April in Paris
April in Paris (m. Vernon Duke, w. E. Y. Harburg) was composed in 1932 for the Broadway musical, Walk A Little Faster where it was introduced by Evelyn Hoey. Freddy Martin had the first hit with the song in 1933. With regard to the numerous covers since, Wikipedia says:
[Count] Basie’s 1955 recording is the most famous, and that particular performance was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. On this recording, trumpeter Thad Jones played his famous “Pop Goes the Weasel” solo, and Basie directs the band to play the end “one more time,” then “one more once.”
From the Wikipedia profile:
Frederick Alfred (Freddy) Martin (December 9, 1906 – September 30, 1983) was an American bandleader and tenor saxophonist. Freddy Martin was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised largely in an orphanage and with various relatives, Martin started out playing drums, then switched to C-melody saxophone and later tenor saxophone, the latter the one he would be identified with. Early on, he had intended to become a journalist. He had hoped that he would earn enough money from his musical work to enter Ohio State, but instead, he wound up becoming an accomplished musician. Martin led his own band while he was in high school, then played in various local bands. After working on a ship’s band, Martin joined the Mason-Dixon band, then joined Arnold Johnson and Jack Albin. It was with Albin’s “Hotel Pennsylvania Music” that he made his first recordings, for Columbia’s Harmony, Velvet Tone, and Clarion 50 cent labels in 1930.
After a couple of years, his skill began attracting other musicians. One such musician was Guy Lombardo, who would remain friends with Martin throughout his life. After graduation from high school, Martin accepted a job at the H.N. White musical instrument company. When Lombardo was playing in Cleveland, Martin tried giving Lombardo some saxophones, which proved unsuccessful. Fortunately, Lombardo did get to hear Freddy’s band. One night, when Guy could not do a certain date, he suggested that Freddy’s band could fill in for him. The band did very well and that’s how Martin’s career really got started. But the band broke up and he did not form a permanent band until 1931 at the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn. [read more]
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra, vocal: Elmer Feldkamp — c. 1933
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra, vocal: Lois Elliman — recorded October 1933, according to the video provider
BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall — 1933?
Thelonius Monk – piano trio (Monk’s first trio recording says jazzstandards.com), 1947
Coleman Hawkins All Stars — recorded on 11 December 1947; issued on
Bud Powell Trio — recorded in NYC February 1950 — Bud Powell (p) Curly Russell (b) Max Roach (d)
Charlie Parker – This is an undated live version. A studio recording of the song was track 3 of the album Bird With Strings.
There is an album titled Bird with Strings: Live at the Apollo, Carnegie Hall & Birdland (1978) culled from live recordings of Parker performing with strings during the years 1950-52. But this song is not on that album. However a live recording of April in Paris from Carnegie Hall does appear as a bonus track (#16) on the compilation album Charlie Parker with Strings: the Master Takes, released in 1995. This might be that track, as Wikipedia has the duration as only five seconds longer than this.
Sarah Vaughn – recorded in December 1954; issued on the album Sarah Vaughan, EmArcy MG-36004
Sarah Vaughan (vo)
Clifford Brown (tp)
Herbie Mann (fl)
Paul Quinichette (ts)
Jimmy Jones (p)
Joe Benjamin (b)
Roy Haynes (ds)
Erroll Garner Trio – from the album Concert by the Sea, recorded 19 September 1955 in Carmel, California in a converted church.
Eroll Garner: Piano
Eddie Calhoun: Bass
Denzil Best: Drums
Coleman Hawkins – from the album Hawk in Paris, released 1956
Count Basie and his Orchestra — 1955
It was Count Basie’s classic 1955 recording of “April in Paris,” arranged by organist “Wild” Bill Davis, that brought the song to the forefront for jazz musicians. It was the Basie Band’s biggest hit, climbing to number 28 on the charts. The swinging performance, which featured an abundance of sterling solos, was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and future performers have continued to reference the “one more time” tag ending.
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra with Wild Bill Davis, Berlin – 1969
The video provider attaches the following info:
Live in Berlin in 1969. Wild Bill Davis “is the man who fashioned the orchestration for the Count Basie recording of April in Paris”, says Duke Ellington. The organist plays the arrangement of the Count Basie recording in 1955. He was scheduled to record his arrangement of “April in Paris” with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1955, but was unable to make it to the recording sessions. Recorded without his participation, the tune went on to be a Top 30 pop hit.