Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates

The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)

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The Complete Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker (#129)
7 CDs - $100.80


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First, Dean Benedetti recorded Bird at Los Angelesí Hi-De-Ho located at the corner of 50th Street & Western Avenue, recording him nightly, or nearly nightly, from Saturday March 1, 1947 through Thursday, March 13, 1947. Then Benedetti recorded Charlie Parker at The Three Deuces located at 72 West 52nd Street in New York City on Wednesday, March 31, 1948. Finally, Dean Benedetti returned to the Big Appleís legendary block of clubs when Birdís band spent a week at The Onyx, 57 West 52nd Street, in July 1948. He recorded much if not all of that engagement as well as a rehearsal held one afternoon. Some of this can be dated precisely. Benedetti certainly recorded on Wednesday, July 7, 1948, Saturday, July 10, 1948, and Sunday, July 11, 1948.

The Dean Benedetti holdings contain a minimum of 461 original recordings of Charlie Parker. They are on 78 RPM acetate discs and paper based reel-to-reel tape. These originals were mixed in the ultimate maze: blindly intermingled with Benedettiís own dubs. Some originals existed in as many as ten copies. All of the holdings were in some state of disrepair and even the best preserved recordings needed a full awareness of archaic technologies to be listened to properly. Deanís surviving documentation of his invaluable audio collection is limited.

los angeles, 1947: disc recordings

Dean Benedetti went to Sears Roebuck in February, 1947 to purchase a portable disc cutter. It was made by Wells-Gardner of Chicago for the famous Sears Catalogue, a high quality machine by home-use standards but not top-of-the-line and certainly not professional. Dean Benedetti now was ready to record Charlie Parker, who was soon to appear two blocks from Russ Freemanís house and three blocks from Jimmy Knepperís house where Dean was staying.

the hi-de-ho

The Hi-De-Ho gig was booked by Howard McGhee, who was the leader, but Parker did exert some influence in filling the bandstand. As he had done on his February 19, 1947 recording session for Dial, Bird insisted on Earl Coleman being hired. There is reason to believe Bird brought the young Hampton Hawes into the picture. Indeed, it is plausible that Bird picked the entire rhythm section, although I believe "Maggie" made the choice of Roy Porter to play drums. During this period Earl Coleman was encouraging a lot of younger musicians. (Earl brought Trane to the studio on 2/19/47 to meet Bird!). One of them was a hanging buddy, singer Danny Knight. Earl Coleman let Danny Knight sing in his place a number of times during the Hi-De-Ho stay.

Dean Benedetti first brought his new disc cutter to the Hi-De-Ho on Saturday March 1, 1947. He arranged to use a booth near the bandstand as his control room. The recording was sanctioned by Bird, yet surprisingly, he showed no interest in hearing playbacks. Dean spent as little money as possible at the Hi-De-Ho; whatever he had went toward recording supplies.

As an untrained amateur, Benedettiís earliest discs didnít come out well. Part of the problem was his supply of recording blanks, a mixed lot made up of mostly cheaper, inferior brands. His expertise would improve with time, but there were real problems that would remain throughout all his disc recordings which should be explained.

Deanís machine was designed for home use. It only allowed him to cut from the outside toward the hole in the center. Originally disc cutting was done on cylinders with the cutting stylus having an equal push and pull for every revolution. When flat discs were introduced (as a manufacturing and storage boon, not as an audio improvement), the problem of torque emerged for both recording and playback. On playback, the inner grooves always sounded worse. A solution was a big label so the grooves never came too close to the center. As for recording onto disc, the machine is cutting into the disc. In cutting a record, there is a residue of powdered disc flying up all the time. These "chips" can interfere with the recording process. Early flat disc recording favored starting on the inside, near the hole and cutting towards the outside, the edge. The laws of physics thereby directed the chips to fall behind the cutting needle. Also by starting towards the center, a limit on inner groove distortion could be set. The problem with all this is that if a flat disc was playing unattended, the arm and needle would plunge over the edge, usually breaking the needle. If a disc is played the common way, then the worst that can happen to an unattended disc in play is that the needle will nuzzle up side-to-side with the center pole though not blunt its point. The compromise in the latter part of the 78 era became that professionals usually worked by cutting from the center, but commercially issued discs played from outside in.

Benedetti was probably unaware of all this. In any case, he didnít have the option. Consequently, chips coming from the disc during the recording would often clog his needle, changing the recording speed and marring the audio quality. Dean learned that brushing the chips away while recording was helpful. At first, he did this himself, but eventually he trained Jimmy Knepper to be the brusher. There were many problems with blunting the needle, hurting a number of items. I believe that Dean Benedetti had run out of new needles by the last day of recording (3/13/47). He may also have been running low on blank discs towards the end.

Thereís some question as to the precise dating of Howard McGheeís Hi-De-Ho engagement. Benedetti left notes for the dates: March 1 & 2, 6-9, and 11-13, 1947. The missing dates and the unusual Saturday opening (3/1/47), Thursday closing (3/13/47) would make this a very odd nightclub engagement, yet Jimmy Knepper and Russ Freeman are sure that Dean recorded every night that Bird played the Hi-De-Ho. Most likely, the Mondays - 3/3 & 3/10/47 - were off nights; as to the other gaps, maybe Bird was a no-show. There are some undated discs in the Benedetti holdings which seem to have been cut early in the gig. These discs could come from the missing nights of Tuesday (3/4/47) & Wednesday (3/5/47), but after two years of study, it appears the unlabelled discs are from March 1 & 2, 1947. (See note for March 11, 1947 for further discussion.)

Thereís also a question concerning who taught Dean how to record. Somebody filled this role. Dean probably listened to his earliest efforts and was dissatisfied. He went for help and received a lot. First of all, someone brought a second disc cutter to the Hi-De-Ho on Sunday March 2, 1947 and recorded the last set. (This material is on two 12" 78 discs which Deanís machine could not handle.) Then came the best advice: use high quality recording blanks of the same make. The balance of the Hi-De-Ho recordings are done on 10" Soundcraft acetates. They were good then, and unlike most of the early discs used on March 1 & 2, 1947, the Soundcrafts have survived the 43 years in fair shape - most of them anyway. Dean started using Soundcraft acetates on Thursday, March 6. In general, his discsí audios continue to improve from this point on.

Yet surprisingly, his first recordings for the next day offer the worst audio to date. The rest of March 7 sounds fine. Those first two March 7 discs are dubs. They were skillfully made, perhaps by Deanís audio mentor. Deanís dubs were made in a poor amateur fashion using a microphone held in front of a speaker. I believe Dean labelled these discs "casa", which means house in Italian, because the dubs were made at home. Most are earlier Hi-De-Ho performances.

Dates and personnel are listed in standard discographical form. The number of cuts (for disc) or parts (for tape) following a title indicates how many start-stop sections were used to record a piece. The number on the far right is the section number in which the piece has been placed in this booklet. There are three abbreviated designations that pertain to this discography:

DBck = Dean Benedetti check mark

Dean Benedetti placed a check mark next to some song titles. Their purpose is unclear, but the check-marked performances are usually lengthy and exceptional. See notes with Items #16 & #43.

DBd = Dean Benedetti dub

An original recording in the collection duplicated in a dub, or several dubs, made by Dean Benedetti.

NoHM = No audible Howard McGhee

Items on which McGhee is not audible, but on which it is likely he played on.

MARCH 7, 1947 or earlier

JAM SESSION, probably proceeding the Hi-De-Ho gig. This is one of the Ďcasaí dubbed recordings. See text, see note before Items 82-86.

Parker (as), unknown (ts), unknown (elg), unknown (b), unknown (d), others?.

1. Blues In Bb - 3 cuts - 1:44 47

Note: Only one cut has audible Charlie Parker, the other two cuts will remain unissued. The unknown tenor saxophonist plays on the unissued portion. This Blues in Bb might be part of the Hi-De-Ho recordings - for instance, a post gig jam session - but the absence of a piano, the balance and acoustics, as well as the transition of Benedettiís recording procedure from March 6 to 7, 1947 all lead me to believe that this is a separate event. If so, then it is likely to have occurred before the March, 1947 Hi-De-Ho engagement which is why I have placed it here at the top of this discography. Perhaps it was even recorded by someone else, such as Deanís recording teacher. (See Section 42, Items 82-86 & accompanying note, also see text.)

the hi-de-ho recordings

MARCH 1, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on stardust.

2. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 2:09 44a

3. Rose Room (DBd) - 2 cuts - 1:32 1c

Note: Disc damaged, a few notes by Bird remain unissued. Benedetti dubbed this item for his own purposes, but the disc was already damaged when he dubbed and his copy contains less than my 1988 transfer.

4. 52nd Street Theme (aka Bergís Theme) 0:45 1e

Note: This well known line - attributed to Thelonious Monk - was already the traditional set closer among bebop musicians when Benedetti first heard it played by Bird with Dizzy Gillespieís combo at their legendary Hollywood nightclub appearance at Billy Bergís (12/10/45 - 2/3/46) . Whatever his reason, Dean consistently labels 52nd street theme as bergís theme on his Hi-De-Ho recordings. The tune became known as 52nd street theme when Gillespie recorded it for Victor on 2/22/46 shortly after returning - without Bird - from California. It was included on Victorís 78 RPM album 52nd street jazz with Dizzy and Leonard Feather naming the already known melody 52nd street theme. In March 1947, Dean Benedetti was unaware of this and continued to use his title bergís theme.

5. All The Things You Are - 2 cuts - 2:21 1d

Note: This item known to collectors. It is listed in Koster & Bakkerís Charlie Parker Discography in Session #35.

6. Blueí Ní Boogie 0:56 1a

7. I Surrender Dear (DBd) - 3 cuts - 0:58 44b

Note: 2nd cut too damaged for playback.

8. Stardust (NoHM) 1:12 1b

MARCH 2, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on the very thought of you, i donít stand a ghost of a chance, first version of iím in the mood for love (item 15), & stardust.

9. Blues in F 0:22 46e

10. The Man I Love - 2 or more cuts - 1:59 2d

11. Cheers 0:36 46f

Note: Item is heavily edited as most of Birdís solo is too damaged for playback.

12. Byas A Drink (DBd) - 3 cuts - 2:28 2e

Note: No Bird on 2nd (unissued) cut.

13. Ornithology - ? cuts -

Note: This disc was unsalvagable.

14. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) - 2 cuts - 1:05 2c 15. Iím In The Mood For Love (NoHM) 1:05 3b

16. Yardbird Suite 1:20 3a

Note: Dean Benedetti placed a check mark next to his notation "Yardbird Suite" written on the acetateís paper sleeve (once again mated to his unlabelled disc). Benedetti would also write a check mark next to song titles on the labels of acetates (the Red Nationals and Soundcrafts). The Dean Benedetti Check Mark obviously draws our attention and clearly indicates a special interest of his for a particular performance. A bit of Howard McGheeís solo was recorded but remains unissued.

17. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 0:39 38b

Note: No Bird on 1st (unissued) cut.

18. Sportsmanís Hop 0:52 45l

Note: Benedettiís needle cut all the way into the discís base so this selection has been faded out and back in.

19. unknown tune

Note: Benedetti started cutter as Bird ceased playing, then stopped.

20. Night And Day 0:11 46b

21. The Very Thought Of You (NoHM) - 2 cuts - 0:28 46c

Note: The brief portion of Earl Coleman or Danny Knightís vocal remains unissued.

22. Hot House (DBck) - 5 cuts - 1:58 2a

Note: First 3 pieces too damaged for playback.

23. Cheers - 2 cuts - 0:59 43a

Note: No Bird on 1st (unissued) cut.

24. I Donít Stand A Ghost Of A Chance 1:10 2b

25. Big Noise (aka Wee) - 2 cuts - 1:02 3c

26. unknown tune possibly September In The Rain

Note: Too damaged for playback.

27. Bean Soup (DBd) - 2 cuts - 2:22 3e 28. Big Noise (aka Wee) 0:35 46g

29. Iím In The Mood For Love 0:43 37b

Note: This item is apparently an instrumental. Unlike the vocal versions of iím in the mood for love which were performed in the key of C (more likely sung by Earl Coleman than by Danny Knight), this non-vocal performance plays in Bb. Charlie Parker recorded iím in the mood for love twice in the calendar year 1950. Birdís quartet version (Spring, í50 with Hank Jones, Ray Brown, and Buddy Rich) plays in Db, while the Parker With Strings version (probably late Summer í50) plays in Db modulating into Bb. So Bird is known to have played iím in the mood for love in Bb, although his key of choice for this tune was apparently Db (The Onyx club version [Item 253] also plays in Db). Many listeners will find it difficult to believe that Item 29 is truly iím in the mood for love, most doubters will opt for Item 29 as a Blues in Bb. I tried speed correcting this item into the key of C and Db, and found the sound untrue. The keys of A and B seemed illogical and so I left Item #29 in Bb which it naturally plays back in. Dean Benedetti labelled this cut iím in the mood for love but noted no key signature.

30. possibly 52nd Street Theme 0:43 46l

31. Carviní The Bird 1:01 5c

Note: Known by Benedetti as "Howardís Eb Blues".

32. Stardust (NoHM) 1:17 3d

33. Byas A Drink - 2 cuts - 1:56 7d

34. Grooviní High 1:36 5b

Note: Waiterís voice heard - "Last call for alcohol" - and also hassling Dean Benedetti and Jimmy Knepper for some money.

35. Itís The Talk Of The Town - 3 cuts - 1:47 5d

36. Body And Soul - No Bird -

37. Ornithology - 2 cuts - 0:11 46h

Note: Surviving audio heavily edited.

38. Perdido - 2 cuts - 0:59 46i

39. Sweet Georgia Brown (or a related tune in Ab) 0:53 5a

Note: Possibly Dean Benedettiís voice heard saying "Go Bird!". I will occasionally try to identify voices heard during the recording. Despite my familiarity with the speaking voices of most participants, I can be wrong when I attribute words to a specific person. Jimmy Knepper says he canít imagine himself - even at age 19 & even for Bird - acting as a cheerleader for these performances. Angelo Ascagni, a close friend who was with Dean & Jimmy Knepper at The Onyx including one full night in the basement with them states: "I donít remember Dean Benedetti showing outward enthusiasm in taping Bird. At the Onyx, heíd tape from the basement under the bandstand - serious work."

40. Night In Tunisia (DBd) 0:59 7c

MARCH 1 or 2 (maybe 4 or 5), 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), stardust, prisoner of love, iím in the mood for love, i donít stand a ghost of a chance, & night and day.

Note: 41 thru 53 come from two matched discs different from any others in the Benedetti holdings. They are Red Nationals, one is pictured here. They were certainly recorded the same evening: bean soup through grooviní high on one disc and i donít stand a ghost of a chance through big noise (aka wee) on the other.

41. Bean Soup (DBd) - 2 cuts - 1:06 40d

42. Stardust (NoHM) 1:05 30

43. Hot House (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:22 6f

Note: The Dean Benedetti Check Mark appears here for the first time on the label of a disc instead of the discís paper sleeve. The check markís actual purpose is hard to determine. I believe the check mark indicates that the solo has been dubbed and/or transcribed rather than just a rave for the solo.

44. The Man I Love (DBck) 1:34 6e

45. 52nd Street Theme 1:02 40e

Note: Itís likely that Jimmy Knepper is encouraging Bird while itís Dean Benedetti heard saying "Yeah-ím".

46. Grooviní High 1:14 40c

47. I Donít Stand A Ghost Of A Chance 1:08 6b

48. Prisoner Of Love (NoHM) 1:08 6d

49. Indiana (DBd) - 2 cuts - 0:58 6a

Note: No Bird in 1st (unissued) cut; the cut which contains the only audible Howard McGhee.

50. Disorder At The Border (DBck) 0:40 40b

51. Ornithology (DBck) 1:15 6c

52. September In The Rain 0:50 38c

53. Big Noise (aka Wee) - 2 cuts - 1:07 40a

Note: Item #53 is the last from the two matched discs.

54. Hot House (DBd) 0:58 41a

Note: McGhee says "Yeah!" during Birdís solo.

55. Sportmanís Hop (DBd) 0:46 41b

Note: Thereís a little bit more music on either side of Birdís solo on the disc.

56. possibly Cool Blues (a Blues in C) (DBd, NoHM) 0:40 4c

Note: Bird told Benedetti that his title for cool blues was blues up and down. This same blues theme was used earlier by the John Kirby Sextet to take the ĎBiggest Band In The Landí off the stand. Bird learned it by hearing the Kirby Sextet and through his friendship with Russell Procope, that groupís alto saxophonist. Bird recorded this line on 2/19/47 for Dial with Erroll Garner, Red Callender and Doc West. That same quartet gigged at Billy Bergís on Sunday afternoons in February, 1947, conceivably playing this Blues In C, possibly using it in the same fashion of the John Kirby Sextet, with Dean Benedetti a likely member of the audience. (DBd, NoHM)

57. Iím In The Mood For Love (DBd, NoHM) 1:04 4b

Note: This disc begins with the very last of the vocal, followed immediately by Birdís solo. Only Birdís solo is issued.

58. Cheers 0:41 41c

59. The Man I Love 1:18 4a

Note: A few bars of Howard McGhee before Birdís solo remains unissued.

60. Stuffy 0:43 7a

61. Night And Day (NoHM) 1:12 7b

Note: This Item, which includes singing, is in Bb. Some of the other night and days in this set, including Item 236, a vocal version with Earl Coleman, play in Eb. This is confusing. Bird preferred to play the tune in Bb, Earl Coleman sings it Eb; but Item 79 (another night and day) plays in Eb, yet we hear no singing. Maybe the singer here is Danny Knight or maybe Coleman is trying to sing it in the instrumentalistís key. (See Items 79 & 128 for comparisons.)

62. probably Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) 0:42 46d

MARCH 6, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), the very thought of you, & i donít stand a ghost of a chance with you.

63. Sportsmanís Hop (DBck) - 1 or 2 cuts - 1:37 8d

Note: Only the piece with Bird is issued.

64. Night In Tunisia (DBd) - 2 or 3 cuts - 0:59 46j

Note: The 2nd piece with Bird is the coda; it is highly damaged and remains unissued. The 3rd piece - also unissued - is a brief snippet of piano which may belong to 63, 64, or neither. Howard McGhee says "Yeah" early in Birdís solo.

65. The Very Thought Of You (NoHM) 1:16 33

66. Perdido (NoHM) - 3 cuts - 0:55 36a

Note: Two pieces too damaged for playback.

67. Nowís The Time - 2 cuts - 0:53 46k

68. Big Noise (aka Wee) - 2 cuts - 2:15 34

69. Hot House (DBck) - 2 cuts - 2:07 31

Note: A bit of the melody and Birdís last sounds in the 1st piece remain unissued.

70. Stuffy - 2 cuts - 0:13 46m

Note: There is no Bird in the second unissued piece; the only piece with audible Howard McGhee.

71. Body And Soul 0:34 46x

72. Ornithology (NoHM) 1:12 43b

Note: Not only is there a Dean Benedetti check mark, this solo was dubbed over and over onto his practice discs and tapes.

73. Sentimental Journey (NoHM) 0:26 8e

74. 52nd Street Theme - 2 pieces - 1:28 8f

Note: Items 73 & 74 are edited together in our collection, with a total time of 1:54.

75. Grooviní High (NoHM) 0:16 43c

76. The Man I Love 1:41 35

77. I Donít Stand A Ghost Of A Chance (NoHM) - 2 cuts - 1:08 43d

78. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:38 8c

79. Night And Day (NoHM) 1:01 8b

Note: This version is in Eb. A bit of Bird before his solo remains unissued.

80. Moose The Mooch - 2 cuts - 2:10 8a

81. Cheers - 2 cuts - 1:07 43e

MARCH 7, 1947 or earlier

Hi-De-Ho set of Ďcasaí recordings.

Note: Dean Benedetti dubbed or had dubbed several of his early Hi-De-Ho recordings on 3/7/47. The originals are no longer among his holdings. I believe these dubbed Ďcasaí items relate to Benedettiís disappointment with the audio quality of his earliest recordings and his approaching someone for help. This resulted in another disc cutter being introduced, a machine that was used to record the end of Sunday night March 2, 1947 on 12" 78 RPM acetate discs, the only discs of this diameter in the Benedetti holdings. Maybe there was more material recorded at that time - or on the unaccounted for dates of Tuesday, March 4 & Wednesday, March 5, 1947, or Thursday night, March 6, 1947 - on that second machine, again using 12" acetate discs. ĎCasaí, to me, represents a "post-production" situation occuring during the daytime on Friday, March 7, 1947. Benedetti met with his recording mentor, learned a bit more about disc cutting, and as part of this process dubbed recordings of Bird (most, if not all from the recent past at the Hi-De-Ho) from the non-matching 12" discs. For some reason the two 12" 78 RPM acetate discs containing the final portion of Sunday night, March 2, 1947 were not similarly transferred. Presumably any other originals on 12", now transferred, remained with Deanís recording teacher who I believe was more likely a jazz buff with disc recording knowledge than a professional audio technician. The Hi-De-Ho set of Ďcasaí recordings is at the very least an anthology of Parker Hi-De-Ho items from March 1-7,1947, with the possible exception of hot house which may be by an augmented working band at the Hi-De-Ho or related to the jam session in Section 47 (see Item 1). (See text.)

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), possible unknown guitarist on hot house, conceivably a sixth man or in place of Hampton Hawesí piano.

Note: All these Ďcasaí Items received the Dean Benedetti check mark. In fact, the disc itself was checked.

82. Hot House - 2 cuts - 2:16 42a

Note: Some will hear the chordal instrument on this poor sounding dubbed item as a guitar and not a piano. This raises the possibility that this hot house belongs in Section 47 with Blues In Bb (Item 1). I should point out that this hot house is on the same disc as the following four working band selections while the jam session Blues In Bb was on a separate disc. Furthermore, the presence of Howard McGhee and the general coherent bebop quintet feel of this hot house links it more to the other selections in Section 42 than to the jam session in Section 47.

83. The Man I Love (NoHM) 1:46 42b

84. unknown tune - too damaged for playback

85. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) - 2 cuts - 2:33 42c

86. Sí Wonderful (or related tune in Eb) (DBd, NoHM) 1:48 42d

Note: Bird recorded Melvyn Broilesí stupendous (based on sí wonderfulís chord sequence) on 2/26/47 for Dial, with Maggie, who was Broilesí teacher, on trumpet; so, it is quite likely that this Hi-De-Ho combo played stupendous.

MARCH 7, 1947

Note: The balance of the Hi-De-Ho discs were dated by Dean Benedetti but numbered by someone else (presumably much later). It is difficult to decide which side of a disc was recorded first or the proper order of the discs from a given date but there is much to justify my sequencing in this discography.

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on both body and souls, iím in the mood for love, all the things you are, stardust and conceivably on the unissued i donít stand a ghost of a chance. (See note with Item 109.)

87. Rose Room (DBd) 1:34 11b

Note: Wow and speed problems as cutting needle hits the base of the disc.

88. Grooviní High 1:34 46n

89. Big Noise (aka Wee) 1:41 39a

Note: Birdís solo quotes my kinda of love. It sounds like Earl Coleman is offering encouragement.

90. Byas A Drink - 2 cuts - 1:42 10d

91. Body And Soul 1:12 10c

92. Hot House (DBck-cut 1) - 2 cuts - 1:09 10a

93. Cheers 1:06 43f

Note: Speed problems as needle hits base of the disc.

94. Night In Tunisia (DBd) - 3 cuts - 2:13 10b

95. Nowís The Time - 2 cuts - 1:52 10e

96. Iím In The Mood For Love (NoHM) 1:21 11c

97. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 2:07 11d

98. I Surrender Dear (Dbd) - 2 cuts - 1:57 9c

99. Dee Deeís Dance - 2 cuts - 2:18 9d

Note: Is Bird referring to Johnny Hodgesí solo from the Lionel Hampton Victor 78 of whoa babe?

100. Stuffy (DBd) 1:44 9b

101. Perdido 1:48 9a

102. Body And Soul 0:30 43a

103. Big Noise (aka Wee) 0:32 39d

104. All The Things You Are - 3 cuts - 1:08 12c

Note: Salvalged as best as possible.

105. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) - 2 cuts - 1:36 12b

106. Sportsmanís Hop - 2 cuts - 2:07 11a

107. Dee Deeís Dance - 3 cuts - 1:58 12d

108. Stardust - 3 cuts - 1:06 12a

109. I Donít Stand A Ghost Of A Chance

Note: This item comes from material held by another relative who would not make it available to Mosaic. Information as read to us over the phone proved to me that this item - as well as the next three items for March 7, 1947 - do exist, and that the information provided could have been derived from the original acetate. Listing these unheard items in the discography presented the ultimate sequencing challenge for this project. Should these discs all be brought together someday, a cursory or even thorough examination of them will bring into question my numbering of these items.

Indeed, my series could be questioned for those discs in hand. I can only say that I have literally lived with Dean Benedettiís recordings of Bird since 1988, consistently returning to the originals to answer all types of questions. In the process, I believe Iíve acquired a feel for Deanís snap decisions made at the Hi-De-Ho as to where and when to cut on an acetate. Dean Benedetti was a very intelligent person; however quick he made his choices, there is a logic to them that involves more than I will give space to here. I am not listing the newly discovered items at the end of this date for expediency but because I truly believe the missing disc was the last one started that night.

110. Ornithology

111. The Man I Love

112. Bean Soup - 3 parts, 1 cut - 2:07 46a

Note: This bean soup was recorded by Dean in four cuts on two discs. Cut one is the end of the opening melody chorus and most of Birdís solo. Cut two contains the end of Birdís solo. Cut three is Bird & Howard McGhee exchanging four-bar passages. Cut four is the last chorus. Our Benedetti holdings contain dubs on paper-based tape of the first three cuts plus the original disc for the ending. These have been mated in the audio process to form Item 112. This is the only instance in this set of an item existing as part dub, part original. What makes this more troubling is my certainty that the original exists on the March 7, 1947 Hi-De-Ho disc in the possesion of another Benedetti relative who will not part with it. (See note with Item 109.)

MARCH 8, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on night and day (121), body and soul, all the things you are & prisoner of love.

113. Sportsmanís Hop (DBck) 1:28 13a

114. Dee Deeís Dance - 2 cuts - 2:11 13c

115. Stuffy 0:51 43h

Note: Benedetti dubbed this item before it developed a nasty skip at the start, but Deanís dub has inferior sound.

116. Hot House (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:05 46o

117. Perdido - 2 cuts - 1:32 36b

118. Disorder At The Border - 2 cuts - 1:58 28

119. possibly I Surrender Dear (NoHM) - 2 cuts - 0:07 46r-1

Note: The disc with 119 & 121 is extremely damaged. The brief playable snippets of a tune in C Major that is possibly i surrender dear seem to contain a reference by Bird to his troubled loverman recording of 7/29/46.

120. Iím In The Mood For Love (NoHM) 0:57 14c

121. Night And Day 0:03 46r-2

122. Bean Stalking - 3 cuts - 2:08 14a

Note: A damaged groove at the start of Birdís first four- bar exchange contains a few unissued notes.

123. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 2:22 14b

124. Nowís The Time (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:33 14d

125. Big Noise (aka Wee) - 3 cuts - 2:16 14e

Note: Bird quotes an exercise from the Klose book, the same lick he uses in kc blues on 1/17/51.

126. Bean Soup (DBd) - 3 cuts - 2:31 15a

127. Body And Soul - 4 cuts - 0:48 15b

Note: The 2nd & 3rd pieces have no Bird (although he might be heard speaking) and remain unissued.

128. Night And Day 0:08 46t

129. Prisoner Of Love 0:21 43i

130. The Very Thought Of You 0:08 46s

Note: Severely damaged disc, some pieces too damaged for playback; another unusable snippet of the very thought of you was next to 116. It is conceivably from this performance.

131. Byas A Drink - 2 cuts - 2:20 15c

132. All The Things You Are - 2 cuts - 0:30 15d

Note: Birdís dimly recorded notes in the coda are his only contribution on the 2nd unissued piece, the piece with the only audible Howard McGhee.

133. probably Stardust (NoHM) 0:05 46w-1

Note: More of this stardust may have been recorded but the disc is hopelessly damaged.

134. Night In Tunisia 1:06 32

Note: Benedetti dubbed this item before it developed a nasty skip, but his dub is in inferior sound.

135. Ornithology (DBck, NoHM) 1:49 13b

Note: We have reached the final set of the recordings of March 8, 1947. It was a Saturday night, the Hi-De-Ho was crowded and Benedetti was not given his usual booth close to the bandstand. Items 113-134 have a lesser balance, Bird is in the distance. Now with the place emptying out, Benedetti and his party (including at least Jimmy Knepper and possibly Russ Freeman) are allowed to move forward.

Encouragements are shouted at Bird, quite likely from Deanís table. Their enthusiasms seem to spur Bird on to longer and better solos. This item as well as the next received check marks from Dean Benedetti. Unfortunately this final set is also a short one; or did Benedetti lose the opportunity to record some numbers while moving his equipment forward? Jimmy Knepper, after 43 years, cannot remember this specific instance; but he does concur with my reasoning and my sequencing of the tunes.

136. The Man I Love (DBck) 1:45 15e

Note: This outstanding item is known to collectors. It is listed in Koster & Bakkerís discography in Session 35 (see Item 5).

MARCH 9, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on body and soul.

137. Perdido (DBd) - 4 cuts - 2:27 16b

138. Indiana 2:33 16c

139. Nowís The Time (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:52 16a

140. Night In Tunisia (DBd) - 4 cuts - 1:47 19c

141. Sweet And Lovely - 4 cuts - 2:15 26

Note: The 4th - unissued - piece is the coda. Benedetti was expecting Bird, but the only horn heard in the coda is Howard McGheeís.

142. Stardust 0:11 46u

143. possibly The Very Thought Of You - No Bird -

Note: On this same disc is a segment of music - also with no Bird - that may be a performance of a Spanish-tinged tune or, perhaps, a Latin inflection on a body and soul conceivably from Item 151 (this unissued snippet plays in Db).

144. Bean Soup (DBd) - 2 cuts - 2:59 17b

145. Perdido - 2 cuts - 2:13 18b

146. Moose The Mooch 1:22 19b

147. Hot House (DBck) - 3 cuts - 1:48 17c

148. Dee Deeís Dance - 2 parts - 3:53 25

Note: This is a known and previously issued item lullaby in rhythm by Charlie Parker on Spotlite 107. Unlike the other previously discovered entries from Benedettiís recordings of Charlie Parker, this item no longer exists in any form in the Benedetti holdings.

Explanations for Benedettiís discarding of his original 78 RPM 10" acetate disc can create some speculation. Was Benedetti dissatisfied with it because it contained more than Birdís improvisation or was it frustration over having become distracted, which may have caused the longer cut; or did someone want this disc from the many Dean had at the time because it was a fuller performance similar to a 10" commercially released record.

149. Bird Lore {Ornithology & How High The Moon} (DBck) 1:46 17a

Note: Dean Benedetti labelled his disc "Bird Lore" using Ross Russellís special song title that denoted an alternate take of the 3/28/46 ornithology. On the label on the acetate, "Ornithology" was originally written. It was erased and "Bird Lore" was written in its place. Both the erased and extant entries are in Deanís hand. Did Benedetti use "Bird Lore" to single out this unique item when this quintet used both melodies in the same performance? Or did he, noticing the frequency of ornithologys in this set and on the disc, use the title "Bird Lore" in the same fashion as Ross Russell, to denote an alternate performance? Notice please Items 152 & 155.

150. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo) (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:14 19a

151. Body And Soul - 3 cuts - 1:26 18d

152. Ornithology (DBck) 1:18 19d

153. The Man I Love (DBck) - 2 cuts - 1:48 18a

154. Stuffy (DBd, NoHM) 1:15 43j

155. Ornithology (DBck) 1:57 18c

MARCH 11, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on iím in the mood for love & the very thought of you.

Note: Tuesday, March 11,1947 begins a new week for Howard McGheeís combo featuring Bird at the Hi-De-Ho. Dean Benedettiís disc cutter would document three consecutive nights of music, 3/11-13/47. We should note some differences. There are fewer recorded performances. Was Dean becoming more selective? There seems to be less of Earl Colemanís and/or Danny Knightís presence. Does Dean Benedetti passing on recording the vocal numbers denote the arrival of Knight? Or is Dean changing, and not recording vocals? Or is Howard McGhee featuring the singing less? Is Bird coming late? Is Benedetti leaving early or also arriving late, perhaps with Bird? Is Benedetti out of money and already rationing discs? This theory is furthered by the recordings ending on Thursday, March 13, 1947. It is an unlikely closing date for McGheeís band, one would think they probably played through the weekend. But who knows? Maybe the gig truly ran March 1-13, 1947 or March 1&2, 6-9, 11-13, 1947. Maybe Friday night was opening night at the Hi-De-Ho and Maggieís unit opened there Friday, February 28, 1947 for a two-week run to close on Thursday, March 13, 1947. If so, then itís plausible that Benedetti heard of this opening too late to record the opening evening - or maybe he cleared the idea of recording this band with the musicians and/or the management on the Friday and came back with his equipment the next evening, Saturday, March 1, 1947. My speculations, right or wrong, do not account for the lack of any discs specifically dated March 4, 1947 or March 5, 1947 (presumably Mondays March 3, 1947 & March 10, 1947 were off nights). The theory of Benedettiís rationing discs, or running out before the gigs ended does not account for missing discs. We know that one of the March 9, 1947 discs left his possession (see Item 148). Items 82-86 were dubbed from disc(s) no longer in the Benedetti holdings. We also know that a missing disc for March 7, 1947 and one for March 12 & 13, 1947 are in the possession of a relative (see Item 109). I believe there are more discs missing; furthermore, I donít see Dean Benedetti panicking on Tuesday about running out of blank discs on Wednesday or Thursday, but I could be wrong. Another theory for the cessation of recording could be the management of the Hi-De-Ho. They may have told the veritable deadbeats - Benedetti, Knepper, & probably Russ Freeman - that space would not be available to them on the weekend nights (March 14, 1947 was a Friday, March 15, 1947, a Saturday). You can create many plausible scenarios. I have discussed them all with Jimmy Knepper but he does not remember specifics and can only offer his blessing to my logic as I try to sequence events against the evidence. Russ Freeman remembers no details at all.

156. Sí Wonderful (or a related tune in Eb) (DBck, DBd) 1:27 20a

157. probably Disorder At The Border (DBck) 1:00 20b

158. September In The Rain 0:51 38a

159. Nowís The Time (DBck) 1:02 20d

160. Iím In The Mood For Love (NoHM) 0:50 37a

Note: Although this item has no check mark next to it, Benedetti did write on the sleeve - now mated to the proper disc - "Done Mood". I believe this indicates that Benedetti had transcribed the solo or perhaps dubbed it or both.

161. Rifftide (aka Hackensack) (DBd) - 2 cuts - 1:25 20e

162. Dee Deeís Dance 1:03 43k

163. Orinthology (DBck) 1:43 29

164. Cheers - 2 or 3 cuts - 1:06 43l

Note: There are three extant but extremely short recordings on this disc that are otherwise undocumented. Following dee deeís dance is a bit of Hampton Hawesí piano. I have tried to match this snippet to any of the other performances from March 11,1947 without success but my guess would be that it comes from the very thought of you (Item 168). This may indicate that another tune was performed. The other two short snatches follow cheers. The first contains a bit of Howard McGhee. I believe it is part of this cheers but it could be from the following perdido or even from a third otherwise undocumented performance. The surviving 3rd snippet has a bit of audible Bird and will therefore be issued. I believe, however, that it comes from later in the night when Dean Benedetti was backtracking on his discs and looking for space. It is the coda of a ballad, possibly stardust, Item 169. Also Note: As the Hi-De-Ho recordings draw to a close, Dean Benedetti lists cheers as "Howardís Tune". Up until this point, Dean had used a hastily sketched lick with a triplet - a notation of the beginning of cheers - to denote the recording of cheers.

165. Perdido (DBd, NoHM) - 1 or 2 cuts - 1:27 20c

166. Byas A Drink - 2 cuts - 1:56 43m

167. Big Noise (aka Wee) 1:06 39b

Note: Voices are heard during this recording. One of them says "Mop, Mop" early on in Birdís solo. It is likely to be Dean Benedettiís voice and his saying "Mop, Mop" is a habit that will carry over into the 1948 52nd Street recordings.

168. The Very Thought Of You (NoHM) 0:46 43n

169. possibly Stardust 0:06 46v

170. Bean Soup (DBd) 1:27 27

MARCH 12, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on iím in the mood for love, prisoner of love & stardust.

Note: On these March 12, 1947 recordings either Bird is moving around a lot (see Jimmy Knepperís quote in the Dean Benedetti biography) or Dean is changing his microphone position. Birdís sound, according to his perceived distance from the mic, had a bit to do with my sequencing of the surviving recordings from this date.

171. Blues in Bb (DBck) 1:04 22d

172. ending of unidentified tune 0:05 46p

Note: This might be in the key of F. See tune chart in Jim Patrickís portion of the booklet for possible candidates.

173. Sweet And Lovely 1:01 21b

174. Perdido - 2 cuts - 1:46 22a

175. Cheers 0:15 43o

176. Sportsmanís Hop - 2 cuts - 1:09 45a

Note: Lead-in lick to Birdís solo does not track well and remains unissued.

177. Big Noise (aka Wee) 0:20 39c

178. Stuffy (DBd) 0:56 21c

179. Hot House (DBck) 0:45 21d

180. Ornithology (DBck) - 2 cuts - 0:50 22c

181. Dee Deeís Dance - 2 cuts - 1:26 45b

182. The Man I Love (DBck) - 3 cuts - 2:10 21e

183. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 0:18 38d

Note: No Bird in first unissued piece.

184. Iím In The Mood For Love - 2 cuts - 0:56 37c

185. Grooviní High - 3 cuts - 2:10 22e

186. Cheers 0:53 45c

187. Byas A Drink - 3 cuts - 1:30 45d

188. probably Prisoner Of Love 0:06 46q

189. Stardust (NoHM) 0:53 22b

190. Nowís The Time (DBck, NoHM) 0:39 45e

191. Hot House - 2 cuts

Note: Bird heard only for a note or two on melody in 1st cut. The disc has substandard sound and this item remains unissued.

192. coda of an unindentified tune 0:03 46w-2

Note: This snippet seems to be in Db and could be stardust.

193. coda of unknown ballad

Note: Very little music was recorded and even less of Bird. The groove with his 3 or 4 notes is broken and this item remains unissued.

194. Big Noise (aka Wee) 1:14 21a

195. Moose The Mooch

Note: This item comes from the second Hi-De-Ho disc held by another Benedetti relative who would not make it available to Mosaic (see: note for March 11, 1947 and notes with Items 109 & 112). This Soundcraft acetate is labelled March 12, 1947 on one side, and March 13, 1947 on the other. I believe it was the last one started on Wednesday, March 12, 1947 and then was used for short cuts in the later part of March 13, 1947. In fact, a bridge for byas a drink (Item 212) from 3/13/47 is the last thing listed on the March 12th side. This follows a pattern of Benedettiís of backtracking, sometimes to a previous eveningís disc, to record scraps of numbers or ballad codas towards the end of a night.

196. Past Due (aka Relaxiní At Camarillo)

Note: From the same unheard disc mentioned in note with Item 195.

MARCH 13, 1947

Parker (as), Howard McGhee (tp), Hampton Hawes (p), Addison Farmer (b), Roy Porter (d), plus Danny Knight (vo), on these foolish things; Earl Coleman (or possibly Danny Knight) (vo), on body and soul.

197. Grooviní High (NoHM) 0:43 45i

198. September In The Rain - 2 cuts - 1:11 24e

199. Big Noise (aka Wee) - 3 cuts - 1:22 23b

200. Rifftide (aka Hackensack) (DBd) - 2 cuts - 0:43 24d

Note: The first cut will remain unissued. That cut is in poor sound, Bird is heard only briefly playing the melody.

201. Perdido - 2 cuts - 1:07 24a

Note: The second, unheard cut is a bridge from either the opening or final chorus. It is listed on the March 12 & 13, 1947 disc that Dean recorded Hi-De-Ho Soundcraft acetate in the possession of Deanís relative (see notes with Items 109 & 195). That disc lists "Perdido bridge"; I feel certain it is part of the solo we have in hand.

202. These Foolish Things 0:54 46y

Note: This is the only vocal item for which both Earl Coleman & Danny Knight are certain that the vocalist is Knight. I found this item in dubbed form on one of Benedettiís reels of paper-based tape. It is the only instance of this tune being performed at the Hi-De-Ho engagement. The unavailable Benedetti acetate for 3/12 & 13/47 (see notes with Items 109, 112, 195 & 201, note for March 11, 1947) contains a these foolish things listed next to its "Perdido bridge"; if heard, then I believe it will match the one I found dubbed on a reel of paper-based tape, there might be more on the original disc. I am led to believe that Danny Knight entered the picture towards the end of the Hi-De-Ho engagement.

203. Body And Soul - 2 cuts - 0:22 45j

204. probably Disorder At The Border (NoHM) 0:30 45k

205. Hot House (DBck) - 2 cuts with fades - 1:12 45f

Note: Ironically, on the final day of Deanís location recording of Bird at the Hi-De-Ho, Benedetti learns an important recording technique - fades. Up to this point, all of Dean Benedettiís disc cutting ended abruptly, almost as if going over a cliff. Dean meant well, but in his efforts to save space on his recording blanks he would grab the cutting head when Birdís solo ended and the recording would cease with the music disappearing at full volume, leaving an abrupt ending; again, as if going over a cliff. It really didnít save him any space on the blank portion of his acetate disc for Benedetti - or for that matter a mastering engineer - could never put the cutting head back down so precisely that cutting a new recording would begin precisely where the last one ended. Benedetti had probably listened to some of his Bird recordings by this time and realized how unsettling the abrupt endings were and that they probably added no recording time potential to a disc, so he tried to fade his volume up and down as he started and ended his recording. The results are far from professional but many may wish he had learned, then used this technique much sooner.

206. Moose The Mooch - with fade - 0:47 23d

207. Sportsmanís Hop 0:34 45g

208. Blues in Bb (NoHM) 0:39 45h

Note: Bird quotes my kinda love.

209. Ornithology (DBck, NoHM) 1:30 23c

210. Stuffy 0:48 24b

211. Night In Tunisia - 2 cuts - 1:20 24c

212. Byas A Drink - 2 cuts - 0:51 23a

Note: The second, unheard cut is a bridge. It is listed on one of the Benedetti recorded Hi-De-Ho Soundcraft acetates held by a relative of Benedetti (see notes with Items 109, 195 & 201). The solo which we have in hand is labelled part one, so presumably this bridge would be from the last chorus. NoHM on our piece.

213. Indiana - 2 cuts - 1:27 23e

Note: On the final night of Hi-De-Ho recordings we hear less than one would expect of trumpeter-leader Howard "Maggie" McGhee. One plausible explanation, which supports Thursday March 13, 1947 as closing night for the two-week engagement, is that "Maggie" is settling up with management - getting the bread - on the final day.

on 52nd street in 1948: paper-based reel-to-reel tape

Did Dean Benedetti purchase his Brush Sound Mirror reel-to-reel recorder with the intention of capturing more Charlie Parker? Or did he get it to make copies of his easily worn out 78 acetate discs? The latter. In the Spring and Summer of 1947, Dean Benedetti and Jimmy Knepper were busy notating the solos recorded in March at the Hi-De-Ho. Transferring Birdís licks to music paper is not easy - ask Jim Patrick and Phil Sims who did the work for this booklet. The process requires multiple listenings. Benedetti soon learned that playing a solo enough to transcribe it wore out the original disc. He knew he would have to make copies. At first he used a regular record player. Dean would play his original on it, hold his microphone by the speaker, and cut a copy on his disc cutter. But there were problems. The dubs sounded awful. Worse, Dean wore out the copies quickly and had to make others. With over two hundred solos from the Hi-De-Ho, this was going to be a very expensive process. The solution was a tape recorder, which allows multiple plays without damage. Just as important, after a solo was transcribed, another solo could be recorded over the previous copy. One reel of tape could take the place of hundreds of acetate discs. So Dean Benedetti bought the first home use reel-to-reel tape recorder that came out, the Brush Sound Mirror.

Switching to tape was not a panacea. Benedettiís tape recordings have their own technical problems. First, Deanís use of tape predates the kind that has plastic backing. The backing gives a foundation to the oxide particles which hold the message of any analogue tape recording, cassettes included. Deanís tapes were - get ready - paper based. If you are familar with paper leader in reel-to-reel recordings, now imagine all of the reel being paper. The oxide was adhered to the paper with a tar-like substance. Very, very, very fragile. And thatís when it was new. Tar, iron oxide, and paper do not age or dry out at the same rate. After 40 years, I found these reels to be in nearly hopeless condition. (Getting any play out of them was one of the more satisfying moments in my personal career as an audio engineer.) One thing I will say in favor of paper-based tape, however, there is no tape hiss.

There are a number of arguments over tape versus direct-to-disc recordings which I wonít go into here. By the time Dean Benedetti had another opportunity to record Charlie Parker, he had weighed the advantages of tape versus disc and decided that for his purposes the "copy machine" would better serve as his primary recording vehicle.

the three deuces

That next opportunity was at 52nd Streetís The Three Deuces. The Deuces was Birdís base of operations in New York City following his return from California. The Three Deuces housed Birdís Big Apple homecoming gig in addition to most, if not all, of the early work by Parkerís "golden era quintet". Following that initial work at The Three Deuces, Birdís quintet went on the road from December, 1947 into March, 1948. When the Parker unit returned to New York City, they went right back to The Three Deuces.

Contemporary advertisements plus Deanís tape box labelled "March 31, 1948" lead me to suggest a Tuesday, March 30, 1948 opening. The gig probably went at least two weeks, possibly closing on Sunday, April 11, 1948. New Yorker magazine listings are unclear, but could be interpreted as saying the job ended on Wednesday, April 14 or even Sunday, April 18, 1948.

Whatever the precise dates of this engagement, Dean Benedetti came to The Three Deuces on Wednesday, March 31, 1948. There he tried to replicate the arrangement he had enjoyed with the Hi-De-Ho management. When, after allowing Dean to tape two sets, the Deuces staff realized Benedetti wasnít going to spend any money, they extended the ultimate New York discourtesy: the bumís rush. So Dean found himself and his equipment out on the street on The Street.

This limiting of Benedettiís Three Deuces recordings is a tragedy. Parker is in supreme form and Deanís recording reaches its best audio.

the three deuces recordings

MARCH 31, 1948

Parker (as), Miles Davis (tp), Duke Jordan (p), Tommy Potter (b), Max Roach (d), plus Kenny "Pancho" Hagood (vo), on all the things you are.

Note: All eight selections preserved from Benedettiís location recording of Birdís quintet at The Three Deuces have been known to collectors & musicians since the late 1940s. These items, in fact, have been issued before on the English Spotlite label (the band that never was SPJ 141). They are in better sound here - of course, as Benedettiís tape is the source of all the other copies - and more music is heard, particularly on half nelson and all the things you are. There is one exception: the first 52nd street theme (#214). The performance was at the head of Deanís reel of fragile paper-based tape and as he rethreaded it to take-up reels over the years, pieces of the tape were torn off. Today there is a tiny bit less on the original than on the collectorís copies and Spotlite issue.

214. 52nd Street Theme - 2 parts - 3:44 49a

215. Big Foot - 2 parts - 4:24 49b

(aka Air Conditioning, Drifting On A Reed, & Giant Swing)

Note: big foot is Birdís title for this well known bebop blues and is the more commonly used name for the song. The other titles descend from Dial Recordsí activities following the studio recording of the song on 10/28/47: air conditioning for copyrighting, drifting on a reed from the original take sheets, and giant swing was a retitling attached to an alternate take. Some of the melody chorus and a small part before the fours is missing on the Spotlite issue.

216. Dizzy Atmosphere - 3 parts - 2:56 49c

Note: Bird quotes the Klose exercise. A small part before the fours is missing on the Spotlite issue.

217. My Old Flame 0:26 49d

218. 52nd Street Theme - 2 parts - 2:36 49e

Note: Bird is heard announcing the club, The Three Deuces, and the next attraction, Margie Hyamsí combo.

219. Half Nelson - 2 parts - 4:36 50a

Note: Piano solo and out chorus missing on Spotlite issue.

220. All The Things You Are 4:50 50b

Note: Jimmy Knepper agreed heartily when Angelo Ascagni warned me not to attribute the oral comments heard during these recordings to Dean Benedetti (see note with Item 39). But Jimmy added that he recalled Dean Benedettiís voice saying "both of them" in the midst of an all the things you are. This is that item. Dean told Jimmy the Ďboth of themí referred to Bird having played two key phrases from his pet licks in one all the things you are. Also Note: Much of the vocal chorus missing on Spotlite issue.

221. 52nd Street Theme 1:21 50c

Note: Bird is again heard announcing the club and alternating band.

the onyx

Charlie Parker next returned to 52nd Street for a one-week booking at The Onyx on The Streetís north side. My research allows a close to exact dating of the engagement. Birdís quintet played The Onyx the second week of July 1948. They probably opened on Tuesday, July 6, 1948, possibly as late as Wednesday the 7th, then played through Sunday, July 11, 1948.

Dean Benedetti had to find a way to avoid the humiliating fiasco of his visit to The Three Deuces. In one of his few known personal encounters with Charlie Parker, Dean approached Bird to help facilitate the recording. Deanís little clique had reassembled in the Big Apple. Dean and Jimmy were living at Harriet Bloomís, Russ Freeman was in Brooklyn, Roy Hall was in town, as was Joe Albany, and Angelo Ascagni had joined the group. Not even Charlie Parker could negotiate a large number of freebies from The Onyx management so a compromise was worked out. Benedetti was allowed to use the storage room underneath The Onyxí bandstand as his control room. This compromise made the recording possible but it unfortunately doomed the audio quality.

Dean and Jimmy worked in a horrible, hot, humid hole. The place where they actually set up was not strictly underneath the bandstand. They set up the Brush Sound Mirror in the only spot that would accomodate it, then ran the microphone cable through the crawl space underneath the stage. The cableís run just made it. At that place, Benedetti and Knepper drilled a hole in the bandstand for the sound to come down. That spot was closer to Max Roachís drums and Tommy Potterís bass than it was to center stage where Bird was playing alto. The balance is bad, and the boomy, bass-heavy recording is further marred because the stage itself vibrated against the mic.

Nevertheless, they were free to record the whole week. Jimmy Knepper thinks they recorded everything, and the recording of a rehearsal substantiates Jimmyís recollection, but not enough survives to account for five or six nights worth of recording. Guessing at whatís missing is difficult because Benedettiís tape boxes and their reels have been shuffled. And I donít think that this mixing up of tape reels is the only scrambling of the situation.

Whatever your opinion of the sound quality of the discs, they, themselves, were not reusuable (although a desperate Dean needing disc space as a Bird solo headed for overtime tried it a couple of times and Iím sure his tone arm went flying). When Benedetti switched to tape, he discovered he could record over his originals. I donít believe Dean Benedetti erased any of his original reel-to-reel location recordings; I do believe he consolidated them by dubbing. One reason he did this was because tape was expensive. Brush Sound Mirror tape sold for $3.50 a reel. Benedettiís total income for his 8 - 10 months in New York City could have been as little as $20. Dean was looking to save tape and he made the common error of most home tapists. That error comes in making a dub of convenience: consolidating two, even three original reels by dubbing onto a single reel, then recording over your originals. Youíve saved some tape but your originals had better sound.

Once we get into re-recording, we meet the problem of non-virgin tape. The ghost of what was once on the reel is often audible. Dean also created problems with his primitive editing. What we commonly call scotch tape - cellophane adhesive tape - does not make a clean splice. But sometimes Dean shocked me with his audio skills. Somewhere along the way he learned overdubbing: dig his voice saying "Goddamm C sharp" at the same time he is playing the broken note on his alto saxophone (Section 48).

The Onyx recordings were flawed in the first place. Benedettiís dubbing and losing the originals made poor audio sound worse. Even the first set of The Three Deuces material may be second generation attached to the original tape of the second set in one of Deanís dub downs. Paper-based tape with its absence of hiss promotes a dubbing mentality and Iím afraid Benedetti did too much of it.

the onyx recordings

JULY 6-11, 1948 probably early in that week, possibly opening night

Parker (as), Miles Davis (tp), Duke Jordan (p), Tommy Potter (b), Max Roach (d). Bird did not play on the first two unsequenced/x-numbered selections. (See note two)

Note one: Seventeen items, labelled as fifteen titles, from The Onyx recordings have been previously issued, mostly in edited form, on various microgroove issues under Charlie Parkerís name. They are Items 223, 224 edited with 241 & 277, 225-228, 230, 237-238, 240, 269, 272, 274-276. The first issues were produced by Charles Mingus using Jimmy Knepper-supplied copies of Dean Benedettiís tapes. Mingusí Debut offered thirteen of the fifteen titles on its Danish subsidiary, spread across 3 EPs (38, 39 & 40). Mingusí Jazz Workshop label issued a 12" Lp (JWS 501) containing all fifteen titles. After Charles Mingus sold his record company to Fantasy, the music gained wider circulation. Fantasy put it out as a single LP (6011), then as part of a double Lp set charlie parker on Prestige 24009. In 1984 Fantasy offered a fascimile reissue of Fantasy 6011 as part of its Original Jazz Classics line. The OJC catalogue number was OJC-114. These seventeen items are known under the album title bird on 52nd street on each issue except the Prestige double.

Note two: Dean Benedettiís paper based tape recordings of Birdís July, 1948 Onyx Club are labelled Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, & Onyx (without a day of the week). My presumption is that the tape boxes without a written out day of the week come from early in the engagement. I believe the following eleven items (all from one tape) are Benedettiís first Onyx recordings. I suspect that Dean Benedetti arrived early on opening night, that Bird was late and Benedetti recorded a set played by Birdís band (Miles, Max, Duke & TP). When Bird finally arrived, Benedetti recorded over the Miles plus rhythm material but a small portion of whatís new and the quartet version of 52nd street theme (which was at the end of the reel, explaining its intact survival) is still on the tape. Of course, Benedetti couldíve recorded Bird playing over the quartet performances on a different night; indeed, there are numerous plausible explanations for any sequencing of the Onyx recordings. (See text for further details.)

xx1. Whatís New

Note: Only a few notes survive. See note two above.

xx2. 52nd Street Theme 1:31 62a

222. 52nd Street Theme 1:10 51a

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