Monday, February 19, 2007

Blue Bird

Sixty years ago today, Charlie Parker entered C.P. MacGregor Studios in Hollywood for his first session in over seven months. Two fine ballads were recorded: "Dark Shadows" and "This Is Always" with singer Earl Coleman, who was there at Parker's insistence and Ross Russell's dismay. His previous session, on July 29th, 1946 yielded two of the most harrowing and tortured ballads ever recorded, "Lover Man" and "The Gypsy". There was a panic on Central Avenue and Bird, strung out and dope-sick suffered a breakdown, that landed him at Camarillo State Hospital the following day. As painful as they are are, these two records, which Bird pleaded with Ross Russell not to release, are extraordinary. On "Lover Man", Bird misses his intro and the piano plays on while he finds his place only to unleash the most anguished solo of pure and heartbreaking beauty. Without taking time to playback the take, Russell had the band led by trumpeter Howard McGhee start the next selection, "The Gypsy". Here they are, coupled with the 1947 Earl Coleman session in all their pain and glory, one take each, for eternity.



Photo: © William P. Gottlieb 1946



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*** For the sake of fidelity, all selections here are taken from the out of print 1989 Stash Records' The Legendary Dial Masters, Volume One. These are, in my opinion, the best sounding versions of these available on compact disc, and mastered from somebody elses 78's in much better condition than mine.


Anonymous said...

This is quite an amazing blog. I don't have started a blog myself yet but as I'm alawys looking for new music I started putting some interesting blogs in a folder and yours is in it, so I'll be jumping in from time to time.


Anonymous said...

This quite amazing, I found a piece here called "The Flight" by James Moody and the whle concept of this blog is beautiful.

If I saw things right you started this in 2007; thx for putting it all here.

d. chedwick bryant said...

unreal i have been thinking about Charlie Parker all day. please stop by my blog and leave a clever comment--the cleverest wins a bottle of guerlain perfume or a random 78 rpm record.

Black pages said...

Hi, I posted two times anonymous above this message ... seeing your blog gave me the taste to start one myself, but I was wondering: how can I upload a song on my blog?