Chronology

This page outlines Leo Parker’s performances and activities. Dates on which recording sessions occurred are linked to the corresponding session on the Discography page by clicking on the icon: ✇


EARLY YEARS

APRIL 18, 1925: Leo Thomas Parker is born in Prince George’s County, Maryland to David S. Parker and Margaret V. Parker.1U.S., WWII Draft Card, 1943


1930: Leo Parker lives with his parents and younger sister, Bernice, in Camp Springs, Maryland. Leo’s father, David, works as a farm laborer.2U.S. Census, 1930


1940: Leo Parker works as a newsboy and lives with family at 1215 50th St. NE in Washington, D.C. David is a utility man for Washington Gas Light Company.3U.S. Census, 1940


ca. 1939-1943: Leo Parker attends Armstrong High School and studies the alto saxophone. His classmates include Charlie Rouse and Osie Johnson.

Armstrong High School, 1942

1943: Leo Parker gigs at the Star Dust Inn, 401 4th St. SW, Washington, D.C.4U.S., WWII Draft Card, 1943


1943: Leo Parker participates in a jam session at photographer Gjon Mili’s studio in New York (6 E 23rd St.?). Other participants include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Mezz Mezzrow…

“Jam Session,” 1943 (photo by Gjon Mili)

1944

1944: Leo Parker lives at 2412 7th Ave., New York, NY51944 Local 802 A.F.M. Directory


ca. FEBRUARY, 1944: Kelly’s Stable – 137 W 52nd St., New York, NY6The Music Dial, February 1944, p. 7.
Leo Parker performs with Clark Monroe’s band. Other band members include Leonard Lowery on alto saxophone, Ray Abramson on tenor saxophone, Ed Vandervere and Vic Coulsen on trumpet, Duke Jordan on piano, Len Gaskin on bass, and Ed Bowing on drums.


FEBRUARY 16, 1944: New York, NY
Coleman Hawkins and Orchestra, recording session for Apollo records


FEBRUARY 22, 1944: New York, NY
Coleman Hawkins and Orchestra, recording session for Apollo records


APRIL 23, 1944: Heat Wave – 266 W 145th St., New York, NY7The Music Dial, May 1944, p. 2.
Leo Parker participates in The Music Dial jam session. Other musicians included Lester Young, Oscar Pettiford, and Big Sid Catlett.


ca. 1944(?): Leo Parker performs with Benny Carter’s Orchestra.8Morroe Berger, Edward Berger, James S. Patrick, Benny Carter: A Life in American Music, Volume 1, (Scarecrow Press, 2001), p. 16.


Note: The exact period that Parker was with Carter is currently unknown and needs to be further researched. Morroe Berger’s book, Benny Carter: A Life in American Music, contains a photo (reproduced below) of Carter’s band including Parker at a military post dated as 1944. The book also lists Parker as touring with Benny Carter’s band circa December, 1944-January, 1945. Additionally, in the July, 1947 edition of Jazz Panorama, the article “Leaping Leo” written by Irving Lutsky states that Parker joined Carter’s band for three months after he left Eckstine’s band and before he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band. This period would be late 1945-early 1946.

The dating of the photo as 1944 in Berger’s book is why Parker’s time with Carter is included at this point in this chronology. However, it is my feeling that late 1945-early 1946 may be the correct timeframe.

Benny Carter Orchestra, 1944(?). Seated L-R: Stanley Williams, unidentified trumpet player, Charles Greenlee. Standing L-R: Harold Clark, Bumps Myers, Garland Finney, Buster Scott, Leo Parker, Porter Kilbert, Carter, Red Kelly, Fats Aradando. In bus L-R: Harold Bruce, Howard Smith, Fats Clark.

JUNE 9, 1944: Odd Fellows Building – Wilmington, DE
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra

Note: Up to this point, Leo Parker has been an alto saxophonist. Billy Eckstine needed a baritone saxophonist in his big band to replace Rudy Rutherford. Eckstine offers Parker the baritone chair and supposedly buys him a horn. From this point on, the baritone saxophone would remain Parker’s sole musical voice. (Some sources say that Parker initially joined Eckstine’s band on alto and soon thereafter made the switch to baritone.)


JUNE 11, 1944: Turner’s Arena – 1342 W St., Washington, D.C.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 12, 1944: Cobb Foxhall Warehouse – Rocky Mount, NC
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 13, 1944: Big 4 Warehouse – 200 Morgan St., Durham, NC
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 15, 1944: New Sunset Casino – Atlanta, GA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 21, 1944: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 22, 1944: Lakeland, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 23, 1944: Tampa, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 30, 1944: Library Auditorium – 226 N Hackberry, San Antonio, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 1, 1944: Claudia’s Place – Dallas, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 7-18, 1944: Club Plantation 3617 Delmar Blvd. / Club Riviera 4460 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 4, 1944: Public Auditorium – 500 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Evansville, IN
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Louisville, KY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Cincinnati, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Youngstown, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Detroit, MI
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Flint, MI
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 18-24, 1944: Regal Theater – 4719 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL9“Eckstine Spots Strong Trumpets,” Down Beat, September 1, 1944, p. 1. Personnel: Charlie Parker, John Jackson-alto saxophone; Gene Ammons, Lucky Thompson-tenor saxophone; Leo Parker-baritone saxophone; Dizzy Gillespie, Howard McGhee, Gail Brockman, Marion Hazel-trumpet; Jerry Valentine, Arnett Sparrow, Rudy Morrison-trombone; John Malachi-piano; Tommy Potter-bass; Art Blakey-drums; Sarah Vaughan-vocals
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST, 1944: Aragon Ballroom – 628 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA10Photograph, Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/541d9eff-460a-4793-95fd-323c58ac49ba
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 30, 1944: Asbury Park Armory – 701 Lake Ave., Asbury Park, NJ
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 3-9, 1944: Tic Toc Club – 245 Tremont St., Boston, MA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 10, 1944: Symphony Hall – 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 15-21, 1944: Howard Theatre – 620 T St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 22-28, 1944: Apollo Theater – 253 W 125th St., New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 5, 1944: Royal Theater – 1329 Pennsylvania Ave., Baltimore, MD
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 7, 1944: Brooklyn Palace – 1823 Strauss St., Brooklyn, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER, 1944: Hill City Auditorium – 2007 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA11Photograph, Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/71823a08-3438-4a4e-a504-527a94af634b
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 10, 1944: Armory – S High St. and E Bowery St., Akron OH12“Band Routes,” Billboard, September 9, 1944, p. 20.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 12, 1944: Mosque – Harrisburg, PA13“Band Routes,” Billboard, September 9, 1944, p. 20.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 15, 1944: Renaissance Ballroom – 2341 7th Ave., New York, NY14“Band Routes,” Billboard, September 9, 1944, p. 20.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 16, 1944: Town Hall – Philadelphia, PA15“Band Routes,” Billboard, September 9, 1944, p. 20.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 20-November 2, 1944: Club Bali – 1901 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 3-9, 1944: Metropolitan Theater – 5000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 10-16, 1944: Paradise Theater – 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 19, 1944: Savoy Ballroom – 4733 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


DECEMBER 2, 1944: Brooklyn Palace – 1823 Strauss St., Brooklyn, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


DECEMBER 5, 1944: New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, recording session for De Luxe records


DECEMBER 8-14, 1944: Downtown Theater – Chicago, IL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


DECEMBER 22-28, 1944: Apollo Theater – 253 W 125th St., New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra

Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra at the Apollo Theater, New York, NY, December, 1944

DECEMBER 30, 1944: Chestnut Street Hall – 223 Chestnut St., Harrisburg, PA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


DECEMBER 31, 1944: Golden Gate Ballroom – 640 Lenox Ave., New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


1945

1945: Leo Parker lives at 101 W 140th St., New York, NY161945 Local 802 A.F.M. Directory


JANUARY 6, 1945: New Albert Auditorium – 1224 Pennsylvania Ave., Baltimore, MD
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 8, 1945: Armory – Danville, VA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY, 1945: Camp Butner, NC
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY, 1945: Savannah, GA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 11, 1945: City Auditorium – Atlanta, GA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 17, 1945: City Auditorium / Cotton Club – Macon, GA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 22, 1945: Harvest Club – 2600 Gulf St., Beaumont, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 23, 1945: Library Auditorium – 226 N Hackberry, San Antonio, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 24, 1945: City Auditorium – Galveston, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY, 1945: Houston, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY, 1945: Fort Worth, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY, 1945: Dallas, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JANUARY 27, 1945: University of Texas – Austin, TX
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 1-29(?), 1945: Plantation Club – 108th St. and Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


ca. FEBRUARY 5, 1945: NBC Studios – Hollywood, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, live recording for AFRS Jubilee


ca. FEBRUARY 12, 1945: NBC Studios – Hollywood, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, live recording for AFRS Jubilee


FEBRUARY 18, 1945: Philharmonic Auditorium – 427 W 5th St., Los Angeles, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


ca. FEBRUARY 19, 1945: NBC Studios – Hollywood, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, live recording for AFRS Jubilee


ca. FEBRUARY 26, 1945: NBC Studios – Hollywood, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, live recording for AFRS Jubilee


MARCH 1-15(?), 1945: Pacific Square Ballroom, Silver Slipper – San Diego, CA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


MARCH 16-29, 1945: Skin’s Arcade and Blue Room – Baltimore, MD
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 1, 1945: Golden Gate Ballroom – 640 Lenox Ave., New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


early APRIL, 1945(?): Boston, MA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 13-19, 1945: Paradise Theater – 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 20-26, 1945: Regal Theater – 4719 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 27, 1945: Trianon Ballroom – 1415 Madison Ave., Toledo, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 28, 1945: Akron, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 29, 1945: Cleveland, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


APRIL 30, 1945: Columbus, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


MAY 2, 1945: New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, recording session for National records


MAY 4-10, 1945: Howard Theatre – 620 T St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


MAY 11-17, 1945: Royal Theater – 1329 Pennsylvania Ave., Baltimore, MD
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


MAY 18-24, 1945: Apollo Theater – 253 W 125th St., New York, NY CANCELLED
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


MAY 25, 1945: Chestnut Street Hall – 223 Chestnut St., Harrisburg, PA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 1-7, 1945: National Theater – 506 W Walnut St., Louisville, KY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 9, 1945: Armory – Charleston, WV
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 12, 1945: Pla-More – Greensboro, NC
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 21, 1945: Marine Air Station – Cherry Point, NC
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 24, 1945: Turner’s Arena – 1342 W St., Washington, D.C.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JUNE 25, 1945: Camp Lee, VA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 7, 1945: Army Air Forces, Drew Field – Tampa, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 8, 1945: Harlem Square Club – Miami, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 9, 1945: Two Spot Club – 45th St. and Moncrief Rd., Jacksonville, FL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 15, 1945: Paradise Amusement Park – Nashville, TN
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


July 17, 1945: Pine Bluff, AR
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 18, 1945: Robinson Memorial Auditorium – 426 W Markham St., Little Rock, AR
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 19, 1945: Colored Skating Rink – Jackson, MS17ad, Mississippi Enterprise, July 14, 1945, p. 4.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 20, 1945: Monroe, LA
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 24, 1945: Harvest Club – 2600 Gulf St., Beaumont, TX18“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 25, 1945: Library Auditorium – 226 N Hackberry, San Antonio, TX19“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 26, 1945: Corpus Christi, TX20“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 27, 1945: Port Arthur, TX21“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 28, 1945: Dorie Miller Auditorium – 2300 Rosewood Ave., Austin, TX22“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 29, 1945: Fort Worth, TX23“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


JULY 30, 1945: Rose Room – Dallas, TX24“Billy Eckstine Is Texas Bound,” Michigan Chronicle, July 21, 1945, p. 16.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 6, 1945: Roller Rink – Evansville, IN
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 11, 1945: Miramar Ballroom – 14th Ave. and Madison St., Gary, IN
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 12, 1945: Savoy Ballroom – 4733 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 13, 1945: Sunset Terrace – 873 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 14, 1945: Elk Ballroom – Youngstown, OH
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 6, 1945: Mckinley Theater – 1319 Boston Rd., Bronx, NY25A.B. Spellman, Four Lives in the Bebop Business (1966), 203.
Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra: Hepsations of 1945


SEPTEMBER 7-13, 1945: Apollo Theater – 253 W 125th St., New York, NY26“Eckstine Adds New Thrush,” Billboard, July 28, 1945, p. 21.
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra


ca. OCTOBER, 1945, Leo Parker leaves the Billy Eckstine orchestra. Down Beat magazine writes: “…Teddy Cypron blows the baritone sax Leo Parker blew before.”27“Billy Eckstine Ork Makes Changes,” Down Beat, October 1, 1945, p. 3.


1946

1946: Leo Parker lives at 101 W 140th St., New York, NY281946 Local 802 A.F.M. Directory


ca. 1946: prob. New York, NY
Dizzy Gillespie-Leo Parker, recording session for Aladdin records (unissued) 


ca. FEBRUARY, 1946: Spotlite – 56 W 52nd St., New York, NY29“Dizzy Back On 52nd Street,” Down Beat, February 25, 1946, p. 1.
Dizzy Gillespie Sextet

When Dizzy Gillespie came back from California in the winter of 1946 without Charlie Parker, he opened at the Spotlite on 52nd Street with Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, Al Haig, Stan Levey, and Leo Parker, no kin to Charlie, on baritone saxophone. Sometimes J.J. Johnson would sit in, a perforated grey felt beanie hanging on the bell of his trombone, creating a velvet muted tone not unlike that of a French horn.

–Ira Gitler, Swing to Bop


FEBRUARY, 1946: New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, recording session for National records 


MARCH, 1946: New York, NY
Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra, recording session for National records 


MARCH 31, 1946: Club 845 – 845 Prospect Ave., Bronx, NY30Jerry Schley, “The Bronx Beacon,” People’s Voice, April 6, 1946, p. 14.
“Matinee Jam Session”


MAY 7, 1946: New York, NY
Sarah Vaughan Orchestra, recording session for Musicraft records 


MAY 12, 1946: Lincoln Square Center – 53 W 66th St., New York, NY31Handbill, “Rebop Jam Session,” May 12, 1946, Lincoln Square Center
“Rebop Jam Session”


JULY 9, 1946: New York, NY
Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, recording session for Musicraft records 


1947

JANUARY 7, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra, recording session for Aladdin records 


JANUARY 19, 1947: Renaissance Casino – 2341 7th Ave., New York, NY32“Illinois Jacquet and New 17-Piece Outfit at Renny,” New York Amsterdam News, January 18, 1947, p. 23.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


JANUARY 25, 1947: Elizabeth, NJ33“Band Routes,” California Eagle, January 23, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


JANUARY 26, 1947: Club Sudan – 640 Lenox Ave., New York, NY34“Jazz in Be-Bop,” New York Amsterdam News, February 1, 1947, p. 21.
Leo Parker sits in at the “Jazz in Be-Bop”session.

Every Saturday at Club Sudan, The New Yorkers Inc., Club presents “Jazz In Be-Bop” which features all those hep musicians who are perfecting this modern music called “Be-Bop.”

Last Sunday’s session featured a battle of saxes between Allen Eager and Morris Lane, and the famous Ben Webster, who was present, gave no comment.

The supporting stars included Billy Taylor Jr. and Eddie Brown, bass; Jack (The Bear) Parker and Charles Simon, drums; Al Haig and Tad Dameron, piano; Bennie Harris and Fats Navarro, trumpets; Helen Humes, vocalist, and for that certain music in between — “Babs” Gonzales with his Three Bips and a Bop entertained, while for kicks, Miles Davis, trumpeter, Leo Parker, baritone sax, and guitarist “Pee Wee” Tinney sat in.

So, if you’ve missed any of the previous sessions, latch on and go bye [sic] the Club Sudan between four and 8:30, and not only will you hear music on a different form, and kick, etc., but you’ll be rubbing elbows with all the celebrities and artists–ala Be-Bop and Re-Bop.

–“Jazz in Be-Bop,” New York Amsterdam News, February 1, 1947, p. 21


JANUARY 29, 1947: Schermer Studio – New York, NY
Fats Navarro and his Thin Men, recording session for Savoy records 


JANUARY 31, 1947: Royal Theater – 1329 Pennsylvania Ave., Baltimore, MD
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 7, 1947: Dayton, OH35“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 6, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 8, 1947: Buffalo, NY36“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 6, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 13, 1947: Akron, OH37“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 6, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 14-20, 1947: Paradise Theater – 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI38“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 6, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 21, 1947: Chicago, IL39“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 13, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 22, 1947: Flint, MI40“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 13, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 23, 1947: Gary, IN41“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 20, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 24, 1947: Indianapolis, IN42“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 20, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 25, 1947: Cincinnati, OH43“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 20, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 6, 1947: Apollo Theater – 253 W 125th St., New York, NY44“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 20, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 8, 1947: Wilmington, DE45“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 9, 1947: Bridgeport, CT46“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 10, 1947: Baltimore, MD47“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 11, 1947: Norfolk, VA48“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 13, 1947: Richmond, VA49“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 14-16, 1947: Washington, D.C.50“Band Routes,” California Eagle, March 6, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 30, 1947: Club 845 – 845 Prospect Ave., Bronx, NY51Ad, New York Amsterdam News, March 29, 1947
“Matinee Jam Session”


APRIL 1, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his All Stars, recording session for Aladdin records 


APRIL 14, 1947: Smalls Paradise – 2294 7th Ave., New York, NY52Ad, New York Amsterdam News, April 12, 1947, p. 21
“Battle of the Baritone Sax” Leo Parker vs. Serge Chaloff


APRIL 17, 1947: Jersey City, NJ53“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 17, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


April 19, 1947: Atlantic City, NJ54“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 17, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


APRIL 20-24, 1947: Baltimore, MD55“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 24, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


APRIL 25, 1947: New Haven, CT56“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 17, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


APRIL 29, 1947: Mutual Street Arena – 68 Mutual St., Toronto, Canada57“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 24, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra, (private live recording released on Uptown records)


MAY 1, 1947: Cleveland, OH58“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 24, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 2-8, 1947: Regal Theater – 4719 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL59“Band Routes,” California Eagle, April 24, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 4, 1947: Civic Opera House – 20 N Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL60“11:60 Club Clicks With Opera House Concert,” Down Beat, May 21, 1947, p. 15.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 9, 1947: Colonial Ballroom – Cincinnati, OH61“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 10, 1947: Madison Roller Rink – Louisville, KY62“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 11, 1947: Sunset Terrace – 873 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN63“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 12, 1947: Mirror Ballroom – 2940 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI64“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 13, 1947: Lincoln Ballroom – Columbia, OH65“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 14, 1947: Ballroom – Meadville, PA66“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 15, 1947: Westchester County Center – 198 Central Ave., White Plains, NY67“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra in a “Battle of Swing” with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra


MAY 16, 1947: Scott Hall – Elizabeth, NJ68“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 8, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 17, 1947: Morristown High School – 50 Early St., Morristown, NJ69“Where They Are Playing,” Chicago Defender, May 17, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 18-24, 1947: Savoy Ballroom – 596 Lenox Ave., New York, NY70“Where They Are Playing,” Chicago Defender, May 17, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 21, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his All Stars, recording session for Apollo records 


MAY 27, 1947: U.S.O. Arena – Norfolk, VA71“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 28, 1947: Armory – Wilmington, DE72“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 29, 1947: Mosque Ballroom – 6 N Laurel St., Richmond, VA73“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MAY 30-JUNE 1, 1947: Music Hall – Washington, D.C.74“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


JUNE 2, 1947: Rosedale Beach – Millsboro, DE75“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


JUNE 6-12, 1947: Astoria Lounge – 1309 Edmondson Ave., Baltimore, MD76“Band Routes,” California Eagle, May 29, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


summer, 1947: New York, NY
Sir Charles Thompson and his All Stars, recording session for Apollo records


Leo the Lion, Be-Bop Baritone
by Irving Lutsky
Jazz Panorama
, July 1947

If you’ve ever seen or heard Leo Parker with Billy Eckstine, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, or Illinois Jacquet Orchestras you’ll know what I mean when I say that his is one of the brightest new stars in the world of music. For in the hands of “Leo the Lion,” as he was named by Illinois Jacquet, the baritone saxaphone [sic] is transformed from the rhythm instrument it once was to the swinging, driving, front line horn that “The Lion” has made it. Now, here are some facts concerning this “Wonder Boy of the Baritone.”

“FACTS OF LIFE” Lea [sic] was born 22 years ago on April 18, 1925, in Washington, D.C. at 15 he began the study of the alto saxaphone [sic] while attending Armstrong High School in Washington.  in 1943 [sic], just three years later, he joined Billy Eckstine on his present instrument, the baritone. After an interesting year and a half with Eckstine he left to join the Benny Carter band, leaving there three months later to replace Charlie Parker in the Dizzy Gillespie Sextet at 52nd Street’s “Spotlite.” In 1944, Leo had met Illinois Jacquet on the west coast and two years later he sat in with the Jacquet band and in December of last year he joined Illinois jumping band in which he is now and intends to remain.

“LEO ON RECORDS” Leo Parker’s recording work in the past, while not extensive, does serve to show at least a sample of his ability. Perhaps Leo’s finest solo is on the Sarah Vaughan Musicraft recording of “My Kinda Love” with Tad Dameron and his orchestra. A good solo is spotted briefly on Jacquet’s “Jivin’ With Jack the Bellboy” on Alladin [sic]. Leo got off a fine chorus on “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” with Jacquet, which is soon to be released on Appollo [sic]. His latest recording is EB-POB which he and Fats Navarro co-authored. The title is Be-Bop spelled backwards and in addition to Parker and Navarro, Denzil Best, Eugene Ramey, and Tad Dameron round out the line up of this fine Savoy recording. Leo was featured on a WNEW “Saturday Night Swing Session” broadcast from New York recently with the Jacquet orchestra’s wonderful drummer, Art Blakely [sic].

FAVORS “MODERNS” Leo is a friendly and sincere young man who is sincerely devoted to music he plays and to the men beside whom he is playing. Speaking of Illinois Jacquet he says “He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, tenor-man of today. Illinois has a real soul and is a real man, both personally and musically.” Of Billy Eckstine, “To me he’s one of the finest people I’ve ever been privileged to know and work with.” This sincerity is not wasted for his friends in the music world are legion, and to them, to Jacquet, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, the late Freddie Webster, Bill Swindell, Barry Ulanov, and to his parents he gives all the thanks they rightfully deserve for their help and encouragement. Leo gives especial credit to his parents who understand and appreciate what he is trying to do, and who have aided and encouraged him in his effort to play the music he knows is right. Also Leo is very grateful to Barry Ulanov for his interest in Leo and for the inspiration he has given him. One of “The Lion’s” closest friends is the Jacquet valet, Paul Douglas, who is described as the “great Be-Bop valet” and is known as “Iceberg-the Cool Breeze.”

LEO AND MUSIC Now that you know about Leo, here is a little something about his music. To him, there is no Be-Bop–he is playing “not a thing with a name but the living music of today.” “However,” says Leo, “if they must call it a name, the man who originated that style of music was Thelonious Monk, a great modern pianist.” Leo chose the baritone because, in his words, “It’s the greatest horn in the world and I know since I’ve been playing it, I do and will do things with it that no one has ever done before.” That, in brief, is exactly what Leo is doing. He plays with a large, brilliant tone, a tremendous driving beat, and a virtuoso dexterity that is almost inconceivable on his large horn. The rich swinging sounds that pour from Leo’s baritone must be heard to be appreciated for really, no words can really describe them.

“THE FUTURE” For the future, Leo intends to stay with the Jacquet orchestra in which he is a vital factor, and to add the mastery of the bass saxophone to his growing list of accomplishments. A picture of “the Lion” will appear in the July Metronome. With young and talented men like Leo rising in the jazz world we can be sure that jazz will not die for, in Leo’s words again, “I appreciate the audience in their approval of the music I play and I hope that they enjoy the music as much as I enjoy playing it.” To sum up, here is a prodigious musician who has come, and will go, a long way, blazing his name across the firmament of jazz and coming to his due recognition as one of the “Greatest.” The name is LEO THE LION PARKER. Remember it. You’ll be hearing him.


Miles and Leo
by Barry Ulanov
Metronome
, July, 1947, p. 19

To one group of musicians in New York a couple of guys named Miles Davis and Leo Parker are a lot more important than a couple of guys named Harry James and Harry Carney. The two Harrys are much better known on their instruments, trumpet and baritone, than Miles and Leo, but they’re not half as interesting to the boys up at Minton’s in Harlem or the kids who assemble in Charlie Parker’s back living-room or Tad Dameron’s front.

Miles and Leo are kids themselves, 21 and 22, respectively, but they’re serious. And to them, as to their friends, being serious id half the battle. They divide all musician into two groups, the “serious cats” and the “jokers.” By their standards there are very few of the former and phonograph records full of the latter.

Miles has studied at the Juilliard School of Music, “but I learned more from playing with and talking to Charlie Parker.” Leo studied some alto at high school in Washington, “but I learned to blow from Charlie Parker.” Both have adopted as many of Yardbird’s ideas as they could; Charlie is their mentor, master and moving force.

Both Miles and Leo have played with big bands, Billy Eckstine’s, Benny Carter’s; Leo is with Illinois Jacquet’s colossus right now. Both have played, officially and just for kicks, with Charlie and Dizzy and the little crews which have gathered under various leaders up at Minton’s, home of the bebop brave. Both love to talk about music, Miles more voluble than Leo.

“We’re not just imitating our idols,” Miles makes clear. “We dig what’s happening, that’s all.” What is happening with these musicians is a remarkable transformation of jazz. They’re not just imitators of their idols, as they affirm. Their equipment and their experience are not sufficient yet to mark them as entirely identifiable individuals. But you can’t mistake Leo’s huge tone, his easy command of his horn, his fluency of idea. You can’t miss Miles’ relentless interest in new music, in fresh figures, in arresting handling of bebop, such as those nights of brilliant duetting with Fats Navarro up at Minton’s, their impeccable lines, a fourth apart, joined as tightly as Dizzy and Bird in their unison passages.

These are the emerging jazz heroes, young men in a dry year, who will stick with their ideas, come Eddy Howard or Guy Lombardo.


JULY 31, 1947: Public Auditorium – 500 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland, OH77“Band Routes,” California Eagle, July 31, 1947, p. 18.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


AUGUST 2-27, 1947: Club El Sino – 1730 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI78“Jacquet Does Great Biz At Detroit Club,” Down Beat, August 27, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


ca. AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1947: New York, NY79G. Hoefer, Unused notes for article in Down Beat, January 27, 1966. IJS, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. See L.B. Petersen and T. Rehak, Infatuation-The Music and Life of Theodore “Fats” Navarro (2009), 131.
Possible unreleased quartet recording session for Savoy with Fats Navarro and Terry Gibbs


SEPTEMBER 10, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his All Stars, recording session for Aladdin records


SEPTEMBER 11, 1947: Acushnet Park – New Bedford, MA80“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 12, 1947: Polish Hall – 92 Waverly St., Yonkers, NY81“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 13, 1947: Waltz Dream Arena – Atlantic City, NJ82“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 15, 1947: Public Auditorium – 500 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland, OH83“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 17, 1947: Civic Auditorium – Toledo, OH84“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 19, 1947: Cincinnati, OH85“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 20, 1947: Cotton Club – Dayton, OH86“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 18, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 21, 1947: Sunset Terrace – 873 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN87“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 18, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 22, 1947: Savoy Ballroom – Pittsburgh, PA88“Band Routes,” California Eagle, September 18, 1947, p. 19.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 23, 1947: Toogood Studio – Chicago, IL
Gene Ammons Quintet, recording session for Aladdin records


OCTOBER 2-8, 1947: Club El Sino – 1730 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI89Ad, Michigan Chronicle, October 4, 1947
Gene Ammons Quintet

Note: –A private recording was possibly made during this run. See discography for information.
–Illinois Jacquet’s band played at Club Bali in Washington, D.C. from October 3-16.90“Band Routes,” California Eagle, October 2, 1947, p. 22. Presumably Leo Parker missed some or all of these dates to make the El Sino dates with Ammons.

Those of us who passed near St. Antoine and Beacon the past week got a great boot from the tenor sax of Gene Ammons who “Red Topped” his way into Detroiters’ hearts and from Leo Parker whose smeared baritone notes reaped the cream of the El Sino’s applause.

After running through his often -played “Red Top” and everyone’s favorite “After Hours” (piano by Julian [sic] Mance), Ammons put his tenor aside to sing a chorus of “Going Down Slow” which he hollered in such a manner as to bring the conventional house down.

Parker was a kick every time, as he usually is. His “Solitude” on which he alternately caresses and hits his big full-toned notes, showed just what a capable musician can do with a saxophone. And he did, but good.

Ammons’ rhythm included Gene Wright on bass, Mance and Ellis Bartee on drums. From Detroit, the outfit goes to Chicago supporting Billy Eckstine at the club Silhouette.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm open at the Club El Sino Oct. 10.

–“‘Red Top’ Bows Out; All-Girl Group at Sino,” Michigan Chronicle, October 11, 1947, p. 18


OCTOBER 4, 1947: Detroit, MI
Leo Parker All Stars, recording session for Savoy records


OCTOBER 21, 1947: Community Center – Wilson, NC91“Band Routes,” Baltimore Afro-American, October 25, 1947, p. 6.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 22, 1947: City Armory – Danville, VA92ad, The Bee, October 22, 1947, p. 6. or Greensboro, NC93“Band Routes,” Baltimore Afro-American, October 25, 1947, p. 6.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 23, 1947: Lynchburg, VA94“Band Routes,” California Eagle, October 23, 1947, p. 22.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 25, 1947: Town Hall – 123 W 43rd St., New York, NY95“Illinois Jacquet to Make 2nd Carnegie Hall Bow,” Philadelphia Tribune, October 21, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 26, 1947: Civic Opera House – 20 N Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL96“Swinging the News,” Chicago Defender, October 18, 1947, p. 19.
“All Star Jazz Program” featuring Charlie Ventura, Mildred Bailey, Dallas Bartley, and Leo Parker

Note: Illinois Jacquet’s band played in Buffalo, NY on this date.97“Band Routes,” California Eagle, October 23, 1947, p. 22.


OCTOBER 27, 1947: Palace Pier – Toronto, Canada98“Band Routes,” California Eagle, October 23, 1947, p. 22.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 29, 1947: Nu-Elma Ballroom – Youngstown, OH99“Band Routes,” Baltimore Afro-American, October 25, 1947, p. 6.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 6, 1947: Paradise Theater – 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI100“Band Routes,” California Eagle, October 23, 1947, p. 22.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER, 1947 (some sources say spring, 1948): United Sound Systems – Detroit, MI
Russell Jacquet and his All Stars, recording session for Sensation records


NOVEMBER 7, 1947: Armory – Grand Rapids, MI101“Band Routes,” California Eagle, November 6, 1947, p. 23.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 8, 1947: Miramir Ballroom – 14th Ave. and Madison St., Gary, IN102“Band Routes,” California Eagle, November 6, 1947, p. 23.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 9, 1947: Armory – Saginaw, MI103“Band Routes,” California Eagle, November 6, 1947, p. 23.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 11, 1947: Sunset Terrace – 873 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN104“Band Routes,” California Eagle, November 6, 1947, p. 23.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 14-20, 1947: Club Riviera – 4460 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO105“Illinois Jacquet Increases Size Of ‘Sextette,’” Philadelphia Tribune, November 11, 1947, p. 12. 106Photograph from outside Club Riviera with Jacquet’s name on the marquis. https://dl.mospace.umsystem.edu/umsl/islandora/object/umsl%3A185784
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 21-27, 1947: Regal Theater – 4719 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL107“Illinois Jacquet Increases Size Of ‘Sextette,’” Philadelphia Tribune, November 11, 1947, p. 12.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


NOVEMBER 28, 1947: Chicago, IL
Illinois Jacquet and his All Stars, recording session for Aladdin records


DECEMBER, 1947: Leo Parker signs a recording contract with Savoy records.108“Savoy Records Ink Be-Bop Artists Into Long-Term Contract,” New Journal and Guide, December 27, 1947, p. 17.

Promotional photograph for Savoy records

DECEMBER 11, 1947: New York, NY
Dexter Gordon Quintette, recording session for Savoy records


DECEMBER 11-24, 1947: Three Deuces – 72 W 52nd St., New York, NY109“Band Routes,” California Eagle, December 11, 1947, p. 22.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


DECEMBER 18, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra, recording session for RCA Victor records


DECEMBER 19, 1947: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra, recording session for RCA Victor records
Leo Parker’s All Stars, recording session for Savoy records


DECEMBER 24, 1947: Harry Smith Studio – New York, NY
J.J. Johnson’s Bop Quintette, recording session for Savoy records


1948

JANUARY 3, 1948: State Armory – 360 Broad St., Hartford, CT110concert poster
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


JANUARY 16, 1948: Bushnell Memorial Auditorium – 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT111ad, Hartford Courant, January 8, 1948, p. 7.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 17, 1948: Town Hall – Philadelphia, PA112“Jazz Stars Listed For Concert Today,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 17, 1948, p. 13. and Carnegie Hall – 881 7th Ave., New York, NY113ad, Daily News, January 11, 1948
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald

John Malachi, J.J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Al Lucas, Leo Parker, Joe Newman, Shadow Wilson, and Russell Jacquet. Carnegie Hall, January 17, 1948. (Frank Driggs collection)

JANUARY 18, 1948: Rhodes on the Pawtuxet – 60 Rhodes Pl., Providence, RI and Symphony Hall – 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA114“Symphony Hall Jazz Concert,” Boston Globe, January 19, 1948, p. 16.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 19, 1948: Worcester, MA – Auditorium
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 20, 1948: New Haven, CT
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 22, 1948: Academy of Music – 240 S Broad St., Philadelphia, PA (and/or) Turner’s Arena – 1342 W St., Washington, D.C.115ad, The Sunday Star, January 11, 1948, p. C7.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 23, 1948: Mosque Auditorium – 1020 Broad St., Newark, NJ
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 24, 1948: Masonic Auditorium – Rochester, NY and Kleinhan’s Music Hall – Buffalo, NY116ad, Buffalo Courrier-Express, January 18, 1948
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 25, 1948: I.M.A. Auditorium – 815 E 2nd Ave., Flint, MI and Masonic Temple – 500 Temple St., Detroit, MI
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 26, 1948: Syria Mosque – 4400 Bigelow Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA117ad, The Pittsburgh Press, January 15, 1948
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 27, 1948: Cleveland, OH
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 28, 1948: Murat Theater – 502 N New Jersey St., Indianapolis, IN CANCELLED118“Illinois Jacquet Band Fails to Arrive for Concert,” Indianapolis News, p. 3.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 29, 1948: Kiel Auditorium – 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO119“Jazz Concert Given,” St. Louis Star and Times, January 30, 1948, p. 13.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 30, 1948: Civic Opera House – 20 N Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


JANUARY 31, 1948: Kiel Auditorium – 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, MO
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


FEBRUARY 1, 1948: Armory – 500 S 6th St., Minneapolis, MN120concert poster
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra & Ella Fitzgerald


FEBRUARY 12, 1948: Howard Theatre – 620 T St. NW, Washington, D.C.121“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 12, 1948, p. 15.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 13, 1948: Moose Hall – 132 N Water St., Lancaster, PA122“Band Routes,” California Eagle, February 12, 1948, p. 15.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 21, 1948: Town Hall – 123 W 43rd St., New York, NY123ad, New York Amsterdam News, February 21, 1948, p. 25.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


FEBRUARY 25, 1948: Eastside High School Auditorium – 150 Park Ave., Paterson, NJ 124“Illinois Jacquet,” Morning Call, February 25, 1948, p. 4.
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


MARCH 23, 1948: Detroit, MI
Leo Parker Quintette/Sextette, recording session for Savoy records


ca. 1948(?): Royal Blue Bar – 8401 Russell St., Detroit, MI
Leo Parker performs with the King Porter Orchestra


APRIL 3, 1948: Carnegie Hall – 881 7th Ave., New York, NY125Ad, New York Amsterdam News, March 20, 1948, p. 23
Pittsburgh Courrier Charities Fund “Midnite Jazz Concert”


APRIL 18, 1948: Renaissance Casino – 2341 7th Ave., New York, NY126Ad, New York Amsterdam News, April 17, 1948, p. 25
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


APRIL 24, 1948: Carnegie Hall – 881 7th Ave., New York, NY127“Carnegie Rocks for Basie,” New York Amsterdam News, May 1, 1948, p. 24.
Leo Parker sits in with Count Basie and his Orchestra at the Fred Robbins “One Night Stand” concert. Other guests included Hot Lips Page, Buck Clayton, Al Killian, Taps Miller, and Lucky Thompson.


MAY 3, 1948: Massey Hall – 178 Victoria St., Toronto, Canada128Ad, Toronto Daily Star, April 22, 1948, p. 18
Illinois Jacquet and his Orchestra


May 8, 1948Billboard magazine writes: “Bary-saxist Leo Parker has left the Illinois Jacquet crew and formed a five-piece combo of his own for clubs and theaters. Associated Booking is handling his booking.”129“Music—As Written,” Billboard, May 8, 1948, p. 28.

Promotional photograph for Associated Booking

MAY, 1948: Club Astoria, Astoria, NY
Leo Parker and his Orchestra

Leo Parker, who left Illinois Jacquet’s sax section to form his own small band, has been breaking in with five men and a vocalist the Club Astoria, Long Island.

–“Trade Tattle,” Down Beat, May 19, 1948, p. 7


MAY 22, 1948: Chris Perry Elk’s Lodge – 4932 N Broad St., Philadelphia, PA130Kae Williams, “Brightlight Banter,” Philadelphia Tribune, May 22, 1948, p. 12.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


MAY 29, 1948: Pershing Ballroom – 64th St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL131Joe Segal, liner notes for Leo Parker, The Late Great King of the Baritone Sax, recorded July 4, 1951, August 10, 1953, Chess CHV 413, 1971, LP.
Leo Parker/Fats Navarro

Leo Parker and Fats Navarro at the Pershing Ballroom, Chicago, May 29, 1948

ca. JUNE, 1948: Tropical Gardens – Philadelphia, PA132“Music—As Written,” Billboard, June 12, 1948, p. 37.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


JUNE 18-24(?), 1948: Watts’ Zanzibar – 1833 W Columbia Ave., Philadelphia, PA133Kae Williams, “Bright Light Banter,” Philadelphia Tribune, June 12, 1948, p. 13.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


Back Door Stuff
by Allan McMillan
New York Amsterdam News
, October 30, 1948, p. 31

Oscar Cohen reports that Barytone [sic] Saxophonist Leo Parker, one time featured star with Illinois Jacquet’s band who has been ill for several months in a Washington, D.C. Sanitarium, will soon be well enough to return to Manhattan. He won’t resume his musical activities, however, until after January 1st.


Back Door Stuff
by Allan McMillan
New York Amsterdam News
, November 6, 1948, p. 27

Ray Pino is my nomination of the week for the finest ‘good deed.’ He’s promoting a ‘Jazz Session’ at the 845 Club this Sunday [November 7th] afternoon from three until nine, proceeds of which will go to raise funds for ailing Leo Parker, formerly sax player with Illinois Jacquet. Committee is composed of Leonard Feathers [sic], Sammy Kaye, Ross Russell and Ray Pino and some friendly swing artists will donate their services for this most worthy cause.


1949

Back Door Stuff
by Allan McMillan
New York Amsterdam News
, January 15, 1949, p. 23

Leo Parker, musician formerly with the Illinois Jacquet crew, out of the Sanitarium and now recuperating at his home in Washington.


FEBRUARY 20, 1949: Royal Roost – 1580 Broadway, New York, NY134Handbill for “A Real Crazy Benefit for Wild Leo Parker,” February 20, 1949, Royal Roost, New York, NY
“A Real Crazy Benefit for WILD LEO PARKER”

Babs [Gonzales] will headline a benefit at the Royal Roost [November 20th] for one of his buddies, ‘Wild Leo’ Parker, sensational sax star just out of the hospital in D.C.

New York Age, February 19, 1949, p. 11


DECEMBER 18, 1949: Pershing Ballroom – 64th St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL135“Chicago Briefs,” Down Beat, Jan 13, 1950, p. 3.
Leo Parker backed by Claude McLin’s combo


1950

JANUARY 13-19, 1950: Regal Theater – 4719 South Pkwy., Chicago, IL136ad, Los Angeles Sentinel, January 12, 1950, p. B6.
Billie Holiday/Stump and Stumpy/Wong Sisters/Jay Burkhart and the All-Star Jay-Bird Orchestra featuring Wardell Gray, Miles Davis, Leo Parker, Joe Williams


JUNE 1(?)-21, 1950: Birdland – 1678 Broadway, New York, NY137R.J. DeLuke, “A Remembrance of Percy Heath,” https://www.allaboutjazz.com/a-remembrance-of-percy-heath-part-1-2-percy-heath-by-rj-deluke
Bud Powell septet with Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson, Leo Parker, Percy Heath and Art Blakey


JULY 20, 1950: New York, NY
Leo Parker and his Quartet, recording session for Prestige records


AUGUST, 1950Metronome magazine writes: “Leo Parker has returned to the jazz scene, with a small group that includes John Taswell on trombone, Frank Cooper on tenor, and a rhythm section in addition to his own baritone horn. Group is under the direction of Joe Glaser.”138“Personalities,” Metronome, August 1950, p. 8.


DECEMBER 28, 1950: Philadelphia, PA (or New York, NY)
Leo Parker and his Mad Lads, recording session for Gotham records


1951

JULY 4 (or 7), 1951: Universal Recording – Chicago, IL
Leo Parker and his Quintet, recording session for Chess records


SEPTEMBER 14, 1951: Chicago, IL
Ray Snead, recording session for Mercury records


NOVEMBER 11, 1951: Pershing Ballroom – 64th St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL139“Cavalcade to Spotlight Some Top Musicians,” Chicago Defender, November 3, 1951, p. 12.
“Autumn Cavalcade” with Claude McLin, Von Freeman, Eddie Johnson, Leo Parker, Grady Johnson, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Ethel Duncan, Motis Clifton, Phillip Carney, and John Jenkins


DECEMBER 31, 1951: Union Park Temple – 1507 W Ogden Ave., Chicago, IL140Ad, Chicago Defender, December 29, 1951, p. 6
Leo Parker and his band


1952

APRIL 18, 1952Down Beat magazine writes: “Bary saxist Leo Parker organizing a combo in town [Chicago].141“Strictly Ad Lib,” Down Beat, April 18, 1952, p. 19.


ca. JUNE, 1952: Boulevard Room – Kansas City, MO
Leo Parker-Roy Eldridge Sextet

Leo Parker with Roy Eldridge and Maurice Lyles in Kansas City, 1952

Reports say that Leo Parker is breaking it up in Kaycee with his combo. Happy, healthy, and blowing well again, he’s getting big notices.

–“Strictly Ad Lib,” Down Beat, July 2, 1952, p. 3


JULY, 1952: Latin Villa – 1208 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO142Ad, Kansas City Times, July 2, 1952, p. 19
Leo Parker and his Orchestra

Leo (Mad-Lad) Parker and his ork played the Latin Quarter [sic], Kansas City, Mo., this month, marking the first time that the club has played an r.&b. band. The ork was booked into the room as a result of the business it pulled during its six-week stay at the Boulevard Room in Kaycee.

–Bob Rolontz, “Rhythm & Blues Notes,” Billboard, July 26, 1952, p. 39


AUGUST 9, 1952: Pershing Ballroom – 64th St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL143“Strictly Ad Lib,” Down Beat, August 27, 1952, p. 3.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


ca. AUGUST, 1952: Grady’s – Nashville, TN144Jack Tracy, “Leo ‘Mad Lad’ Parker Is Mild, No Longer Wild,” Down Beat, August 27, 1952, p. 16.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


Leo ‘Mad Lad’ Parker Is Mild, No Longer Wild
by Jack (Tracy?)
Down Beat
, August 27, 1952, p. 16

The Mad Lad is still mad. But mostly at himself for drifting deep into anonymity in the last couple of years and letting the music scene just about pass him by completely.

So Leo Parker is starting from the beginning again. He has rid himself of the frustrations and insecurities that made him the frantic Leo of old and is now working hard with his own quintet–a group he promises will be of top caliber with further work, rehearsals, and a couple of personnel changes.

And probably the most succinct way of pointing out the change in him is to mention that a few years ago he made a descriptively-titled record called Wild Leo. His most recent cutting is a side proudly designated Cool Leo.

A generous share of credit for ridding Leo of his troubles and showing him he was getting nowhere speedily must go to his new manager, George Hill, who also works for the Chicago Defender.

After Parker left Illinois Jacquet in 1950 he drifted awhile, then came to Chicago. He worked rarely, floated in and out of town. Then Hill met him, squared him away, took over his affairs, and booked Parker with a combo into the Boulevard Room in Kansas City a couple of months ago. With the added impetus of Roy Eldridge on trumpet, the band did beautifully and stayed on through a couple of options.

Then the owner of the K.C. Latin Quarter [sic], which had been booking top units like the Dorseys, Guy Lombardo, etc., brought the band in for two weeks, marking the first time a colored unit had played the place.

The band did excellently, then moved into a string of one-nighters that ended with his current two-weeker plus options at Grady’s, in Nashville.

And his recent records for Chess have been moving well, especially on r. and b. jukes, and it appears that once more the former altar boy from Washington D.C. is on his way to the rewards his large talent should reap.


NOVEMBER 15, 1952: Chicago, IL
Leo Parker and his Mad Lads, recording session for United records


1953

ca. FEBRUARY, 1953, Leo Parker signs with Universal Attractions145Ted Yates, “Hot Off the Press,” Cleveland Plain-Dealer, February 6, 1953, p. 5.

Promotional photograph for Universal Attractions

Universal Attractions publishes a listing for Leo Parker in the 1953 Down Beat band directory:

LEO PARKER
Record Company: United
Booking Office: Universal Attractions
Baritone saxist, after a short recent stint with Gene Ammons, now out on his own with a six-piece group playing many r&b location one-nighters and some clubs. Band is gutty, frenetic, features Oscar Pettiford’s brother Ira on bass and trumpet.


FEBRUARY 15, 1953: Madison Ballroom – 4643 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI146Ad, Detroit Free Press, February 15, 1953, p. 14
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


MARCH 7, 1953: Labor Temple – 117 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN147“Ellis to Present Leo Parker at Labor Temple,” Minneapolis Spokesman, March 6, 1953, p. 8.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


MARCH 16-22, 1953: Blue Angel – 1217 W 3rd St., Dayton, OH148Ad, Dayton Daily News, March 18, 1953, p. 19
Wini Brown/Leo Parker and his Orchestra


MAY 11, 1953: Graystone Ballroom – 4237 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI149Houston Byrd, “Byrdland,” Detroit Tribune, May 9, 1953, p. 5.
The Five Royals/Leo Parker/Sonny Stitt/Jimmy Forrest/Little Esther


ca. AUGUST, 1953: Flame Show Lounge – 809 E Oakwood Blvd., Chicago, IL150Ad, Chicago Defender, August 6, 1953
Leo Parker


AUGUST 1, 1953: Coliseum – 300 Court St., Evansville, IN151“Leo Parker Headlines Bill for Variety Show,” Evansville Courrier and Press, July 28, 1953, p. 24.
The Flamingos/Leo Parker/Evalyn Pervis/Ray Randolph/Richards and Thompson


AUGUST 6, 1953: Lyric Theater – 300 E 3rd St., Lexington, KY152Ad, Lexington Herald Leader, August 5, 1953, p. 16
The Flamingos/Leo Parker/et al.


AUGUST 9, 1953: Circle Theater – 10208 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH153“Circle Stage Show Features Flamingos,” Cleveland Call and Post, August 8, 1953, p. 7B.
The Flamingos/Leo Parker/et al.


AUGUST 10, 1953: Chicago, IL
Leo Parker, recording session for Parrot records


AUGUST 28, 1953: Leo Parker Joins Local 208 A.F.M. Chicago, IL154Leo Parker, Local 208 A.F.M. dues payment log.


SEPTEMBER, 1953: Nob Hill – 5228 Lake Park Ave., Chicago, IL155“Rhythm And Blues Notes,” Billboard, September 19, 1953, p. 38.
Leo Parker/Lefty Bates and his Orchestra


OCTOBER 18, 1953: El Mocambo – 1519 W Madison St., Chicago, IL156Leo Parker, Local 208 A.F.M. dues payment log.
possible Leo Parker gig


DECEMBER 4-12, 1953: Glass Bar – 2935 Lawton Blvd., St. Louis, MO157Ad, St. Louis Post Dispatch, December 4, 1953, p. 6-D
Leo Parker and his Quintette


1954

JULY 6-18, 1954: Midway Lounge – 600 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA158“On The Upbeat,” Variety, July 21, 1954, p. 41.
Leo Parker with Reid Jaynes and the Deuces Wild


JULY 6-7, 1954: Cincinnati, OH
Bill Jennings-Leo Parker Quintet, recording session for King records


JULY 8, 1954: Pittsburgh, PA
Leo Parker, Jill Corey, and Jimmy Jones are guests on the Bob Parks “Rhythm Rendezvous” KQV radio show at 11:15pm.159Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 1954, p. 6.


AUGUST 9-15, 1954: Loop Lounge – 612 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH160“Great Ben Webster Coming to the Loop Lounge Next Week,” Cleveland Call and Post, August 14, 1954, p. 5B.
J.J. Johnson, Leo Parker, and Lockjaw Davis with Jimmy Saunders


DECEMBER 13, 1954: Fine Sound – New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet recording session for Clef records


1955

JANUARY 22, 1955: Pershing Ballroom – 64th St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL161“Rhythm n’ Blues Ramblings,” Billboard, January 22, 1955, p. 27.
Singing Sax Show and Dance with Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons, Eddie Chamblee, Leo Parker, The Echoes, The Clouds, and The Fortunes


1956

ca. JULY, 1956: New York, NY162Arizona Sun, July 19, 1956, p.6
unknown activities


SEPTEMBER 30, 1956: Washington, D.C., Leo Parker’s father, David S. Parker, dies at the age of 52.163obituary, Evening Star, October 2, 1956, p. A18.


1957

No documented activities.


1958

FEBRUARY, 1958: Washington, D.C., Leo Parker is hospitalized with tuberculosis.164“Court Orders Confinement of Two as TB Carriers,” Evening Star, February 6, 1958, p. 1.


1959

No documented activities.


1960

No documented activities.


1961

ca. spring, 1961: Abart’s International – 1928 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C.165“Strictly Ad Lib,” Down Beat, June 22, 1961, p. 52.
Leo Parker and his Orchestra


SEPTEMBER 9, 1961: Englewood Cliffs, NJ – Van Gelder Studio
Leo Parker recording session for Blue Note records


OCTOBER 12, 1961: Englewood Cliffs, NJ – Van Gelder Studio
Leo Parker recording session for Blue Note records


OCTOBER 20, 1961: Englewood Cliffs, NJ – Van Gelder Studio
Leo Parker recording session for Blue Note records


1962

FEBRUARY 5, 1962: New York, NY
Illinois Jacquet recording session for Epic records

Undated photo ca. early 1960s

FEBRUARY 12 (or 11) , 1962, Leo Parker dies of a heart attack in New York, NY at the age of 36 while running a bath in his hotel room. Parker was to record again for Blue Note on February 13th.166“The End of a Comeback,” Down Beat, March 29, 1962, p. 13.

Obituary, Washington Evening Star, February 16, 1962, p. B-4