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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.


More on Charlie Parker at JazzBiographies.com

“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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