Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dizzy Gillespie

Night in Tunisia

First recorded (as “Interlude”) by Sarah Vaughn w/ The Dizzy Gillespie Septet (1944).
Also recorded by The Boyd Raeburn Orchestra (1944).
“Night in Tunisia” first recorded by Dizzy Gillespie (1945).
Also recorded by The Charlie Parker Septet (1946), Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker (1949), and Miles Davis (1955).

From the wiki: “Dizzy Gillespie began writing the then-unnamed tune while he was performing with Benny Carter in New York in 1942. During a break in a show, Gillespie composed the basics of the song on piano. According to To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy was sitting at the piano playing chord progressions when he noticed the notes of the chords formed a melody with a Latin/Oriental feel. Adding a Bebop-style rhythm to the melody, Gillespie came up with what would become ‘Night in Tunisia’.

‘Round Midnight

First recorded (as “‘Round About Midnight”) by Cootie Williams & His Orchestra (1944).
Also recorded by Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker (1946), Jackie Paris (1949), Thelonious Monk (1947|1957), Sarah Vaughn (1963).
Popular version by Miles Davis (1957).

From the wiki: “By the time Thelonious Monk recorded ”Round Midnight’ as a band leader, in 1947, his composition was already well-known around Jazz circles and was considered a classic. It has since gone on to become the most-recorded Jazz standard composed by a Jazz performer, appearing on more than 1000 recordings. It is thought that Monk originally composed ”Round Midnight” sometime in 1940 or 1941. Historian Harry Colomby, however, claims that Monk could have written an early version of the song around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title ‘Grand Finale’.

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