Sarah Vaughan and trumpeter Clifford Brown finish recording a classic album for the EmArcy label on December 18th, 1954.

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Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Jones, and Clifford Brown at the recording session for “Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown”, in NYC, 1954. (Photo by Herman Leonard)

I n December of 1954, jazz singer Sarah Vaughan began working with the rising-star trumpeter Clifford Brown on an collaborative album. Their joint LP, simply titled “Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown”, was recorded in just two days and quickly became a jazz classic — almost unsurprising considering the sheer talent that this duo bought into the studio. Sadly, however, this record is the only time that Sarah and Clifford worked together, and the above photograph is one of only a few…

Thelonious Monk makes his first studio recording of “ ‘Round Midnight” as a session leader, for Blue Note records on November 21st, 1947.

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Thelonious Monk playing piano at Minton’s Playhouse, NYC, in 1947. (Photo by William P. Gottlieb)

T hroughout history, hundreds if not thousands of songs have been adopted into the extensive repertoire of jazz standards, but only a handful are universally recognized as masterpieces, and “ ‘Round Midnight” is undoubtedly one of them. It has been recorded by seemingly every musician with even the faintest connection to jazz — from Art Blakey to Amy Winehouse. Though it isn’t known exactly when Monk first wrote it, his longtime manager Harry Colomby claimed that the earliest draft of the tune dates back to the late 1930s, under the initial title “Grand Finale”.

Charlie Parker records two iconic performances of “Bird of Paradise” and “Embraceable You” for Dial Records on October 28th, 1947.

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Album cover for Charlie Parker On Dial Volume 1, part of a reissue series by British label Spotlite Records in 1970.

O n this day 71 years ago, Charlie Parker held a recording session in New York City for Dial Records which produced two of his most memorable and iconic performances, “Bird of Paradise” and “Embraceable You”. Before we go any further, here are some details of the session in question, according to

1. Dexterity (2 Takes)
2. Bongo Bop (2 Takes)
3. Dewey Square (a.k.a. Air Conditioning, Prezology)
4. Dewey Square (2 Takes)
5. The Hymn (a.k.a. Superman) (2 Takes)
6. Bird of Paradise (3 Takes)
7. Embraceable You (2 Takes)

Personnel: Charlie Parker (Alto Saxophone), Miles Davis…

Gems of Jazz

Musical archive / blog dedicated to preserving the lives and legacies of jazz history’s most influential figures.

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