BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS:  Collection follows ‘Bird’s’ journey through L.A.

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Throughout his brief, but influential, life, Charlie “Bird” Parker made an enormous impact on popular music and laid the foundation for modern jazz.

The jazz titan, inarguably one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and spent much of his adult life in New York. Nonetheless, the city of Los Angeles looms large in his musical life as he spent more time in L.A. than anywhere outside of Kansas City or New York.

From 1945 to 1954, Parker made half a dozen trips to the City of Angels where he recorded many of his greatest musical triumphs. In December 1945, Parker and Dizzy Gillespie changed music forever by bringing the sound of bebop from the East Coast to the West Coast for a fabled two-month residency at Billy Berg’s Supper Club in Hollywood, billed as “Bebop Invades the West.”

Parker’s prolific and historic first three trips to Los Angeles have been compiled as “Bird In LA,” a 28-track collection of mostly unreleased and incredibly rare recordings, available now digitally for streaming and download on a double CD, and as a handsome four-LP black vinyl box set via Verve/UMe. The box set comes complete with a booklet featuring rarely seen photographs, comprehensive track info, which details recording dates and personnel, and an illuminating, extensive essay by the album’s producer, John Burton.

Although Bird and Dizzy performed at Billy Berg’s for a two-month stretch, no recordings of the performances have ever surfaced until this release, despite being broadcast live on local radio.

The first half of “Bird In LA” also includes recordings from Parker’s and Gillespie’s performance for the Armed Forces Radio Service “Jubilee” show in December 1945; a compact arrangement of “Salt Peanuts” from NBC’s nationally broadcast variety show, “Drene Time,” sponsored by Proctor & Gamble to promote Drene shampoo; five songs recorded at The Finale Club in Little Tokyo with the Charlie Parker Quintet, featuring Miles Davis and Joe Albany; a blistering version of “Cherokee” recorded for the “Jubilee” show in March or April 1946 with accompaniment of the Nat “King” Cole Trio and Buddy Rich; and three previously unknown recordings of Bird at The Shrine with Jazz at the Philharmonic.

The second half of this riveting musical time capsule captures two performances from Jirayr Zorthian’s ranch in Altadena: the now infamous July 14, 1952 party where it’s alleged Parker, his bandmates and most of the audience stripped off their clothes at a rowdy, late-night gathering at the 27-acre hilltop property located in the foothills above Pasadena, and a second performance two weeks later with a 22-year-old Chet Baker on trumpet in one of his first recordings.

Stream/purchase “Bird In LA” now at charlieparker.lnk.to/BirdInLA.

SOUNDTRACKING: Best New Artist Grammy nominee Tobe Nwigwe and rap legend Nas have joined forces for a new single, “On My Soul,” featuring the revered vocals of Jacob Banks. The original song will be featured in the upcoming Paramount Pictures and Skydance film “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” via Mass Appeal and The Good Stewards.

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” live-action film soundtrack was just released with four new songs written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film’s cast, including Halle Bailey, Daveed Diggs and Melissa McCarthy, is featured on the album.

TASTY QUIP: “See, I think, no offense, but I would rather go to a Bruno Mars show than a Beyoncé or Taylor Swift. I’m a Beyoncé fan. I still believe Bruno Mars actually has more hit records.” – NICK CANNON on The Daily Cannon Podcast

CLIPPETTES: In Beyoncé news, the superstar has tapped Kendrick Lamar to join her on a new remix of her “Renaissance” track, “America Has a Problem,” and recruited Natalia Bryant (eldest daughter of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant) to join her world tour as an intern

Fantasia, with special guest Joe, performs May 26 at Microsoft Theater, as the Isley Brothers do their thing at the L.A. County Fair, and jazz singer Jane Monheit begins a two-night stand at Catalina Bar & Grill

The “I Love R&B Festival” with Fabolous, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Mya, Chingy, Bobby V, Marques Houston, Lil Flip, Nivea, 702, Blaque, and Ruff Endz is being held at Queen Mary Waterfront Events Park May 27. Also that evening Grupo Firme is set for SoFi Stadium … 

Eddie Murphy is negotiating to take on the iconic role of Inspector Clouseau in a live-action/CGI reboot of “The Pink Panther,” to be co-produced by Julie Andrews, whose late husband Blake Edwards spearheaded the originals … 

The Ted Lasso Season Finale Celebration, complete with a screening and exclusive conversation with cast members and creatives, is presented May 30 by the Paley Center for Media at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater ahead of the episode’s global debut the following night on Apple TV+

“Uncut Gems” directors Josh and Benny Safdie are reportedly next working on a 90s-set film on high-end sports card collecting to reunite them with Adam Sandler. Steve Harvey, Megan Thee Stallion and Ben Affleck are said to round out the cast

The Grammy Museum hosts “A New York Evening” with singer Bettye LaVette and drummer/producer Steve Jordan May 31. Also that night James Taylor & His All-Star Band play the Santa Barbara Bowl and Cimafunk is at The Roxy … 

Also on May 31, Dodger baseball fans will be in for a treat with Norm Lewis (star of “A Soldier’s Play” at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre through June 25) singing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium, as the home team takes on the Washington Nationals

Letitia Wright (“Wakanda Forever”) has signed on to play Ramla Ali, the first Somali British pro boxing champ in a biopic to be called “In the Shadows”

June 1 finds The Un-Private Collection: Bill T. Jones and Brad Gooch in conversation related to The Broad’s special exhibition “Keith Haring: Art is for Everybody” at Theatre at Ace Hotel … 

Additionally on that date, Rodrigo Y Gabriela are at YouTube Theater, Ozomatli plays Toyota Arena, Bebe Rexha sings at Anaheim’s House of Blues, bassist John B. Williams leads a Tribute To Ray Brown at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and Madison McFerrin (yes, Bobby’s daughter) croons at Zubalon Café.

TC ON TV: May 26 – “The Lazarus Project” (TNT): A midnight sneak peek at the upcoming action thriller starring hot actor Paapa Essiedu as a recruit to a secret organization that has harnessed the ability to turn back time whenever the world is at the threat of extinction. “The American Barbecue Showdown” (Netflix): BBQ master Kevin Bludso returns to the judging table for a second season of this series hosted by Michelle Buteau. “Kendra Sells Hollywood” (Max): Kendra Wilkinson continues her career in real estate to entertaining results. “Jennifer Hudson” (Syn): Issa Rae, Bill Bellamy “Soul of a Nation” (ABC): “The New Face of Hollywood” “Run The World” (Starz): More complications among a group of Harlemites in the series returning with its wonderful cast of Amber Stevens West, Erika Alexander, Tonya Pinkins, Stephen Bishop and Bresha Webb.

May 28 – “Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins” (OXY): The reality TV judge (and new parent with hubby/singer Kenny Lattimore is back with more fact-based cases. “National Memorial Day Concert” (PBS): Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise return to host with this year’s performers to include S. Epatha Merkerson, John Slattery, Dulé Hill, Yolanda Adams, The War And Treaty, and more.

May 30 – “Jelly Roll: Save Me” (Hulu): This documentary tells the story of the meteoric rise of the 38-year-old Nashville rapper-turned-country rocker and his struggles with mental health and addiction. “America’s Got Talent” (NBC): The network’s number one summer show returns with host Terry Crews. “Doubling Down with The Derricos” (TLC): The ongoing challenges of Karen and Deon Derrico, parents to four sets of multiples — 14 kids, including a set of quintuplets — conceived naturally!

May 31 – “Made From Scratch” (Fuse): Big Freedia whips up a home-cooked meal with family and friends. “Sistas” (BET): Tyler Perry’s series returns for a sixth season. “Dave” (FXX): The comic rap series ends its season tonight, but June 1, fans can party live with Little Dicky hype man GaTa at The Venice West.

June 1 – “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): Daymond John, Pleasure P, Baby Tate. “Celebrity Prank Wars” (E!): Robin Thicke vs. T-Pain 

END QUOTE: “We’re working towards this being over, we’re working towards getting better pay, better living arrangements. People need to live, people need sustenance, they need to be able to pay their rent, to pay for food. If we keep staying strong, then we’re actually going to be able to make this end sooner and get the things that we’re fighting for. I think that’s a very important part of this.” – QUINTA BRUNSON (of “Abbott Elementary”) on the Hollywood writer’s strike 

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly 1 million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

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