great read!! Thanks again for the wonderful detective work James
The history of the 1953 Carlton Theatre (LA) concert (first live performance of the Chet Baker Quartet) is fascinating as the currently recorded date is erroneous (should be August 17, not August 12) plus there were other bands/musicians present & all of it recorded (cept for a portion of the first song of the concert). Bob Sunenblick purchased the tapes (not the Chet Baker Quartet, this was bought by Blue Note & released). So Uptown has the remainder of the music from this historic concert - wonder if it will ever get a release - actually, will anything more be released now that Bob has passed.
Cecil set-up his tape deck backstage at the Carlton Theater on August 17, 1953. The Carlton Theatre at 5409 S. Western Avenue was a 1,200-seat Fox West Coast Theatres movie house. It was opened in May 1924 and closed in the late-1950’s. It had been demolished by 1972. When Mark Anthony rented the theater to present his “Program of Modern Jazz” it had long ceased to present motion pictures and had been advertised for sale in the classified section of newspapers.
The concert got underway before Cecil had completed his set-up and microphones. The first number performed, Shorty Rogers’ “Popo” featured Teddy Charles, Jimmy Giuffre, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker, Howard Roberts, Russ Freeman, Curtis Counce, and Shelly Manne. Cecil’s recording missed the opening of “Popo.” Teddy Charles Quartet with Howard Roberts, Curtis Counce, and Shelly Manne performed the next portion of the concert – “So Long Broadway,” “Out of Nowhere,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Curtis Counce,” “Violetta,” and “Cherokee.”
The Chet Baker Quartet with Russ Freeman, Carson Smith, and Larry Bunker performed – “All the Things You Are,” “Isn’t It Romantic?” “Maid in Mexico,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “This Time the Dream’s On Me.” This portion of the concert was sold to Blue Note Records and released as the first volume of the Chet Baker Live series.
Shorty Rogers with Jimmy Giuffre, Russ Freeman, Curtis Counce, and Shelly Manne performed – “La Soncailli,” “Apropos,” “I Only Have Eyes For You,” “Beau Boy,” and “Luau.” Bob Sunenblick of Uptown Records purchased the Teddy Charles and Shorty Rogers tape of the concert.
The notes scribbled on the back of the Scotch tape carton were illegible and mistakenly interpreted as August 12, 1953, the date used on the CD release and subsequently in Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography. The Carlton Theater concert was not advertised in newspapers and I only become aware of the actual date when Mark Anthony Traversino contacted me twenty years ago. I had mentioned the concert online and received an email out of the blue from Mark. He had saved the handbill used to advertise the concert. During our email exchanges he shared his background growing up in Los Angeles. He said that he regretted not using his full name on the handbill.