royal roost

Charlie Parker and his band

From a comment:

If that is Max Roach on drums, then that is around the time Bird was a constant performer at the Royal Roost. I don’t see Miles Davis in the group, so I would assume this is after the Christmas of 1948. If that is Kenny Dorham on Trumpet, which it looks like, then this is probably after 1948.

Miles Davis left the group, because he said he didn’t ‘like the way Duke Jordan,’ looked at him. Miles told Charlie Parker, “I don’t like the way he looks at me. We should kick him out the band.”..Bird told Miles, “Miles, the day you get your own band you can kick out whoever, until then, he stays.” Kenny Dorham became the immediate replacement of Miles Davis, after Miles pulled a no show Christmas Eve 1948 and started his own thing.

HERStory Matters: Singer Graciela, known as the First Lady of Latin Jazz, was born on August 23, 1915.

Graciela Pérez Gutiérrez was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in the Afro-Cuban Jesús María neighborhood. A pioneer in music, as a black Cuban woman in a so-called man’s world, she opened doors for all those who followed her. She performed around the world, recording and sharing the stage with her adoptive older brother, Frank “Machito” Grillo, who encouraged her to sing. They played alongside Mario Bauzá (originator of the genre of Afro-Cuban Jazz) in the world-renowned orchestra Machito and the Afro-Cubans. Graciela was primarily known for her tremendous voice, risque and sassy stage presence and sexy double entendre lyrics. She could sing a jazzy guaracha as easily as handling the most romantic boleros. Though her last names were Pérez Gutiérrez, she was only known by her first name, “Graciela,” long before doing so became widely fashionable among musicians.

She was summoned to New York City in 1943 by Mario Bauzá when Machito was drafted into the army. She joined the orchestra as lead singer until Machito returned in 1944 and from then on the three shared the stage together until their untimely split in 1975. For thirty-two years they were on top of the charts and were the orchestra not only to beat but to emulate. Not only did they travel the United States and the rest of the world, but they were leaders and reigned supreme during the heyday of the Palladium Ballroom (where blacks, Jews, Italians and Hispanics, and celebrities would converge to dance), from 1946 until its closing in 1966.

Besides the Palladium, they would perform at the Royal Roost, Birdland, the Park Palace, the Corso and the Apollo Theater on a yearly week-long gig—and many other clubs and theaters in New York. Graciela and the orchestra also performed on a yearly basis in Hollywood—specifically at the Crescendo nightclub. Graciela and the band were also a favorite of the famous deejay Symphony Sid Torin who had them on his weekly program several times a year, which was broadcast coast to coast in the 1940s and ‘50s. They were also the summer headliners in the Concord Resort Hotel, in the Catskills Mountains, for more than twenty years.

Graciela’s best-known recordings include “Esta es Graciela,” “Íntimo y Sentimental” and “Esa Soy Yo, Yo Soy Así.”

Graciela Pérez Gutiérrez died at the age of 94 on April 7, 2010.

Source: Wikipedia


Charlie Parker - White Christmas (Live jazz, 1948)

Charlie Parker (alto sax), live broadcast recording, 25th December 1948 from The Royal Roost, New York City, with Kenny Dorham, trumpet, Al Haig, piano, Tommy Porter, bass, Max Roach, Drums.

Charlie Parker: Bird at the Legendary Royal Roost

The Royal Roost is the stuff of legends. The club, located on Broadway at 47th Street, was home to the giants of modern jazz. Miles Davis’s “Birth Of The Cool” band played its only gigs there. Charlie Parker was a frequent attraction, and thanks to many radio broadcasts, a wealth of his live music there has been made available through Savoy Records among other labels. This blog features 12 excellent examples from February and March 1949.

-Michael Cuscuna
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Herman Leonard     Dexter Gordon at the Royal Roost, New York City 1948

“I hope we left you with something to put under your pillow.”  Dexter Gordon