jazz, free-jazz and improvised music

mark weber | a note considering charlie parker discography and my tony scott story

from > Jazzdisco.org

Charlie Parker Septet

Tony Scott (cl) Charlie Parker (as) Brew Moore (ts) Dick Hyman (p) Chuck Wayne or Mundell Lowe (g) Leonard Gaskin (b) Ed Shaughnessy (d)

NYC, May-July, 1950
Lover Come Back To Me / 52nd Street Theme S.C.A.M.

* Charlie Parker – Just Friends (S.C.A.M.)

from > Allan J. Sutherland sessionography

Charlie Parker Session 50-00-00:

Date: Spring/Summer 1950
Place: Cafe Society, New York City, NY.
Musicians: Charlie Parker Quintet, with Tony Scott, and Brew Moore: Charlie Parker alto sax, Kenny Dorham trumpet, Tony Scott clarinet, and Brew Moore tenor sax, Al Haig piano, Tommy Potter bass, Roy Haynes drums.
Recording: Private Recording
Alternate Issues:
Primary Source: Charlie Parker, Charlie Parker: Perfect Complete Collection, CD SSCD-8017-34, Vol. 5; CD Birdbox Vol. 5.

1. Moose the Mooche into 2. Fifty-Second Street Theme (I) (short) (10:33) 3. Lover Come Back to Me into 4. Fifty-Second Street Theme (II) (19:51)

Dear Fellow Charlie Parker Discographers,

I interviewed Dick Hyman at my house here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, on September 20, 2010. We recorded over two hours of conversation. And we spoke specifically about the Cafe Society 1950 “Lover Come Back to Me” which is the instrumentation of a septet — solos from clarinet, alto sax, guitar, tenor sax, drummer solo trading with Bird. This is when Cafe Society was still located in Greenwich Village.

Dick Hyman | Photo by Mark Weber | September 20, 2010 at 725, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mark Weber: Regarding citation 131 in the CHARLIE PARKER Bregman-Bukowski-Saks discography……

Dick Hyman: The circumstances were that we had just played a night at Cafe Society with Tony Scott’s Quartet, and we were there six nights a week, and I played that engagement with him a number of times over the years and then occasionally on the off night, on Sunday night, Bird came in late at night, at the closing set, which would have been around 3 o’clock, and he sat in with us. The other people in the band were: Irv Kluger, the drummer, and Irv Lang on bass. I’m pretty sure those were the people, though, the personnel changed now and then, those were the steady people for quite awhile.

Mark Weber: I wonder how they came up with these other names, like Mundell Lowe.

Dick Hyman: Well, and Mundell, yes, Mundell lived in the building and he probably came down and sat in. Yes, if he’s on the record then that would have been plausible, yes.

Mark Weber: What would be the plausibility of Chuck Wayne?

Dick Hyman: No, I don’t think so, not with Mundell there.

Mark Weber: Leonard Gaskin?

Dick Hymann: Well, Leonard was also a bass player that played in the group. I’m not ruling him out absolutely.

Mark Weber: And Shaughnessy?

Dick Hyman: I don’t remember Ed playing with Tony, but I could be wrong.

Mark Weber: And you say you might possibly have more material from this gig on a 7-inch reel?

Dick Hyman: I have such a reel and when I have my tape player fixed I’ll go through it and see if there’s anything besides “Lover Come Back To Me.”

Alas, I neglected to ask if the tenor saxophone was Brew Moore or could be Brew Moore so, I followed up in an email and Dick responded on 27dec10:

If there is a tenor (and I have not heard the recording for a long time) it could be. –Dick

In a letter from Dick Hyman, October 12, 2010 from his home in Florida:


……..As to the Charlie Parker / Tony Scott tape, I was mistaken. I do have a reel of Tony’s quartet, but it is not when Parker visited us. The only recording of that that I know of is the tune which was issued commercially. Best, Dick

Dick Hyman
| Photo: Mark Weber | September 19, 2010|  Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tony Scott (1921-2007)

was an all-around jazz musician and clarinetist. He doubled on baritone sax and flute, as well. His likeness is in the painting on the wall behind the bandstand at Minton’s to this day, Tony having been a regular participant of those renowned jam sessions in the 1940s. My generation became familiar with Tony Scott via his album MUSIC FOR ZEN MEDITATION (1964) but his recording career goes back to 1945 and is a phenomenal trove of wonderful music, much of which is finally being re-issued.

I met Tony Scott on July 3, 2003 in NYC. I am fortunate to have lodgings with my wife’s sisters who live at 113th & Broadway in an apartment complex known as Forest Chambers and is directly across the street from WKCR radio station. And every morning we listen to Phil Schaap’s Bird Flight radio show and on this Thursday Phil’s guest was Tony Scott who was in town for a week’s gig at the Iridium (51st & Broadway). After the show I said to Janet and her sisters: I’m going to go meetTony and went downstairs and waited outside WKCR. I wanted to ask him about Stefan Wolpe, the modernist composer, who he had studied with in the 1940s, and whose music if of great interest to me.

When he and his wife Cinzia emerged from WKCR I introduced myself and like jazzers everywhere we hit it off immediately like we’d known each other for years. We decided to go have an orange juice across the street, it was drizzling rain slightly, and crossing the meridian somehow I stumbled over a curb and almost tumbled into traffic — I don’t recall it was a close call with death, only that I could have flopped into a puddle — if it wasn’t for Tony’s quick reflexes, who grabbed me. These are the Methusulah years of Tony who’s hair and beard were long and white and flowing. Also, I noticed he didn’t have any front teeth. He was very strong and forthwith and almost aggressive in his inquisitiveness. Over our juices when he found out my wife is a podiatrist he said “When can I see her.” He had some issues with his feet. And I pointed up to the tenth floor of Forest Chambers and said: She’s right up there, you can see her right now if you want. And so we tramped over there, and I still cherish the look on Janet and her sisters faces when I came in with Methuselah, but over the years they’re used to my jazz friends.

We had a wonderful hour together talking about Italy and New York and Mintons and Stefan Wolpe and his gig at the Iridium the week before, and Janet looked his feet over, (in private: Tony was self-conscious about them). And so it goes. Incidently, they were picked up by cab by Maxine Gordon, Dexter’s widow, who was taking them to Minton’s to be filmed as part of a documentary.

The gig at the Iridium was June 17 – 22, 2003 and was dubbed “Legends of the Clarinet” and featured Tony Scott and Buddy Defranco all week plus each evening another clarinet guest — Don Byron, Kenny Davern, Marty Ehrlich, Ronny Odrich, and Perry Robinson — I sure hope these nights were recorded. Later, back in Albuquerque, Kenny Davern (1935-2006), who was co-host on my radio show for a few years, told me this funny story: While backstage at the Iridium before the show one night Kenny heard a clarinet in one of the green rooms and stepped in to say Hi. Kenny was a very sociable out-going person and regarded all clarinetists as members of a fraternity. It’s Don Byron warming up. After some introductory chatter, Don impatiently says, “Well, you can start the interview now.” Kenny says, “Excuse me?” Don getting cranky says, “Aren’t you from dOWNBEAT?” Kenny says, “No, I’m playing here this week, like I said, I’m Kenny Davern.”

I’m not sure if Don stayed for Kenny’s set but if he did he now knows who Kenny Davern is. Kenny was one of the greatest clarinetists who ever played jazz. I asked Kenny, “How did Tony Scott sound, he didn’t have any teeth?” Kenny said, “Played beautifully.” I said, “But without front teeth?” Kenny said, “Doesn’t matter. He was a good musician.”

NOTE also that Dick Hyman was in the audience June 21 and sat in on “The Man I Love,” of which, Tony said to Dick after they played the song: “The man I love?! Dick! After 55 years, I never knew!”Mark Weber | 11jan11

Tony Scott and Kenny Davern | Iridium Club NY – June 20, 2003 | Photo by (c) Cinzia Scott



  1. Bill Payne

    Fantastic stories and writing!!! I’d love to have heard Tony Scott and Charlie Parker…must have been outrageous!!!

  2. Gary Foster

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for the beautiful video file on your interview with Dick Hyman. I have somewhere a VHS of Bird and Dizzy on the Earl Wilson TV show with Dick playing the piano.

    Over the years, I have had a few very satisfying opportunities to work with Dick when he has been here. He scored a number of TV shows here about thirty years ago and a we did a concert at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago that Dick conducted and played on. His two books of American Songs – with his chord changes! – are among the best ever published.

    More soon. Regards,


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