I should know better than to contradict a guy who remasters old disk recordings, but ...
I was always told it was Reeves. But let's be specific. Looking in the booklet of the CD "Charlie
Parker with Strings -- The Master Takes," it seems there was a 1950 10" LP for Mercury, "Charlie
Parker with Strings" (although I question that it was a 10" LP since there were 14 songs totalling
about 18 minutes per side recorded in 2 sessions, so I'd argue this might be incorrect track info on
the CD) and there was a 1952 "EP" for Verve/Clef called "Charlie Parker with Strings." The Mercury
sessions seem to be those pictured in the booklet, since there is a RCA 77 mic with a "Mercury" flag
on the top. The booklet incorrectly calls the studio "Mercury Recording" -- this is a very common
mistake which is amplifying bad information in the Ruppli (sp?) discographies. There was no "Mercury
Sound Studio" or "Mercury Recording," particularly back then.
Anyway, looking at the pictures, they resemble pictures I have of Reeves. I don't have any pictures
of Nola except what was known as Nola Penthouse Studio. That had very distinct features, including
heavy drapes, none of this seen in the Charlie Parker photos. Also, as far as I know, Tommy Nola
didn't own a studio until perhaps 1956 or 1957. However, I think I read an article somewhere that
said Nola's father owned a studio going back to the early days of disk-recording, but I might be
wrong on that. If you have some factual info on the Nola family and their studio(s), I'd sure like
to know it. I think I read about Nola's father maybe in TapeOp magazine, not always an authorative
historical fact source.
If you have the Charlie Parker with Strings CD, keep it aside and then go look through any Riverside
albums you have from the 50's to very early 60's because most of those were recorded at Reeves too.
See if you see any points of similarity, although I think I recall some or all of Reeves' music
studios were somewhat rebuilt in the 50's.
I wish I had better historical facts here. The Verve/Mercury vaults are obviously not very helpful
since Ruppli made many a mistake about studios, and back in 1950 Mercury didn't have much studio
info on most jazz records (by the late 50's, there was usually detailed recording information on
Mercury jazz titles).
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Pomeroy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:47 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Fine studio, was Re: Early Mercury LP
> It is "common knowledge" that the Ch Parker with stings recordings
> were made at Nola in the Steinway building on 59th St. Is this just
> an urban myth?
>> Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 19:54:16 -0500
>> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: Early Mercury LP
>> Don't forget Miller was also
>> pivital on the ground-breaking Charlie Parker "with strings" sessions, also recorded at Reeves.
>> think his fame and fortune came mostly from the "Sing Along ..." stuff, though.
>> -- Tom Fine