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Scrapple from the Apple (1947)

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“Bird updated the changes from ‘Honeysuckle Rose.’ We call the original chords the ‘Sears & Roebuck’ changes.”

- Robert Moore, Musician

Rank 271
Written by Charlie Parker

Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker was in California recording for Dial records in 1946-47, but following a breakdown which required hospitalization at Camarillo State Hospital, he returned to New York to continue recording for Dial. However, at the time, he was also under contract to Savoy with whom he’d signed in 1944, so the recording of “Scrapple from the Apple,” made on November 4, 1947, for Dial Records, appears on both labels. It features a young Miles Davis on trumpet, an equally young Max Roach on drums, Duke Jordan on piano, and Tommy Potter on bass. A second pressing is said to be from a live performance that same year at the Savoy ballroom in Harlem. The original recording is available on several Parker compilations including the Complete Dial Sessions.


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“Scrapple from the Apple” is a melody in F major in which the A section is based on the chord progression of Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose,” while the B section is constructed on the progression of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.”

When the Duke Ellington Orchestra performed “Honeysuckle Rose” in 1955, the band inserted “Scrapple from the Apple” behind Jimmy Hamilton’s clarinet solo. Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon made a famous recording of “Scrapple from the Apple” with an all-star group in Europe, released on Our Man in Paris (1963). The song has been performed through the years by many prominent jazz musicians such as pianist Bill Evans, saxophonists Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, and Stan Getz, guitarist Jim Hall, organist Jimmy Smith, and trumpeter Blue Mitchell.

On his 2000 release Serve You, Ma’am? trumpeter/harmonica player/vocalist Robert Moore scatted through “Scrapple from the Apple” with fellow vocalist Nancy King before swinging into Andy Razaf’s lyric for “Honeysuckle Rose.” “Bird updated the changes from ‘Honeysuckle Rose,’” Moore told jazzstandards. “We call the original chords the ‘Sears & Roebuck’ changes.”

Since 2000 it has been recorded by pianist Keith Jarrett’s trio, harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens, guitarist John Pizzarelli with clarinetist Buddy Defranco, and by bassoonist Daniel Smith in his 2007 release.

- Sandra Burlingame

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Jazz History Notes
By the Same Writers...

Jazz History Notes

Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker’s composition is considered one of the “anthems” of bop. A Savoy CD set contains four different live versions from early 1949--a golden opportunity to study Bird’s creativity.

Wardell Gray, an incomparable tenor saxophonist who performed with Parker on several occasions, was part of an excellent jam group recorded live in 1950. Along with Gray is his cohort from Count Basie’s band, trumpeter Clark Terry, and the Parker-inspired alto saxophonist Sonny Criss. The group jells magnificently and turns in an exceptional performance.

A 1951 live recording from the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California, captures West Coast jazzers Shorty Rogers (trumpet) and Art Pepper (alto sax) in an informal setting, atypical compared to their commercially recorded efforts. Although the recording balance leans a bit toward the drums (not a bad thing necessarily considering Shelly Manne is the drummer), the music is obviously inspired.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian

Charlie Parker
Complete Savoy Live Performances: Sept. 29, 1947-Oct. 25, 1950
Savoy Jazz 17021

Wardell Gray
Wardell Gray Memorial Album, Vol. 2
Original Jazz Classics 51

Shorty Rogers/Art Pepper
Complete Lighthouse Sessions
Jazz Factory 22836

Written by the Same Composer(s)...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team.

Charlie Parker

Year Rank Title
1945 112 Billie's Bounce
1946 168 Yardbird Suite
1953 218 Confirmation
1947 271 Scrapple from the Apple
1945 354 Now's the Time
1948 488 Parker's Mood
1951 523 Au Privave
1951 587 My Little Suede Shoes
1948 627 Barbados
1946 699 Moose the Mooche
1948 733 Big Foot
1947 748 Relaxin' At Camarillo
1947 799 Chasin' the Bird
1953 810 Bloomdido
1947 859 Dexterity
1947 895 Cheryl
1945 978 Red Cross

Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker

Year Rank Title
1946 483 Anthropology
1945 601 Shaw Nuff

Bennie Harris and Charlie Parker

Year Rank Title
1946 462 Ornithology

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