A very rare 78 from 1947 on the Esquire Record Label by the Charlie Parker Quintet - the classic bop combo with Charlie Parker (Alto Saxophone), Miles Davis (Trumpet), Max Roach (Drums), Tommy Potter (Bass) and Duke Jordan on Piano, supervised by Ross Russell.
Recorded on October 28 October 1947, at WOR Studios in New York City, USA. Released on Dial records (catalogue reference 1024) in 1947 in the USA and Esquire Records (catalogue reference 10-071) in the UK.
Side A (D1102-A) is Bongo Bop
Side B (D1106-B) is Embraceable You
The following comments are taken from reviewers on the "Rate your Music" web site (www.rateyourmusic.com)
It was Louis Armstrong who invented the trick of taking sentimental Broadway tunes and using them as raw material for improvisational jazz. His early 1930s period is full of gems that fit this description. Yet if the idea wasn't new, rarely had it been done better than Charlie Parker's version of the George Gershwin tune, "Embraceable You." Parker's beautiful, sensitive alto sax solo on this track is one of his best. The flurries of notes set him apart from the traditional jazz horn soloist and stake new ground.
Turn it over, play "Bongo Bop" and, as the name suggests, we are in different territory entirely. I take my hat off to the jazz fan who can comfortably embrace both sides of this record - they are very different. "Bongo Bop" stays with me for days after I hear it and never fades. Rhythm, boys, this kinda stuff needs rhythm!
Subsequent pressings were made for labels in other countries (BlueStar in France in 1949, Tell in Switzerland, Tono in Denmark, Copol in Sweden and Funit in Italy, all in 1951).
Esquire records was a British label, considered by many as being the most important in British Jazz, formed in 1947 by Carlo Krahmer and Peter Newbrook (this would have been one of their earliest releases). They were the first label to record modern jazz in England, and leased the rights to the Charlie Parker Dial recordings and most of the prestige catalogue in the UK. From our research, Esquire released 9 recordings on 78 with the aforementioned Quintet.
The 78 is in great playable condition, and both sides have been listened to after careful cleaning with detergent / water mix and carefully dried. The pressing is rated conservatively at VG to VG+, although side A does have a tiny nibble on the edge of the Shellac - this does not impact on the playing of the record. The sleeve(s) are in fair to good condition related to age although not the originals.
The label also has a sticker for Chappell & Co Ltd, with a 2d price for resale. This is interesting as according to our research (through various jazz web sites), the majority of Esquires sales were via mail order so it is unusual to see them being retailed through such a prestige outlet. Chappell & Co (later Chappell of Bond Street) were founded in 1811, and included Beethoven, Richard Strauss and Charles Dickens amongst their customers. They were primarily a piano retailer and music publishing house, surviving to the modern day and you can still visit their store in Bond Street, London. They were bought out in 1987 by Warner Brothers as Warner / Chappell are now considered the largest music publisher in the World.