano player named George Wein. It's home was in the Buckminster Hotel and Nat Hentoff had broadcast from the club during 1951; but in late 1952 Wein struck a deal with WHDH and John McLellan began a series of Tuesday night broadcasts from the club. The series had been going for a while when Charlie Parker came to town in March 1953.

As he did so frequently in the 1950s, Parker worked Boston as a single. Wein would hire the rhythm section separately. Six months later Bird was back at Storyville with a completely different cast. Bassist Jimmy Woode was as a Boston resident during this period, as was trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, today a well-known bandleader and educator in Boston. Bird had brought Kenny Clarke with him from New York and the pianist was Sir Charles Thompson. Thompson had been a Beantown favourite for many years, but he is often heard in a mainstream bag, frequently on organ. Here he plays brilliant bebop piano. McLellan's introduction is heard at the beginning of "Now's the Time" and his close is toward the end of "Groovin' High", but "Dancing On The Ceiling" is another matter.

This is another song Parker never recorded but all we have from the broadcast is the piano solo out chorus. WHDH was owned by the Boston Herald-Traveller and the ownership was quite conservative. Boston, a very political town – then as now – had a primary election that day and the Herald had endorsed a slate of candidates. Despite the fact that the next newscast was only a few minutes away, station management had no hesitation about interrupting Charlie Parker to describe the election results."

Bob Porter, WBGO/Jazz Times

Music references:


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