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I have been trying to verify the first release of “Diggin' Diz" with Dizzy Gillespie (tp) Charlie Parker (as) Lucky Thompson (ts) George Handy (p) Arvin Garrison (g) Ray Brown (b) Stan Levey (d) that has an uneven history in jazz discographies. Most claim that is was released on Dial 1004. All of the versions of Dial 1004 that I have listened to are “Diggin' For Diz” that was recorded on the second Dial date, February 7, 1946, with different personnel. The same discographies note that it was also released on Dial LP 207 and Spotlight SPJ-101. 


I wondered if any forum members own any of the above releases and could verify if “Diggin' Diz” is on a version of Dial 1004, Dial LP 207, or Spotlight SPJ-101? Geoff Wheeler conducted extensive research on Dial. He states on page 120 of his magnum opus on Dial that the date of the first recording session was February 4, 1946, as verified in the Ross Russell Collection.


Edited by JamesAHarrod
Correct typo, increase font size.
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In my discography, Diggin' Diz with Bird is D1000.  It is the first recording ever made on Dial.    Diggin For Diz is Dial 1002.  Dial 1004 is When I Grow Too Old to Dream" recorded at the same session as Diggin' For Diz.  

Edited by John L
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There appear to be four variants of the 78 1004 - I don't have any of these 78s but I'm not sure if this list is of any help to you James

Do they all really exist?

Maybe there are versions with the later label but actually play the first version with Charlie Parker - if you look at the second link for Dial 1004 - again, 4 variants, this appears to be alluded to

from:   https://www.78discography.com/Dial.htm

also see: http://birdparkerslegacy.com/dialSPlist/dial.html

But, I do have the Spotlite LP 101 (Charlie Parker On Dial, Vol. 1) - part of the 6LP box set (CP on Dial)

First track on side 1 is Digging Diz (1000 - with matrix number in brackets after the title) on the label while the LP cover lists it as Diggin' Diz D1000

I've listened and it's definitely the first version with Charlie (you can't miss him) plus Arvin Garrison soloing on guitar & NO Milt Jackson.

BTW, I thought the second session was February 6?

Dial 1004 variants A.jpg

Edited by romualdo
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From Peter Losin's Charlie Parker discography:


February 5, 1946 (1 item; TT = 2:51)
Electro Broadcasting Studio, Glendale CA
Commercial for Dial


Charlie Parker (as); J.B. "Dizzy" Gillespie (tpt); Eli "Lucky" Thompson (ts); George Handy (p); Arvin Garrison (g); Ray Brown (b); Stan Levey (d)
1 Diggin' Diz (G. Handy) 2:51
  Listed as "Bongo Beep" on Dial LP 207

1 Diggin' Diz
78 rpm: Dial 1004
10" LP: Dial LP 207
12" LP: Spotlite SPJ 101
CD: Toshiba/EMI CJ25 5043/6, Toshiba TOCJ 6201/4, Toshiba/Spotlite TOCJ 0001/10, Mosaic MD9-260, Definitive DRCD 11152, Classics 935, ESP-Disk 4050, Frémeaux & Associés FA 1332

This is the only commercial recording of the Billy Berg band with Parker, who failed to show up for the Dial session on February 7 -- at this session Gillespie re-made "Diggin' Diz" and added "Dizzy Atmosphere," "Confirmation," "'Round Midnight," and "When I Grow Too Old To." This session was originally supposed to include Lester Young and Milt Jackson, who never showed up; Thompson and Garrison were recruited at the last minute to take their places.

Later in February Parker signed a one-year exclusive contract with Dial.


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I used to own the six volumes of Spotlite's Charlie Parker On Dial.  Volume 1 had Diggin' Diz, which it says was recorded on February 5, 1946 (Discogs has an image of the back cover).  The liner notes state:

"The Charlie Parker/Dial association started in January 1946 while Dizzy Gillespie and Bird were playing an engagement at Billy Berg's club with the sextet they had brought over to the coast comprising Bird, Dizzy, Milt Jackson, Al Haig, Ray Brown and Stan Levey.  The group never recorded as such and only two broadcasts are known to exist, namely DIZZY ATMOSPHERE (issued on Klacto MO 102) and SALT PEANUTS.  The first recording session for the newly launched Dial label was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 22, 1946 at Electro Broadcast Studios with the impressive line-up of Parker, Gillespie, Lester Young, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Stan Levey and George Handy.  Handy, arranger for the Boyd Raeburn orchestra, was contractor and leader as well as the pianist.  The Monday before the session, George Handy visited the Tempo Music Shop, which served as headquarters for Dial, and suggested to Ross Russell a week's postponement, Lester Young had gone to San Diego for a gig.  The choice of Tuesday was the key to the situation because that was the night off at Berg's where five of the musicians were engaged.  The following Tuesday found itself in conflict with a Norman Granz concert on which Parker was to appear and so it was agreed to re-schedule Dial session number one for the week following.  So it was that on Tuesday, February 5, following the final night for the Gillespie outfit at Berg's, that Handy assembled all the musicians as he had contracted to do except for Prez, who was again missing and was replaced by Lucky Thompson and Milt Jackson, also missing, was replaced by guitarist Arvin Garrison.

"Towing a task force of hipsters, hip chicks and hangers-on behind them this group drove to Glendale in a caravan of autos and took over the studio like an invading army.  The crowd inundated the grounds, buildings and the recording studio itself and possibly for the first time the smoking of pot and the practice of free love in public places was introduced to the city of Glendale.  Amongst the chaos that prevailed DIGGIN' DIZ, an original by Handy based on the chords of LOVER was all that was recorded.  The rehearsal over the musicians were instructed to be on hand promptly at 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 for the real thing.  Things did not turn out as expected.  Handy had stayed up the entire night with Bird, who had given him the slip.  Prez again could not be found, and due to lack of sleep and nervous exhaustion Handy announced that he had decided to abandon the whole project.  Consequently the session for which the rehearsal had been held never took place and Dizzy took the Berg group, with Lucky Thompson substituting for Bird along to the studios instead."

It's also worth noting the Producer's Note included in the booklet for Mosaic's The Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions:

"Ross Russell had an infuriating habit of using the same 78 issue number for different selections, which is why a given number may have more than two tunes as first issue. He also changed tune titles when issuing selections originally issued on 78 on 10” LPs."


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I think it was more or less "in tune" with what he played and scored elsewhere (Boyd Raeburn).
Modern - yes. Bebop? Well ....?
But then I suppose that even at that time you couldn't have Dodo Marmarosa, Al Haig or George Walington all the time ... ;)

(But OTOH isn't it so that in other - more recent - areas of jazz a mix (or even clash) of styles, even from outside jazz - incongruous as they may be at first) is often hailed as the finest thing and a sign of openmindedness to be embraced? ;))

Edited by Big Beat Steve
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47 minutes ago, JamesAHarrod said:

Handy's piano on “Diggin' Diz” is played with the right hand only. Fans of Handy might want to consider the recent Joe Castro set for their collection. It also includes Handy's wife Flo.

Yes, upon listening to that track again my first thought was "If Prez had been on the date George Handy would have been another one whom he'd have asked "Where's your left people?" :D

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14 hours ago, Quasimado said:

This interview (linked below) with Stan Levey by Alun Morgan mentions the first session. Morgan mentions a "mysterious acetate" ...


A side note on Alun Morgan - I purchased a few jazz CDs locally here in Brisbane (online in December 2017) with Alun's name/stamp on them - further enquiries led to me finding out that he was living in aged care here in Brisbane & his music collection was up for sale. He sadly passed in November 2018. Had to be the same person - wikipedia states he emigrated to Australia in 1991.

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Yes, he emigrated to Australia some years back and sadly passed on over there. I always think of him, Max Harrison and Charles Fox as being the major jazz ‘gurus’ over here back in the day. I have a few review copy LPs initialled on the back by him for the ‘Gramophone’ magazine in the early 1960s.

Edited by sidewinder
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