• I will second Steve’s Provizer’s selection. I have a cd with this version and it has long been a favourite. Great Louis, and I dig Teagarden’s “Yeah!” in just the right place as the rhythm sections cooks along solidly.

  1. According to the French scholar and jazz researcher Philippe Baudoin,

    “’My Little Suede Shoes’ is unique among Charlie Parker’s tunes. It bears no resemblance at all to the sinuous, decorative and rhythmically complex melodic phrasing you find in almost all the ornithological compositions (if you except a few blues riffs and a theme from his young days like ‘Yardbird Suite’). Even its title isn’t very Parkerian. The melody of ‘My Little Suede Shoes,’ very simple and lilting with its repeated notes, seems to come from the folk music of the Caribbean in evoking a kind of calypso, a Rollins-like tune, for example.”

    Smitten by a lingering “déjà vu” impression, Jean-Claude Corrège heard a similarity between “My Little Suede Shoes” and the song Pedro Gomez recorded by French singer Jean Sablon. Its composer Hubert Giraud also recorded it, with the Do-Ré-Mi Trio, on a 78rpm disc whose B-side featured another of his works called “Le petit crier noir” [“The little black shoe-shine boy”], in which the protagonist expressed his aversion for suede footwear. Annie Ross owned that record (as she later confirmed) and Parker had heard it at Kenny Clarke’s home. Bird put two and two together: grafting a title inspired by the story of “Le petit crier noir” onto the melody of Pedro Gomez, he concocted “My Little Suede Shoes.”

    • Thanks to Charlie for relaying that interesting analysis, which does not negate the evidence that Parker drew on the harmonies of “Jeepers Creepers” for “My Little Suede Shoes.”

  2. Your post led me to search my collection for various versions. Most of those I was drawn to were recorded in the 1950-56 window, including Lester Young (with John Lewis), Stan Kenton (with Chris Connor and a Bill Russo arrangement), Sonny Clark (solo, in a medley with “Body and Soul,” and as part of a Cal Tjader quintet that also includes Brew Moore), Max Bennett (with Rosolino, Mariano and Claude Williamson), Billie Holiday (her rehearsal session with Rowles and Shapiro), Lars Gullin (with Ofverman) and Elliott Lawrence (with Cohn and a Tiny Kahn arrangement). I offer these up in case you have yet to recover from your CMR Syndrome, as well as two I wish I had – the 1939 Hot Club Quintette version and Vic Dickenson’s from 1954 (the first of many to feature Ruby Braff).

    At this point, I got tired of “Jeepers Creepers” and started thinking about hearing Paul Desmond play another standard that I would rather get locked into my head (not to be confused with going to my head). I immediately thought of the great “Too Marvelous for Words” that Desmond recorded with Bickert, Thompson and Clarke, and assumed that I might find a few other versions with Brubeck. To my surprise, the only non-bootleg by Brubeck’s quartet was from the Wiltshire-Ebell concert, and it – like the “Jeepers Creepers” that you posted, has the Desmond/Brubeck proportions all wrong for my taste.

    Which led me to conclude that, rather than induce my own CMR fit, what I really craved was Desmond/Jim Hall music. To my Mosaic LP box, with your great notes that now look like the seed from which your wonderful “Take Five” grew. I’m much happier now – and can give my Tom Lord Discography a temporary rest.

    • Those not permanently burned out on “Jeepers Creepers” and its changes might consider the Modern Jazz Sextet‘s take on “Tour de Force” from 1956. The date had a classic version by John Lewis, piano; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Sonny Stitt, alto sax; Skeeter Best, guitar; Percy Heath, bass; and Charli Persip, drums.