Saturday, February 11, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Charlie Parker

Artist:Charlie Parker f/Earl Coleman
Song:Dark Shadows
Album:Now's The Time

I don't know how frequently jazz legend Charlie Parker worked with singers. Not very often from what I could find. This recording was one of two songs featuring singer Earl Coleman from the 1947 Dial records sessions. Coleman was born Aug. 12, 1925 in Port Huron, MI. Coleman moved to Indianapolis in 1939 and sang with bands led by Ernie Fields and Bardu Ali. In 1943 he joined Jay McShann's band and he also sang with Earl Hines, Billy Eckstine and King Kolax. Then he moved to Los Angeles with McShann and that is when Coleman recorded with Parker, Fats Navarro and Max Roach. Dark Shadows was one of two songs Coleman sang with Parker's quartet on Feb. 19, 1947 in Los Angeles for Dial. The song was written by bassist John "Shifty" Henry who was a sideman. All three guys might have known each other from the Eckstine band but I'm not sure. Other musicians were Erroll Garner on piano, George "Red" Callender on bass and Harold "Doc" West on drums. You can get this recording on this 10CD budget box set from the German label Membran. These recordings are essential for jazz fans. Though Earl Coleman recorded occasionally as a leader, he usually was a supporting player with musicians like Gene Ammons, Art Farmer, Sonny Rollins and Gerald Wilson. In 1956, he recorded Earl Coleman Returns for Prestige with Art Farmer, Gigi Gryce, Hank Jones and Oscar Pettiford. It looks like he moved to Paris in the 60s with Don Byas. He recorded an album in 1967 as Earl Coleman and the Latin Love In. In 1968, he recorded the album Love Songs for Atlantic with Billy Taylor, Gene Bertoncini and Reggie Workman. Coleman recorded a couple of albums for Xanadu in the 80s. A handful of recordings over 30 years isn't enough for most jazz fans to remember Coleman. He died on July 12, 1995 at age 69. Here's a video for Dark Shadows by Charlie Parker featuring Earl Coleman.

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